Rabbi Rafi Cohen
Rabbi Rafi Cohen is the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Torah. A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Rabbi Cohen is a second generation Conservative Rabbi. He earned his BA in Near Eastern & Judaic Studies with a focus on Contemporary Jewish Studies from Brandeis University in 2000. While in college, Rabbi Cohen studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has since attended the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem and spent one year studying at the JTS’ Jerusalem campus. Rabbi Cohen earned his MA in Jewish Education in the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at JTS where he was ordained in 2009.
During Rabbinical school he was awarded a Legacy Heritage Rabbinic Fellowship and served Shaaray Torah Synagogue in Canton, Ohio. Upon ordination, Rabbi Cohen became the Second Rabbi at the Jacksonville Jewish Center in Florida. In 2011, Rabbi Cohen was elected to lead Congregation Beth Torah, where he is an advocate for Israel, the environment, and enjoys Carlebach melodies on Shabbat.
Along with his rabbinic duties, Rabbi Cohen serves on the board of the Ann and Nate Levine Academy (a Solomon Schechter School), and is a member of The Clergy Circle of Friends of the Arava Institute. He is a member of the Rabbinical Assembly and the Greater Dallas Rabbinic Association.
Rabbi Cohen is married to Michele Weber Cohen, originally from Philadelphia and a graduate of Rutgers University. An alumnus of USY Nativ academic year program in Israel, Michele earned her MS from Thomas Jefferson University and is a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator. Rabbi Cohen and his wife met at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires during a Shavuot retreat that each attended out of their love of tefillah, Jewish camping and community. Together, they enjoy biking and are passionate about connecting food, learning, and the environment. They are past participants in the Hazon Israel Bicycle Ride and a kosher, community supported Agriculture in the Bronx. Rabbi and Michele Cohen are the proud parents of Benjamin and Tal. Both Rabbi Cohen and Michele were involved in the genesis of the Greenfaith Committee at Rabbi Cohen’s former congregation and are excited about the caring community that exists at Beth Torah.