Noah Weinberg

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Yisrael Noah Weinberg
Rabbi Noah Weinberg.jpg
Born(1930-02-16)February 16, 1930
DiedFebruary 5, 2009(2009-02-05) (aged 78)
SpouseDenah Weinberg
Children8 sons,[1] including Hillel Weinberg, and 4 daughters
PositionRosh yeshiva
YeshivaAish HaTorah
BuriedHar HaMenuchot, Israel
31°48′00″N 35°11′00″E / 31.8°N 35.1833333°E / 31.8; 35.1833333

Yisrael Noah Weinberg (Hebrew: ישראל נח וינברג; February 16, 1930 – February 5, 2009) was an Orthodox Jewish rabbi and the founder of Aish HaTorah.

Early life[edit]

Noah Weinberg was born on the Lower East Side of New York in 1930. His father, Yitzchak Mattisyahu Weinberg was a Slonimer Hasid, and a grandson of the first Slonimer Rebbe, Avrohom Weinberg.[2][3] His mother, Hinda, was a direct descendant of Jacob ben Jacob Moses of Lissa. Weinberg studied at Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin in Brooklyn and at Yeshivas Ner Yisroel in Baltimore, where he received his rabbinic ordination. He completed his undergraduate studies at Johns Hopkins University and his post-graduate studies at Loyola Graduate School.[4]


In 1953, Weinberg traveled to Israel to consult with the Chazon Ish regarding the response needed to counter the threat of assimilation in the Jewish world. However, the Chazon Ish died while Weinberg was en route to Israel.

Weinberg was a salesman for his brother's company and in the course of his travels to many small cities in the United States he said he discovered Jews of all kinds who were distant from their heritage.[5]

Aish HaTorah[edit]

In 1966, Weinberg decided to enter the field of Orthodox Judaism outreach, and he opened the first yeshiva in this style for Jewish men in Jerusalem. The school was short-lived, as were several other attempts, before he co-founded Yeshivas Shma Yisrael (later renamed Ohr Somayach) in 1970 with Nota Schiller, Mendel Weinbach and Yaakov Rosenberg .

After a few years, Weinberg broke away from the partnership over a difference in educational philosophy. He believed that the times called for the call up of "kiruv soldiers" who would be given a few years of basic education training and then sent out to give introductory classes to other young Jews at risk of assimilation and intermarriage. Weinberg established Aish HaTorah with 5 students in a small apartment in Jerusalem's Old City in 1974.[6][7]

In addition to its Jerusalem headquarters, Weinberg helped establish an Aish HaTorah branch in St. Louis, Missouri in 1979. The organization later grew to 30 branches worldwide.

In 1985, Weinberg launched the Discovery Seminar,[7]: p.21  a multi-day seminar designed to introduce proofs of God's existence to audiences all over the world. The organization claims that the Discovery Seminar has been presented to over 100,000 people worldwide.[8] That same year, Weinberg launched the Jerusalem Fellowships, which brought college age Jewish people to Israel.[citation needed]

In 2001, Weinberg founded the Hasbara Fellowships program to bring university students to Israel for an intensive 2 week Israel activism training course.[citation needed]

In recognition of Aish HaTorah, the Israeli government awarded Weinberg the last two building sites adjacent to the Western Wall. In 1996 Weinberg dedicated his newly designed yeshiva as the central location for Aish HaTorah's manpower and leadership training programs.

Personal life[edit]

His older brother, Yaakov Weinberg, was rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Ner Yisroel in Baltimore.[9]

His nephew, son of his sister Chava Leah, was Rabbi Shimshon Dovid Pincus.

Weinberg married Denah Goldman. They established their first home in the Mea Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem, and shortly before the Six-Day War in 1967 they moved into a new apartment in the Kiryat Sanz neighborhood.


Weinberg was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2007. He died February 5, 2009.

Weinberg left behind his wife Denah, 12 children and more than 100 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.[10]


Weinberg created new curricula to teach the fundamentals of Jewish belief and practice to Jews. These include:[11]

  • "The 48 Ways to Wisdom"
  • "The 6 Constant Mitzvot"
  • "Foundations"
  • "The 5 Levels of Pleasure"


  • 48 Ways to Wisdom (co-authored with Shraga Simmons and Nechemia Coopersmith; Artscroll, ISBN 1-4226-1862-5)
  • What the Angel Taught You: Seven Keys to Life Fulfillment (co-authored with Yaakov Salomon; Artscroll, ISBN 978-1-57819-134-5)
  • The 5 Levels of Pleasure: Enlightened Decision Making for Success in Life (SelectBooks, ISBN 1-59079-109-6)
  • Wisdom for Living (Nechemia Coopersmith; Artscroll, ISBN 978-1422615782)