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Preparing for Pesach in a Whole New Way

Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2016 by Aliza Abrams Konig

A few months back, my husband Sam and I decided to become involved with UJA-Federation of New York and more specifically Tov B’Yachad, the division focused on engaging Modern Orthodox Jews.  Through my work at Yeshiva University as the Director of Student Life and Jewish Service Learning, I’ve created winter missions focused on Jewish community and communal work, and have always emphasized to our students the impact Federation made in our communities without them realizing it. &…

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Firing Up For Sacred Work

Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 by Ann Luban

Hundreds of Jewish communal professionals gathered this week in Columbus, Ohio for JPRO 2016, a conference sponsored by the JPRO Network, the professional association for Jewish communal professionals across North America.  Co-chaired by Audra Berg (WHP alum, Chicago 09) and Jeff Solomon and hosted by The Wexner Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Columbus, this conference brought together young professionals, mid-career professionals and seasoned professionals who work in federations, …

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Building a Garden Instead of a Wall

Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 by Mark Meiches

Last fall while in New York, my wife Michelle (WHP alum, Dallas 13) and I had lunch with Angie Atkins (Director, Wexner Heritage Alumni).  She asked me what I was up to and I told her I had an idea for a multi-faith garden project and would let her know if anything came of it…   Something happened!   First, my own synagogue in Plano, Texas agreed to participate.  Lesson 1: start with those you know.  Next, I applied for several local and national grants, and w…

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My Miscarriage and My Mikveh

Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 by Elisha Gechter

Reprinted with permission from Mayyim Hayyim.   You see blood and it changes everything.  You go from being unharmed to wounded, from ritually ready (tahor) to ritually unready (tameh), and sometimes from being pregnant to losing that pregnancy.  And that’s what happened to me — at 10 weeks pregnant, responding to a middle of the night cry from my three-and-a-half year old and then dashing to the bathroom before popping back in bed — I saw blood when I least ex…

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Alice’s Adventures in Harvard’s World of Wonders

Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 by Merav Horsandi and Anat Horovitz

Arriving at Harvard I felt like Alice in Wonderland.  It was as if a whole world beyond my imagination was unfolding before my eyes.  Down the rabbit hole I went, as did all 7 of my classmates in the Israel Fellowship (Class 27).  While we were diving into concepts and ideas, new doors appeared that opened to worlds of thought filled with new notions and inspiration.  Peeping through the keyholes we saw fascinating gardens filled with pastures to explore.  At Harvard we …

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Leadership and Leaders Can Take You Far Afield

Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 by Jonathan Petuchowski

About ten years ago, I was having my regular Indian lunch with Artie Isaac (WHP alum, Columbus 00), when he suggested that I come to a Torah study class being led by Danny Maseng, who was serving as artist-in-residence at Temple Israel in Columbus, Ohio.  With the possible exception of some of my family members, no one before Danny and no one since has had such a meaningful impact on my appreciation for and study of Jewish history, Jewish texts and Jewish culture.   Ever since Danny m…

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Protecting Israeli Civil Society After 68 Years

Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 by Avia Alef

I published a book this past December called The Lieberman Case - The Indictment That Was Never Served, documenting how Avigdor Lieberman, head of the Yisrael Beyteinu party, an MK and twice Minister of Foreign Affairs, maintained questionable connections with multimillion dollar corporations that he had owned previously.  The police gathered overwhelming evidence proving that, for more than a decade (from 1998-2009) while Lieberman served in various portfolios in t…

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Renewing the Ties That Bind

Posted on Thursday, May 05, 2016 by Larry Moses

Many years ago, my mother, a survivor of Auschwitz who lost her parents and all but one of her eleven siblings in the camps, did a videotaped testimony for Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation.  I recall her exclamations on the phone at the beginning of the process:  “Larry, I got a letter from Steven Spielberg, I got a letter from Steven Spielberg!” As the taping approached, my mother was almost trembling with anticipation but also understandably anxious.  The p…

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Can Social Media Help Us Honor Yom HaShoah Authentically?

Posted on Thursday, May 05, 2016 by Charlie Schwartz and Stephen Grynberg

In this "Heard Round WexWorld" collection for Yom HaShoah, we note the possibilities that new technology offers for global connection, sanctification and authentic private reflection.  WGF alum Charlie Schwartz (Class 18) recorded an ELI Talk about the theological questions and raw anguish that emerge when coming across your own name while reading a list of the murdered at 4 AM to an empty room on Yom HaShoah.  Using video and posting his story online makes the experience of hearing na…

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The Newest Wexner Program is Getting Senior Leaders in Israel to Collaborate

Posted on Sunday, May 01, 2016 by Charles Solomon

I am taking this opportunity to reflect on my experience during the second Wexner Senior Leadership (WSL) Program, earlier this year at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS).  As a select group of 39 senior civil servants from government ministries and agencies in Israel, we participated in a month-long tailor-made leadership program in one of the most prestigious academic surroundings in the world.   During the program, nine public issues were addressed: Housing; Healthy Living; Employ…

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