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Frequently asked questions

  1. What does TORCH do?
  2. How much does it cost to join TORCH?
  3. Is TORCH a local or national organization?
  4. Which local organization or synagogue is TORCH part of?
  5. Who funds TORCH programming?
  6. Are my donations to TORCH tax deductible?
  7. Where are TORCH classes held?
  8. What is a Kollel, the Houston Community Kollel, A.K.A. TORCH?

1. What does TORCH do?

TORCH's goal is to "Connect Jews and Judaism" by strengthening Jewish identity through hands-on educational experiences that empower by allowing to explore the beautiful world of Judaism. TORCH respects all Jews, regardless of prior knowledge or observance level.

2. How much does it cost to join TORCH?

TORCH is a non-membership organization. Most of our educational programs and classes are free of charge. Occasionally, we charge a nominal fee for a program to help with the costs involved in operating that particular event.

3. Is TORCH a local or national organization?

TORCH is an independent, local, not-for-profit organization created for Houston-area Jews. While there are many similar organizations throughout the United States, TORCH is not affiliated with any other and is unique to Houston.
T.O.R.C.H. is an acronym for Torah Outreach Resource Center of Houston.

4. Which local organization or synagogue is TORCH part of?

TORCH is a free-standing community organization that is independent and mostly supported by private contributions from individuals and foundations who share in the vision and mission of TORCH. TORCH also welcomes organizations and individuals of all affiliations to join in its mission to "Connect Jews & Judaism" and is proud to partner or share its programming opportunities.

Below is a list of some of the local, community and national organizations that have in the past joined with TORCH in helping achieve this goal:
• ADL - http://regions.adl.org/southwest/
• AIPAC
• AJC - www.ajchouston.org
• AMIT
• Arachim - www.arachimusa.org
• Bellaire Jewish Center - www.bjchouston.org
• Beth Yeshurun Day School - www.bethyeshurundayschool.org
• B'nai Brith of Houston
• Bridge Houston - www.bridgehouston.org
• Congregation Beth El (Missouri City) - www.cbefortbendtx.org
• Congregation Beth Israel - www.beth-israel.org
• Congregation Beth Rambam - www.bethrambam.org
• Congregation Brith Shalom (Bellaire) - www.brithshalom.org
• Congregation Or Ami (West Houston) - www.oramihouston.org
• Congregation Shaar Hashalom (Clearlake) - www.shaarhashalom.org
• Congregation Torah Vachesed - www.torahvachesed.com
• Consulate General of Israel to the Southwest
• Discovery - www.aishconnections.com
• Dress for Success - www.dressforsuccess.org
• Emery/Weiner School - www.emeryweiner.org
• Gesher City - www.geshercity.org/web/houston
• Hadassah
• Hebrew Free Loan Association of Houston - www.hfla.net
• Houston Congregation for Reform Judaism - HCRJ - www.hcrj.org
• Houston Kashruth Association - HKA - www.kosherhouston.org
• Israeli House - http://houston.mfa.gov.il
• Jewish Business Aliance
• Jewish Community Center of Houston - www.erjcchouston.org/
• Jewish Family Services - www.jfshouston.org
• Jewish Federation of Greater Houston - www.houstonjewish.org
• Jewish Geneology Society - www.ghjgs.org
• Meyerland Minyan - www.meyerlandminyan.org
• NASA - www.nasa.gov
• NCJW - www.ncjwhouston.org/
• NCSY/OU - www.ncsy.org
• NJOP - www.njop.org
• Orthodox Union - www.ou.org
• Partners In Torah - http://www.partnersintorah.org
• Project SEED
• Robert M. Beren Academy - www.berenacademy.org
• Sephardic Gan/Torat Emet - www.tetx.org
• Sharsheret - www.sharsheret.org
• Sinai Retreats - www.moodus.org
• Temple Beth Torah (Humble) - www.temple-beth-torah.org
• The River - www.theriver.org
• Torah Girls Academy - www.tgatexas.org
• Torah Umesorah - www.torah-umesorah.com
• University Heritage Society - www.universityheritagesociety.com
• United Orthodox Synagogues - www.uosh.org
• YAD - Young Adult Division of the Federation - www.houstonjewish.org/Section.aspx?id=2658
• YAGA - www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=116033506446
• Young Women's Alliance - www.youngwomensalliance.org
• Young Israel of Houston - www.yihouston.org

Below is a list of some of the local vendors that have in the past partnered with TORCH in various projects including Kosher Awareness Month (Since 2006):
• Aroma Classique
• Aroma Pizza Cafe
• Bayou City Event Center
• Belden's - Braeswood Square
• Cafe @ the J - Nosher's
• Cake Creations
• Costco
• Fioza
• H-E-B
• Home Depot
• Houston Pecan Company
• Intercontinental Hotel
• Katz Coffee
• Kroger
• Madras Pavillion
• Marriot Courtyard
• Mediterranean Imports
• NY Bagel
• PitaPal
• Randall's
• Saba's Kosher Pizza
• Sawyer Park
• Shakolad
• Starbucks
• Super Pita
• Suzie's Grill
• Three Brothers Bakery
• Wal-Mart
• Westin Galleria
• Westin Oaks
• Wish Bakery

5. Who funds TORCH programming?

Almost 90% is funded through private donations from Houstonians who value our work and want to become partners in our mission. The balance comes from program revenues and individual contributions from outside Houston.

6. Are my donations to TORCH tax deductible?

Yes. TORCH, Inc. is a non profit organization recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) and by the State of Texas. All contributions are tax deductible.

Your contribution is vital to our continued growth and ability to provide quality Jewish education to the Houston Jewish Community. We appreciate your partnership and investment in our valuable work.

7. Where are TORCH classes held?

Transcending the confines of a typical classroom, TORCH offers a fresh approach to learning about Torah and Judaism. Whether or not you have been involved with Jewish education, we welcome you to come learn with us.

TORCH's "campus without walls" makes classes accessible throughout the greater Houston area almost every day of the year. We will join you in your home or at your office to share with you the joy of Judaism. As Houston Jewry grows, so do we.

TORCH programs include; Lunch & Learns, Executive Study, One on One Study, Havurahs (Home study groups), Classes, Events, Conferences and much more. Whether in synagogues, office buildings, coffee shops, private homes and other Jewish centers, TORCH remains committed to successfully fulfilling its mission of "Connecting Jews & Judaism."

8. What is a Kollel, the Houston Community Kollel, A.K.A. TORCH?

The Houston Community Kollel is a Jewish community organization of Rabbis who live in Houston and are working to strengthen the quality of Jewish education throughout the Southwest. They teach classes in a variety of settings from Synagogues to Starbucks. The Rabbis who make up the Houston Community Kollel pursue advanced studies in the afternoon, and are available mornings, at lunchtime, evenings or weekends for teaching and outreach programs.

The Hebrew root of the word Kollel is Klal, which means group or community. The Houston Community Kollel is funded, organized and operated by the local community. The Kollel offers a wide spectrum of study and discussion opportunities in various locations.

Programs are offered for Jewish men, women and children of all backgrounds and affiliations in a non-judgmental atmosphere. Whether you are just learning the Aleph-Bet or are studying advanced Talmud; whether your interest is in the basic tenets of Judaism or you are working through the deeper aspects of Jewish philosophy, the Kollel's combination of group and one-on-one learning can help you connect to Judaism in new ways. The Kollel also organizes hikes and other social events for fun and learning.

Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kollel

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