After a year-long global search, Aish HaTorah has proudly announced the appointment of Rabbi Steven Burg as Director General (Mankal) of Aish HaTorah. In this role, Rabbi Burg will be responsible for:
- Setting the vision and direction of Aish HaTorah worldwide
- Creating unity and synergy across the global Aish network
- Crafting new strategies to reach out and inspire world Jewry
- Building and overseeing an efficient management structure
“It is a great privilege to assume the leadership of a historic organization like Aish HaTorah which is dedicated to bringing Torah and passionate Judaism to the broader Jewish community,” said Burg.
Burg sees Aish.com as a central component of Aish's mission to promote Torah values.
Aish.com is at the forefront of making Torah ideas palatable and accessible to everyone.
"Though the Torah doesn't change, the methods of communicating it changes over the years," he says. "Today, in a generation where so many are searching for inspiration and meaning. And with people spending so much time online, Aish.com is at the forefront of making Torah ideas palatable and accessible to everyone."
What does Rabbi Burg see on the horizon for Aish.com?
"In the old days, people found community within a few square blocks, but today with social media the opportunity for building community is greater than ever before. The wide reach of Aish.com offers an amazing platform for bringing together people with shared values."
He says: "Aish's scope and breadth are huge, and my goal is to weave everything together to make it even more effective."
25 Years of Service
Burg earned Rabbinic Ordination and a Masters in Medieval Jewish History, both from Yeshiva University.
He enjoyed a 22-year career at the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (OU), and in 2005 became the youngest International Director of OU's youth movement, NCSY. Under his leadership, NCSY grew to serve tens of thousands of Jewish teens around the world and sent over 2,000 adolescents to Israel every summer. Burg later served as the Managing Director of OU.
From a young age, Burg was inspired by Aish founder Rabbi Noah Weinberg, zt”l. "When I was 19 years old and studying in Jerusalem, I used to go to Aish and attend some of Rabbi Weinberg's amazing lectures. His whole approach was so warm and engaging. That’s one of the reasons I got involved with NCSY."
Most recently, Rabbi Burg served as Eastern Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the global organization that confronts anti-Semitism and promotes human rights.
Beyond spiritual contributions, we need to assist Jews in physical danger.
Burg cites Aish's legacy of spawning programs like Hasbara Fellowships, HonestReporting.com, and other programs to defend Israel. "Moses transmitted the Torah, but he also saved us physically from Egyptian slavery," Burg says. "Similarly, Rabbi Weinberg believed – and this was reinforced by my work at the Wiesenthal Center – that beyond spiritual contributions to the Jewish people, we need to assist Jews in physical danger."
“I cannot think of a better, more talented person than Rabbi Burg to lead Aish HaTorah into its next stage of development,” said Jerry Lieberman, Chairman of the Aish HaTorah Search Committee.
“Rabbi Burg’s 25 years of experience in important senior leadership roles across the Jewish community will serve him well as he dedicates his energies to build Aish HaTorah,” said Richard Horowitz, International President of Aish HaTorah.
Rabbi Burg lives in New Jersey, with his wife, Rachel, and their six children.