JERUSALEM (JTA) — Rabbi Noah Weinberg, the founder and dean of Aish HaTorah Institutes, died at his home in Jerusalem.
Weinberg, who was treated late last year with chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and who recently broke his leg and shoulder, was 78 when he died Thursday morning.
Aish HaTorah, which Weinberg founded in 1974, operates 27 full-time branches throughout the world, with 100,000 people attending its programs annually in 77 cities in 17 countries. Aish HaTorah operates a rabbinical training college at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, as well as a Hesder Yeshiva where students combine military service with Torah study.
"Rabbi Weinberg dedicated his life to bringing a renaissance within Jewish people, to reach out to every Jew and reconnect him to the depth and meaning of our heritage," a statement from Aish HaTorah read. "The Jewish people are meant to be a light unto nations; Rabbi Weinberg undertook the task to galvanize the Jewish people and inspire us to live up to our mission and be Kiddush Hashem — to sanctify God’s Name in this world."
Weinberg had made several attempts in the late 1960s to found a yeshiva for assimilated young men. He was a co-founder of the Ohr Somayach yeshiva for beginners and returnees to traditional Judaism.
He was a graduate of the Yeshivas Chaim Berlin in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Ner Yisrael in Baltimore, Md.