Aish HaTorah, the international Jewish outreach movement, now has dozens of branches worldwide, each led by uniquely dedicated rabbis. A number of these top international Jewish outreach leaders met last week in Denver, CO, for a groundbreaking conference – the first of its kind.
The list of participants reflected the who’s who of Aish’s worldwide movement including rabbis from as far away as Jerusalem and South Africa. With an agenda focused on collaboration, the result was a renewed global strategy to bring Aish’s powerful and exciting brand of inspirational Judaism to communities worldwide.
These meetings also provided the perfect opportunity for branch leaders to meet and work directly with Rabbi Steve Burg, Aish’s new Director General. Rabbi Burg’s recent appointment to lead the Aish HaTorah movement is the culmination of a long search for new leadership after the passing of the organization’s founder Rabbi Noah Weinberg zt’l, in 2009. Rabbi Burg, with over 25 years of outreach and executive experience at NCSY, the OU, and at the Simon Wiesenthal Center provides powerful new management for the diverse movement.
“In large communal organizations, it’s often easy to convince ourselves that we are making a difference when really it’s all smoke and mirrors. This conference has proved that Aish is focused on creating real change and real impact. The difference Aish makes is tangible. With a goal of protecting and strengthening our heritage, Aish is simply ‘mission critical’ to the global Jewish community,” said Rabbi Steve Burg.
Alongside the development of cutting edge educational and virtual resources, expect to see some new faces from around the world in your local Aish branch. A pioneering rabbinical exchange program will bring experienced international Aish leaders into local branches, contributing their specific areas of expertise. Aish is also launching a comprehensive training program, in which interns and rabbinical students from Jerusalem will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience, teaching in and contributing in Aish branches worldwide.
“Never before have we had such a powerhouse of talent, resources, and leadership. Aish is poised for exponential growth. From the Aish World Center at the Western Wall in Jerusalem to our branches throughout the diaspora, this is an exciting time for everyone in our movement,” said Rabbi Hershel Lutch, Managing Director of Aish International.