About Toras Chaim
The Toras Chaim Rabbinical Leadership Institute, founded by Rabbi Travis in 2003, trains rabbis who are thoroughly versed in Halacha and committed to take up positions of leadership and service in Jewish communities around the world. It is educating the knowledgeable, English-speaking rabbis of the next generation.
Though there are many learned rabbis and laymen in Israel, many have never studied Halachic texts in-depth and don’t have the skills to derive Halacha using the necessary range of sources. In English-speaking Orthodox communities around the world, the problem is even more acute. Lack of fluency in Hebrew makes halachic texts quite inaccessible for most observant Jews, and even among Rabbis who graduate from special leadership training programs, though they do fine work in outreach and community service, knowledge of halachic texts is generally rudimentary.
Furthermore, there is a special sensitivity to our fellow Jew which is essential when ruling on a Jewish legal issue. Throughout Jewish history, the greatest rabbis have always shown compassion and understanding based on the unique situation of individuals when delivering halachic opinions. This flexible and creative approach to Halacha – which indeed is the ideal, truly correct approach – is made possible by two factors: The rabbis’ comprehensive understanding of halachic concepts and texts, and the rabbis’ highly refined sensitivity to their fellow Jew based on a lifetime of working on their own character and understanding.
A Unique Approach
Toras Chaim is the only program of its kind in Jerusalem – training promising young English-speaking men to be the first-rate rabbis of the next generation. We have developed a three-tiered system to achieve this goal:
- Extensive and intensive study of halachic texts and concepts.
- Conscious development of character and interpersonal relationship skills.
- Leadership training.
Meet the Kollel Team
Rabbi Yonason Harris
Rabbi Avigdor Halpern
Rabbi Jamie Cowland
Mrs. Peryl Harris
Secretary, Kollel Toras Chaim