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Jews You Should Know

Oct 11, 2021

“A CEO trapped in a Rabbi’s body.”

In this frank, honest conversation, Aish HaTorah CEO Steven Burg shares the story of his career. Together, we explore his roots and track the realization of his potential while working for major global Jewish organizations.

As the son of a Brooklyn Rabbi, he credits his father for firmly establishing in him a deep love and respect for Jewish life from a young age. He studied in Israel during the First Gulf War, and later attended Yeshiva University.

“...then someone else goes, oh yeah, it’s latte!”

R’ Burg then found a way to satisfy his desire for meaning and purpose by volunteering at the National Council of Synagogue Youth (NCSY). Nine years later, he was made a Regional Director for NCSY, eventually becoming its National Director and the Executive Director of the Orthodox Union (OU). He shares heartwarming vignettes from his days there.

His next stop was at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a completely new challenge with very different objectives.

“There was just this sense of responsibility for the Jewish people that really spoke to me. And they lived it. They didn't just talk about it. They lived it. That was number one. And number two was the relationship with The Almighty.”

R’ Burg discloses what drew him to Aish HaTorah: the values, the goals, and the mission that spoke to him enough to shift his niche. As Chief Executive Officer of Aish HaTorah International he has navigated through exceedingly complicated management and financial challenges. Yet he is committed to building the organization as a worldwide leader in Jewish education, helping steward it on a mission to reach 3 million unaffiliated Jews via social media by 2030.

“God gave us the tool. He gave us Jewish wisdom to connect to him. So, we just have to make it available to folks out there. Albeit in the old days, discovery was three days and now I've got 15 seconds on a TikTok. So that's changed a little bit in terms of attention span, but we've got to be where the people are.”

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