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This Year I Was Given the Opportunity to Be Better Prepared For the Unknown

Posted on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 by Aaron Fortus

By way of introduction, on Tuesday night, May 26, our current class of Wexner Israel Fellows (Class 26) prepared a lovely end-of-the-year thank-you dinner for all those in Boston who had welcomed them so warmly. This was followed the next day by a graduation brunch for the Fellows and their families, as well as key staff and faculty, including President Elka Abrahamson, Vice President Cindy Chazan, Program Manager of the Israel Fellowship Program Elisha Gechter, and Harvard Faculty Advisor Brian…


The Too-Quick Transformation of Zionism from a Discourse of Imagination to One of Loyalty

Posted on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 by Yehuda Kurtzer

This article is reprinted with permission from The Jewish Week.   It is in vogue to say that liberal Zionism is in crisis. Last summer’s war in Gaza provoked a spate of essays purporting that the confrontation between liberal values and the policies of a hawkish Israel were making the ideology untenable. In this portrayal, liberal Zionism was a precarious political ideology that entailed support for the State of Israel while believing that the state had to express progressive values…


Freedom, Responsibility and Kindness: A Shavuot Reflection

Posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 by Rabbi Josh Feigelson, PhD

The holiday of Shavuot commemorates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Among the traditions of the holiday is reading the Book of Ruth, one of the five “scrolls” of the Bible which are read on Jewish holidays (the others being Lamentations on the 9th of Av, Ecclesiastes on Sukkot, Esther on Purim and Song of Songs on Passover).   Why do we read Ruth on Shavuot? The first-millennium CE collection of Rabbinic literature, Ruth Rabbah, states: “This scroll [of Ruth] tel…


SF ’08 Comes Together with Partners and Children for a Sixth Annual Shabbaton

Posted on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 by Sonia Daccarett

A can’t-miss event. That’s what our SF ’08 Shabbaton reunion felt like this past weekend, as we came together in Sonoma for the sixth year in a row to rest, relax and study together. Nearly 90 percent of our class was present, with spouses (who have long been integrated as part of the group) and children (who are now friends). Those who couldn’t be there had excellent reasons: living far away (Australia) or a family event scheduled on the same date. The rest of us made th…


Last Week When I Was Sleeping In Columbus, Ohio, I Got a Phone Call from the Mayor of Jerusalem

Posted on Wednesday, May 06, 2015 by Ram Shmueli

As a fighter pilot who flew 35 years to protect the State of Israel from an external threat, I realized after my retirement that our internal lack of unity was an even bigger threat. For the last ​three years I’ve dedicated most of my time (voluntarily) to the mission of creating unity among the different factions in the Israeli society. Everyone in Israel knows that we have a big problem and that it threatens our future, but people do not know what to do. It happens to us again and again…


Heard Round Wexworld: the Afterglow of Snowy Harvard

Posted on Wednesday, May 06, 2015 by Rivka Sheffer and Yossi Sharabi

“I am writing while sitting in my office looking out my window. It is 90 degrees outside and the air conditioning is on. It is hard to believe that just a month ago I was walking to class at the Kennedy School of Harvard University battling the winds and snow while wearing two coats, gloves, scarves and still freezing. But though the weather was cold, it warms my heart to think of the exceptional experience we all had.    We, meaning 39 senior executives from the Israeli …


A Vision Realized

Posted on Thursday, April 30, 2015 by The Wexner Foundation

In the words of our founder Leslie Wexner, "Make an impact. Change the world."  Watch these three brief videos as we honor our visionary funder's dreams becoming a reality today. Feel free to comment below if these videos or your experience at the 30th have sparked any ideas about where to go from here (or, as Les says, "​what got us here, won't get us there").        Below is another brief video featuring ​Mr. Wexner, as he describes leadership in his own words…


Heard Round Wexworld: the 30th Anniversary Edition

Posted on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 by Ilan Gewurz, Mike Blass, Marc Kramer, Laura Cutler, and others

Tammy Dollin, WGF, Class 1   What struck me immediately was the magnitude and the import of the event. I entered the ballroom filled with 1200 people, all gathered in gratitude to recognize and communicate the impact of the nearly $1 billion investment in Jewish leadership made over the last 30 years by Les and Abigail Wexner. The room was filled with enormous potential, an electric energy, ideas born and nurtured, conversations to be had and connections to be made. True to Wexner form, e…


In Memory of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, zt”l

Posted on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 by Effy Unterman

These last few days, I have been thinking of Elisha crying after Eliyahu, “My father, my father!  Chariot of Israel!” as the prophet is seized from his pupil in a whirlwind.  To me, and to thousands of his students and followers around the globe, Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, zt”l, was the gadol hador – the greatest rabbinic personality in the world, and his departure from us Monday morning is an upheaving whirlwind.  His Talmudic prowess – together with h…


Turning the Words ‘Never Again’ Into Action

Posted on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 by Janice Kamenir-Reznik

This week, Jewish World Watch (JWW) – an organization that I co-founded with Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis, z"l,  just over a decade ago – brought together more than 3,500 people in Los Angeles for our Walk to End Genocide. It was incredible to look out from the stage and see so many faces of all backgrounds and faiths (many of whom are Wexner alums!) – united around the idea that we cannot stand idly as others face genocide and mass atrocities in countries like Sudan and the …


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