Dr. Noam Weissman

Nuanced Education for the Digital Age

About Noam

Dr. Noam Weissman, Executive Vice President of OpenDor Media, is a recognized thought leader in innovative Israel and Jewish education. Passionate about inspiring inquiry and avoiding rigid worldviews, he is creating models that support students in navigating the complexities of the world today.

Noam spearheads the educational vision and content creation at OpenDor Media. Leading a team of producers and educators for the Unpacked brand, he reaches millions of young Jews yearly through articles, videos, and social media. Noam is the host of the Unpacked podcast “Unpacking Israeli History,” which consistently trends as the #1 Jewish podcast. He is also an Aspen Institute Fellow and a Scholar in Residence at the Horace Mann School in NY.

Noam earned his doctoral degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Southern California, specializing in curriculum design. His dissertation, “Approaching Israel Education,” advocates for a fresh perspective on learning about the modern State of Israel, emphasizing Zionist identity development, narrative formation, and fostering a mature, empathetic relationship with Israel. Noam graduated Summa Cum Laude from Yeshiva University with a history degree, focusing on Middle Eastern studies. He also holds a Master’s degree in Jewish education from the Azrieli Graduate School, where he was a Legacy Heritage Fellow.

Prior to joining OpenDor Media, Noam served as the principal of Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles. He is also the founder of LaHaV, a curriculum that enables teachers to collaborate across different disciplines and empowers students to find meaning in their Jewish learning. He is married to Raizie Erreich and they are the proud parents of Eyal, Liana, Nissa, and Sarit.

Workshops, Panels and
Scholar-in-Residence Programs

Noam can work with you to create and facilitate workshops, seminars, webinars, corporate training sessions and scholar-in-residence programs on topics related to Jewish education, Jewish history and philosophy, Zionism and Israel. These programs promise engaging, enthusiastic, thought-provoking dialogue for audiences of all ages. Programs can be customized to meet your organization’s specific needs.

Education for our times: exploring difficult conversations around these five topics:

The Israeli–Palestinian Context

The Israeli-Palestinian Context workshop addresses complex questions about Israel, its history, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It explores key aspects of the history of the conflict, providing a clear framework for fostering a connection to Israel in a culture that often conflicts with that bond. By delving into controversial aspects of Israel’s story, the workshop provides clarity to transform superficial opinions into nuanced and textured understandings that leave hope for a better future for all sides.

History of Zionism

Today’s students often perceive Zionism solely as a politically charged movement, overlooking its positive Jewish core values with which the movement was created. These sessions aim to shift the focus from politics to the roots of Zionism, exploring historical events and influential figures. This approach offers students a richer understanding, fostering a deeper and more nuanced connection to Israel.

Exploration of antisemitism

Antisemitism is a growing, insidious problem that often goes unnoticed due to its subtle nature. Sessions aim to heighten students’ awareness and understanding of its roots, addressing challenges such as the difficulty of combating antisemitism, the human faces behind it, the correlation between criticism of Israel and antisemitism, and its connection to specific Jewish groups. The sessions will unpack the recognition of antisemitism and its impact on Jewish identity and community.

Courageous Conversations on College Campuses

Everyone knows that Israel is a tough subject, but something has been changing recently on campus. In the past, Jewish students faced open attacks for supporting Israel, but now they encounter marginalization in progressive spaces simply for being Jewish. Suddenly groups advocating for human rights and other causes often exclude Jewish students. This marginalization has extended into digital spaces. The sessions aim to assist students in navigating this new campus reality, offering clarity and context for potentially challenging conversations.

Social Media and Literacy

Teens today predominantly get their news online, often from unvetted sources. This session addresses their interactions on social media and the impact of online activities on offline life. It focuses on cultivating responsible social media consumption, especially amid rising antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiments. Students will learn when to engage in online discussions, when to disengage, how to differentiate criticism of Israel from antisemitism, prioritize mental health online, and assess the reliability of online sources.

Contact us for other workshops and speaking topics. ​

What others say

"Noam, I cannot thank you enough for your time and teaching for our staff today. Your brilliance as an educator was a bright light in a dark dark time. We are so lucky to have you as a colleague and partner. Thank you for all you are doing right now for am Yisrael."
Susan Holzman
Wachsstock, Chief Program Officer, The Jewish Education Project
"Noam, you really left an awesome impression at the conference, and your passion for education was inspiring and infectious! We are looking forward to future collaboration with you!"
Matti Borowski
Deputy Principal, Mount Scopus Memorial College, Melbourne, Australia
“Noam Weissman and UED are deeply informed about and connected to the pulse of this generation's teens and young adults' relationship to media. The resources that Noam shared with us on our visit speak to the next generation through language and a digital medium that parents, Rabbis and Jewish communal professionals are not yet doing. We are so grateful for our partnership with OpenDor Media.”
Julie Lieber
Jewish Colorado Denver, CO
“Dr. Noam Weissman’s interactive session was educational and thought-provoking,and sobering. However, even with the recent rise in antisemitism, I left the session with a feeling of hope and a sense of community. Dr. Weissman’s comments and perspectives about the history of antisemitism really hit home for me. While nobody has all the answers, the session was a prime example of why it’s so important to keep an open line of communication within the Jewish community as well as with our allies.”
Corporate event employee
"I found Dr Weissman to be really relatable. I'm motivated to learn more and will pick up each book he recommended, as well as reading the articles he shared and going through Unpacked. I was also glad to see our firm take the time to gather and learn about something that touches all of us right now."
Corporate event employee

