Aish consists of a network of Orthodox outreach organizations. According to Aish‘s about page, Aish.com is “a division of Aish HaTorah, an apolitical network of Jewish educational centers in 35 branches on five continents.” Aish HaTorah, launched by Rabbi Noah Weinberg in 1974, is an Orthodox Jewish educational organization based in Jerusalem, Israel. Aish HaTorah states its mission as “to ignite Jewish passion and empower every Jew to embrace their heritage, thereby ensuring the vibrant continuity of the Jewish People.” Rabbi Nechemia Coopersmith is the chief editor of Aish.com, and Rabbi Steven Burg is the CEO and Board Member of Yeshiva University High Schools and Naaleh High School. For the list of board members, please see here.
Funded by / Ownership
Rabbi Shraga Simmons is the co-founder of Aish.com, and Aish Global is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization. Donations, fundraising, and a web store generate revenue. According to a Charity navigator report Aish Global (the largest division of Aish) is based in New Jersey and scored 3 out of 4 on its charity ratings.
Analysis / Bias
In December 2013, a rabbinical court in New York ruled CFO Jacob Fetman of Aish Hatorah New York “had stolen $20 million in funds from the organization.” This would “amount to the largest Jewish charity fraud.”
In review, Aish publishes articles with emotionally loaded language such as “Don’t Equate Israel’s Targeted Self-Defense with Hamas’s Aggression” and “5 Reasons Why the Western Wall is Holy.”
The section titled “Jewish World” consists of blog posts and interviews such as “My Masseuse Thinks Jews Don’t Pay Taxes” and “A Black Jew’s Advice on Combating Racism.” Aish also has a section called Ask the Rabbi, a service in which people ask questions such as “Eve’s Creation: Rib or Side?”
When it comes to politics, although Aish states it is apolitical, they publish political articles that are favorable towards former President Trump and former Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, such as “At the White House for Release of Trump’s Peace Plan: A Historic Day, No Matter the Outcome.” Aish also has a section dedicated to former PM of Israel Netanyahu’s speeches and videos. Some examples of headlines read “PM Netanyahu on Teaching Arab Children to Hate,” “Iran Lied: PM Netanyahu’s Speech,” and “Teach Children to Love and Respect, Not to Hate and Kill by Binyamin Netanyahu .”
When it comes to sourcing information, Aish utilizes various sources, among them the Washington Post, The Independent, Reuters, New York Times, and also hyperlinks to itself. Finally, Aish also republishes Algemeiner Journal articles. In general, Aish reports right-leaning news stories with a conservative Jewish Orthodox editorial stance. While news reporting is mostly factual, they also promote prayer and other non-scientific views. Further, their web store sell pseudoscience products such as over-priced age defying creams.
Failed Fact Checks
- None to date
Overall, we rate Aish Right Biased based on story selection and promotion of conservative Jewish Orthodox editorial positions. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to the promotion of religious non-scientific views and pseudoscience. (M. Huitsing 6/24/2021)