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Rabbinic Faculty


Rabbi Yaakov Cohen
Director of Education

Rabbi Yaakov Cohen was born and raised in California. He attended Cal State University, Northridge, where he studied philosophy and psychology. He went on to study at a number of leading yeshivot in Jerusalem where he received his Rabbinic ordination. He has led adult classes and seminars in both America and Israel.
Rabbi Cohen is particularly interested in the study of Kabbalah and mysticism. He is married to Devorah, the newly recruited Director of ASCENT for Women, and have six wonderful children, Michal, Yoni, Tamar, Talia, Elisha and Shaina.


Rabbi Yossi Grossman
Dean of Jewish Ethics Institute

Rabbi Grossman, Dean of TORCH and his wife Faige moved to Houston from the eastern end of Long Island (Brooklyn) in 1998, and now consider themselves native Texans.
Prior to that, Rabbi Grossman taught Jewish adult education classes on campus at Princeton University, and religious seminars in the former Soviet Union. Rabbi Grossman’s easygoing, laid-back style and love of learning combine to create a flair for reaching and teaching Jews from all walks of life. Rabbi Grossman is one of the leading Jewish Medical Ethicists in the Southwest, and currently holds the Rubenfeld Family Chair of Jewish Medical Ethics and is director of the newly founded Jewish Ethics Institute. The Grossmans have three children, Ahuva, Sasson, and Penina.


Rabbi Yaakov Nagel
Rosh Chabura of TORCH Kollel

Rabbi Nagel was one of the founding members of the TORCH faculty. He is from upstate NY, where he studied in the Advanced Talmudic Studies Program of Yeshiva Shaar HaTorah. Rabbi Nagel brings us his love of learning and teaching Torah, having taught in Yeshiva Shaar HaTorah and at Time Out for Values, an adult education program for newcomers to Jewish education. His Daf Yomi class, which he has taught for over six years is one of TORCH’s most popular offerings. He is also very popular with the teenagers who attend his nightly classes at Yeshivas Ohr Hanegev. Yaakov and his wife Sari have six children, Meira, Tamar, Moshe, Devorah, Aliza, and Riva.


Rabbi Yaakov Wohlgelernter
Director of TNT

Rabbi Yakov, and his wife Elky, recently sold their igloo in freezing cold Toronto and moved to scorching Houston to join the TORCH team. Before living in Canada, Yakov studied in the Jerusalem Kollel and received Rabbinic ordination from R’ Z.N. Goldberg. Yakov grew up surfing the waves in La Jolla, California and loves the sun and the beach. Rabbi Yakov’s enthusiasm and personality instantly attracts everyone to what he loves to learn and teach: practical Judaism. He loves to meet new people, and thanks to his amazing wife, his Shabbat table is a sure bet for a great meal and a great time. Rabbi Yakov and his wife Elky have two children, Moshe, “almost three” and Talia their newborn daughter.


Rabbi Aryeh Wolbe
Executive Director

Rabbi Aryeh Wolbe was born in Jerusalem, and raised in New York. He has learned in some of the most prominent Torah centers of the world, including Mir, Jerusalem, and Beth Medrash Gevoha in Lakewood, NJ. He holds several Rabbinic ordinations including from former Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu z"l.
Rabbi Wolbe has been active in Jewish outreach since 1996 across the globe, including the US, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Canada and Israel. Rabbi Wolbe has published numerous books in the Russian Language and distributed over 10,000 copies in the multitude of Jewish communities he was serving.
Rabbi Wolbe teaches several Mussar classes every week in the various communities in Greater Houston. His passion for Mussar started at young age, while developing a close relationship with his legendary grandfather, Mussar Master, Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe, z"l. Much of his teachings are based on the writings, words and lessons of his grandfather.
Rabbi Wolbe lives in Houston, TX with his wife, Zehava, and their five delicious children, Dovi, Meira, Shlomo, Ahuva and Yehuda. They've been working with TORCH since 2005, and love every second of it.


Rabbi Yaakov Wolbe
Director of Outreach

Rabbi Yaakov Wolbe grew up in New York, but was shipped off to Yeshiva in Israel at the tender age of 16, where he remained till he, together with his wife, Chaya, and three adorable children, Akiva, Yehoshua, and Miriam, moved to Houston. An accomplished Talmudic and Rabbinic scholar, Rabbi Wolbe received Rabbinic Ordination from Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, Chief Justice of the Supreme Rabbinical Court of Jerusalem, at the age of 23, a little more than a year after he published his first book. Rabbi Wolbe also received Ordination from Rabbi Hillel Weinberg and Aish HaTorah, where he studied and taught for 3 and a half years. Rabbi Wolbe studied for an additional three and a half years in the renowned Mir Yeshiva (The Harvard of Yeshivas - a term he christened) under the tutelage of Rabbi Asher Arieli (The Michael Jordan of Torah – a term someone else did). An avid golfer who some say cares about his handicap a little more than he should, Rabbi Wolbe’s extracurricular activities also include swimming, biking, and fantasy football, and will wager anyone on a game of ping pong or connect-four.

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