Join these institutions that have hosted Noam

American Jewish Committee • American Jewish University • Associated- Baltimore Jewish Federation    BBYO    Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School, Baltimore • Bialik High School, Montreal    Birthright Excel    Bnei Akiva Schools of Toronto    Chicago Bennet Day School    Denver JCC • Ecole Maimonide, Montreal • Educating for Impact • Ethiopian National Project • Fuel for Truth • Hebrew Academy of Miami Beach • Hebrew Academy, Montreal • Hillel International • Horace Mann School • iCenter • Israeli Ministry of Education • Jewish Agency for Israel • Jewish Colorado – Federation • Jewish Education Initiative Challenge • Jewish Education Project • Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles • Jewish Federations of North America  Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York • Jewish Funders Network  Kohelet Foundation • Marianopolis College, Quebec • Makom Israel • Prizmah • Ramah Camps • Ramaz School, New York • Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation • Sephardic Community Alliance • South African Zionist Federation • StandWithUs •  Tampa JCCs and Federation • Young Israel of Hollywood, Ft. Lauderdale • Z3 Project • Zionist Federation of Australia

Host Noam

Noam is available for speaking engagements in all type of settings, including college campuses, synagogues, schools, Federations, haburot, JCCs and community centers.

We’re happy to help you plan and set up your event or speaking engagement.


Polly put the kettle on, we’ll all have tea.” This endearing 19th-century nursery rhyme is catchy, but one is left wondering, “Put the kettle on what? What’s in the kettle? Why do you need to put the kettle on to have tea?”

E.D. Hirsch Jr. — American literary critic and educational theorist — reminds us that these questions are left unsaid and the answers taken for granted. Millions of people sing this nursery rhyme, unconscious of the background knowledge one needs in order to understand this song.

If this is true regarding something as benign as these nine words, what about when it comes to Jewish identity, Zionism, and Israel education? What are Jewish communities “singing” while taking for granted? And, perhaps more important, what shared knowledge do we think we have but don’t?

Read more >

As a community, we can afford to lift our gaze above the basic goals of survival and continuity. We ought to find ways to fulfill our potential and rise beyond the self through altruism and spirituality.

Read more >

izkor stickers. Standing at attention. The blaring of a siren. Reading the names of fallen soldiers.

For many schools, these are the time-honored hallmarks of every commemoration for Yom HaZikaron. And although each component is important, the question is: Are they enough?

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My mother, a clinical social worker in the Baltimore public school system, swears by the book “The Choice” by Edith Eva Eger. Eger survived the Holocaust, while her parents were sent to the gas chambers at Auschwitz. It’s her spirit of embracing the possible that makes Eger’s post-Holocaust psychology stand out. “We can choose what the horror teaches us,” Eger reminds us. “To become bitter in our grief and fear. Hostile. Paralyzed. Or to hold on to the childlike part of us, the lively and the curious part, the part that is innocent.”

No matter our struggles, challenges, insecurities or pain, we have the power of choice. The question is, what do we choose?

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The word “nuance” is more than a buzzword, but often it can feel like one. Nuance is the single most important element of a healthy educational experience. What is nuance, and how does using a nuanced approach to a difficult question lead to surprising outcomes and cause us to rethink our previously held assumptions? And why does it matter in education?

A nuanced approach breaks through echo chambers by exploring the wide contours of dispute that exist on any given issue. When we encounter diverse perspectives on any given issue, we gain a more complete understanding of the issue and people who are different from us.

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More than 70 years after its founding, Israel maintains its character as a land of immigrants, returning to the land of their ancestors. Despite the fact that most of the country’s residents have now been born on Israeli soil, it continues to be defined by the diversity of its people, with individual communities and segments of society existing within the greater mosaic of modern Israel.

It is for this reason that immigration, and the continual promotion of immigration, remains central to Israel’s national ethos.

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“What is the secret sauce that holds a family together?” “What are the ingredients that make some families effective, resilient and happy?” In the age of COVID-19, this is something all of us need to be thinking through.

These are the questions Bruce Feiler asked in a March 15, 2013, story in The New York Times. This was seven years ago, and they are even more relevant now.

Read more >

The 19th-century Danish Christian theologian Søren Kierkegaard lamented about many of his co-religionists that their form of religion was merely “Sunday Christianity” and, even more insultingly, a “religion of quiet hours in holy places.”

If we expand Kierkegaard’s criticism and think about it in terms of Judaism, how can we ensure a Jewish life is not confined to “quiet hours in holy places”? How do we ensure there is genuine simcha — or joy — in Judaism?

Read more >

Although recent Gallup poll estimates show that 95% of American Jews have a favorable view toward Israel, and that number is likely higher in Modern Orthodox circles, major opportunities for improvement exist in the way we educate our youth about Israel. While our educational opportunities often center around celebrating Israel’s achievements, advocating for Israel and encouraging aliyah, we tend to skip over discussions about dilemmas in Israel’s history and complex issues at play in Israeli society today. We do not invite the same level of debate and critical thinking that we might encourage in other Judaic and general studies classes. Read more >

PhD dissertation arguing for a new vision in learning about the modern State of Israel, focusing on Zionist identity development, narrative formation, and the ability to have a mature and loving relationship with Israel without sacrificing empathy.

USC Library >

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