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Rabbi Stewart (Shmuel) Weiss grew up in Chicago and was educated at the Bet Midrash L'Torah Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois, where he received his rabbinic Semicha and degrees in Hebrew Literature and Practical Rabbinics. He served as the Rabbi of  congregations in Chicago and Dallas, Texas, and was also head Jewish chaplain at Rush Medical Center in Chicago before coming to live in Israel in 1992.

In Israel, Rabbi Weiss founded and directs the Jewish Outreach Center in Raanana, serving new immigrants through a network of religious and educational programs. He is a columnist for The Jerusalem Post, and lectures frequently in Israel, the United States, England and South Africa.

He regularly leads tours and cruises to places of Jewish interest around the world. He has served as a member of the Raanana City Council and he received the Rabbinic Leadership Award from both the Orthodox Union and Young Israel movement. He is also a senior lecturer in the Jewish Agency's Nativ conversion program.

Rabbi Weiss is married to the former Susie Klein of Cleveland, and they have six children. In 2002, their eldest son, IDF Sgt. Ari Weiss HY"D, a member of the elite Palchan HaNachal (Sayeret) anti-terror unit, was killed in battle against Hamas terrorists in Shechem. In 2010, the Weiss family constructed the Ohel Ari Bet Knesset and Torah Learning Center in Raanana, in Ari's memory. Ohel Ari has become the largest of Raanana's 85 shuls.

Both Rabbi and Mrs.Weiss have spoken extensively around the world on the topic of maintaining faith in the shadow of tragedy, on the centrality of Israel, and the need for Jewish unity. They have inspired thousands to strengthen their commitment to Israel, Judaism and God.

Contact info: O52 242 8508;

Portrait of the writer as a young boy

Carl Hoffman in Borneo

Carl Hoffman teaching at a refugee camp in the Philippines

Carl Hoffman (far right) pictured in 2019 at one of the regular ESRA Editorial Board meetings

 IN MEMORIAM Rabbi Stewart Weiss The mystics of Kabbala...