Dr. Noam Weissman:
Nuanced Jewish Education for the Digital Age
Dr. Noam Weissman, Executive Vice President of OpenDor Media, is a recognized thought leader on new paradigms in Jewish education to reach students inside and outside the classroom. Driven by a passion to inspire inquiry and to teach without being trapped in black and white world views, he is building models that acknowledge and accompany students on their journey to make sense of a complex Jewish world.
Noam develops and implements educational vision and strategy across all of our divisions and products. He is the founder of LaHaV, an educational initiative that provides content and technology for Jewish learning and teaching in schools and communities throughout the world. Prior to joining us at OpenDor Media, he served as the principal of Shalhevet High School. Noam completed his doctoral dissertation in Educational Psychology from the University of Southern California with a focus on curriculum design. He is married to Raizie Erreich and they are the proud parents of Eyal, Liana and Nissa.
Workshops, Panels and
Noam can work with you to create and facilitate workshops, seminars, webinars 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.
These are a few programs that are currently available for immediate booking.
The Israeli–Palestinian Context
The Israeli-Palestinian Context workshop navigates the challenging realities of being Jewish on university campuses by unpacking Israeli-Palestinian issues in a nuanced, balanced way. By exploring key aspects of the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and offering a clear framework for creating and maintaining a connection to Israel in a culture that often conflicts with that bond, the workshop stimulates participants to ask difficult questions and engage in intelligent and respectful dialogue.
Reimagining the Holocaust
This workshop introduces the human paradigms of the Holocaust, the place, the culture and the social landscapes and norms. Rather than telling stories about the people and how the Holocaust affected them, the series tells the stories of the human mosaic that defined, enabled, defied and resisted the Holocaust. By exploring the social and human contexts of the Shoah, participants will be motivated to ask difficult questions, feel the history and facts on a visceral level and be inspired to create a world that will not let a Holocaust happen again.
The Power of Judaism
This workshop illustrates how Judaism’s teachings are relevant in all walks of life and invites young people to explore where their timeless questions meet timeless Jewish tradition. Based on the teaching of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, z”l, the workshop introduces participants to what Judaism has to say about the way we love, forgive, form relationships, build community, pursue happiness and speak to one another. No question is taboo and subjects are presented in a way that evokes emotion, inspires reflection and encourages honest inquiry.
What others say
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 • Denver JCC • Ecole Maimonide, Montreal • Educating for Impact • Ethiopian National Project • Fuel for Truth • Hebrew Academy of Miami Beach • Hebrew Academy, Montreal • Hillel International • 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 Federation of Northeastern New York • 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
Noam is available for speaking engagements in all type of settings, including college campuses, synagogues, schools, Federations, haburot, JCCs and community centers.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
“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.
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?
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.