Multiple Guest Speakers Come to FTI Rabbi Shaya Cohen, Rabbi Chaim Pass, and Hollywood Comedian Who Became a Ba’al Teshuva

Rabbi Shaya CohenRosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Zichron Aryeh, founder of Priority-1 and world-renowned motivational speaker, visited FTI and delivered separate and individual messages to FTI’s Mesivta, Bais Medrash, and Rebbeim. Rabbi Cohen spoke to the Mesivta on the topic of finding true happiness. Rabbi Cohen gave a mussar vaad to FTI’s Bais Medrash talmidim, and a staff training to FTI Rebbeim. Much of Rabbi Cohen’s penetrating shiurim and chinuch material can be found at

Rabbi Chaim PassRosh Yeshiva of YeshivasChochmas Shlomo in Bnei Barak, Israel, and grandson-in-law of Rov Shach, recently spent a Shabbos at Foxman Torah Institue. Throughout Shabbos, Rabbi Pass shared divrei Torah, hashkafa, and many inspiring stories.  The highlight of his visit was on Shabbos morning when Rabbi Pass delivered a shiur on the sugya of Sfek Sfeka in Kesubos, the masechta FTI is currently learning. The talmidim thoroughly enjoyed and were tremendously uplifted by spending Shabbos with such a distinguished Talmid Chacham.Click here to read an article about Rabbi Pass and his connection with Rav Shach.

Ari Blau, previously a prominent comedian and joke-writer for some of the most famous comedians in Hollywood, spoke to FTI students about his life and shared a PowerPoint presentation containing photos of himself with many famous actors and comedians. He explained that after having achieved success in the American entertainment industry, and getting close to many of these people, he was shocked to learn just how depraved, mean, and depressed they really were. Blau finally realized on a trip to the Kosel in Israel, that doing mitzvos and becoming close to Hashem is so much more important and meaningful than his career in Hollywood. Many FTI Rebbeim and Talmidim were deeply moved at hearing how important Torah learning and mitzvah observance became to him, to the point that he eventually dropped his career altogether because it didn’t fit with a Torah lifestyle. Blau still lives in L.A., but now uses his many talents to inspire others to be frum and to help raise funds for local Torah and chesed organizations. You can read more about his incredible story at and he can be reached at