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  • Writer's pictureJodi Samuels

One woman’s legacy

In 1995 I was offered the opportunity to recruit students from my university in Australia for a fellowships program in Israel. The price of the trip was crazy cheap for 5 weeks including flights. Gavin I were newly married and excited to get free tickets to Israel and accommodation in the Old City of Jerusalem. This was before the age of the internet and I did not really know what “Aish HaTorah” was. I arrived with my group wearing a tight pair of jeans, not knowing I was supposed to be a Madricha (counselor) and dress modestly.

On the first day of the trip, the founder of Aish HaTorah, Rabbi Noah Weinberg addressed us. It was the beginning of a life long journey for me, a journey that started on that trip.

Rebbetzin Denah Weinberg, who was Rav Noah’s wife passed away this week at 85. I was always intrigued by her. She was married to a giant of a man and she too was was an exceptional woman. She raised a large family, started a women’s education institution and inspired thousands of women around the world.

One of the first lessons I learnt from her was “there are no failings, just learning opportunities.” She explained that in order to be the best person we can be, we need to always grow, regardless of the challenges and stumbling blocks. She inspired woman to reach the highest heights they could.

Like our foremothers who inspired greatness despite imperfection, the Rebbetzin left a lineage that will continue to inspire future generations. She created a community of passionate Jewish women leaders who are change makers. She showed us the power one woman has to change the world in her own way.

Shabbat Shalom


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