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May 8, 2022
Beloved husband, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin, friend, and kind and thoughtful Mensch Norman Aaron Newberg died in his sleep early morning of May 8, 2022.
Born on February 23, 1935, Norman Newberg the proud son of Herman and Yetta Auerbach Newberg lived into his 87th year with a loving family and community of friends.
He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Adina; daughter, Noga; and sons, Liam and Jeremey; son-in-law, Andrew and daughter-in-law, Fran; as well as grandchildren, Jessica, Sofia, Lev, and Liat. His eldest son, Josh pre-deceased him in 2007.
“His real calling was to be a Rabbi,” was the message often conveyed by his sisters Anna and Mildred. Jewish Communal Life was a core value and source of meaning and joy throughout his life. He was one of the founding members of the Chavurah and Reconstructionist Minyanim movements in Philadelphia and beyond.
The members of Minyan Masorti at Germantown Jewish Center took great joy listening to the beauty of his strong voice while “davening” (Chanting) prayers during weekly Shabbat services. He was a fixture for chanting the marathon Khol Nidre and Ne’ilah services that start and conclude the Yom Kippur day of atonement.
The son of corner grocery store owners in the Ludlow section of Philadelphia, Norman Newberg was the first in his family to go to college. His love of theater and poetry helped him overcome a reading disability to graduate from Temple University with honors and earned an Ed.D. at University of California, Santa Barbara.
Norman Newberg was a source of creative disruption to push urban public education to better serve the needs of lower-income students, especially those who benefit from alternative approaches to instruction. He provided the vision for, and implementation of, Affective Education, Schools for All Ages, and the Bridging the Gap programs at the School District of Philadelphia.
During his time at the University of Pennsylvania, he helped train a generation of superintendents, principals, and teachers to apply progressive strategies to make urban public education more effective for students to pave their path towards a better future.
The last chapter of his career he founded and managed the Say Yes To Education college scholarship program that leveraged the funding of George Weiss and the resources of University of Pennsylvania and the School District of Philadelphia. Say Yes to Education is now a national program that provides not only scholarships, but also a full range of counseling, tutoring, healthcare for low-income public-school students and their immediate families so that they can go to college and pursue their dreams of prosperity.
He chronicled the impact of the Say Yes to Education program in his book, “The Gift of Education, How a Tuition Guarantee Program Changed the Lives of Inner-City Youth.” (https://sunypress.edu/Books/T/The-Gift-of-Education2)
Since the early 1960s, Norman Newberg lived in West Mt. Airy, because he loved the majestic beauty of trees and green space, and the culture of a neighborhood that welcomes people from diverse backgrounds, races, religions, and incomes to live in peace.
For most of their 45 years together, Adina and Norman Newberg cultivated a loving community of friends, especially young rabbinical students, by hosting Shabbat dinners and lunches. Family, Judaism, service to help improve public education, and a deep love of the Yiddish language, humor and song served as the core values for his life.
Funeral will be convened on Tuesday May 10, 2022 at 11:00 am at Germantown Jewish Center, 400 W. Ellet St., Philadelphia, PA 19119. Family requests all attendees to please wear a mask. For those who wish to view the service online
Donations can be made to in honor of Norman Newberg at Hazon (https://donate.hazon.org/give/275350/#!/donation/checkout) or YEAH Philly (https://yeahphilly.org/get-involved/#donate).
Tuesday, May 10, 2022
11:00am - 12:00pm (Eastern time)
Germantown Jewish Centre
Tuesday, May 10, 2022
1:00 - 2:00pm (Eastern time)
Montefiore Cemetery Co
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