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Processing the Week: AIPAC, Netanyahu, Congress, Iran, Amalek, House of Cards and (of Course) Haman

Posted on Tuesday, March 03, 2015 by Jan R. Uhrbach

Reprinted with thanks to The Jewish Theological Seminary. Please feel free to post a link to your shpiel below. The Shabbat prior to Purim, known as Shabbat Zakhor, takes its name from the first word of the special maftir (additional Torah reading) for the day, which retells the story of the first post-enslavement attack against the newly freed Israelites: Remember (zakhor) what Amalek did to you on your journey, after you left Egypt . . . You shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under hea…

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Going Beyond Enriching the Enriched

Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 by Rachel Isaacs

To be a rabbi in the small town of Waterville, Maine where 80 percent of children are on federal food assistance is a different kind of work than I was ever used to.  I’ve had to get used to working in a congregation where families come to me and tell me that buying health insurance is going to break their family financially.  Even though I’m paid less than many of my colleagues, I feel guilty for how comfortably we live.  To serve a congregation of farmers, policemen,…

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Reinvigorating the Spirit

Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 by Effy Unterman

I came home from the alumni institute this week feeling a small pit of sadness at saying good-bye to such a special experience, like it was the end of camp.  I still find it a little incredible that I actually met people, made friends, and was able to participate in meaningful conversations despite my fears that none of these hopes would really materialize for me.  But they did. I reconnected with old friends, people I don't talk to enough.  Frankly, were it not for the alumni in…

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Redeeming Captives in the 21st Century

Posted on Thursday, February 19, 2015 by Michael Friedman

On January 23, the Wexner Heritage Washington DC 13 class had the wonderful opportunity to join more than 450 members of the DC community in welcoming home Alan Gross, who was imprisoned for five years in Cuba.  Gross, an international development contractor, was convicted for crimes against the Cuban state while delivering computer equipment to Cuba’s small Jewish community.  He was released on December 17, 2014 as part of a broader shift in the United States’ policy towar…

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Heard Round WexWorld: In Phoenix

Posted on Thursday, February 19, 2015 by Alison Goldstein Feinberg and W. David Weiner

Alison Goldstein Feinberg, an alum of the Wexner Heritage Program (Phoenix 09), currently serves as Vice Chair of Outreach for Womens Philanthropy of the Jewish Community Association of Greater Phoenix, Fundraising Chair of Congregation Or Tzion and serves on the board of directors of Camp Ramah in California. She attended Tulane University, and enjoys yoga, wine/cooking, and picking up Legos around the house. Alison can be reached at alisonfeinberg@yahoo.com.    W. David Weiner, an …

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A Glimpse Into Pilgrimage Festivals: Mardi Gras

Posted on Thursday, February 19, 2015 by Ora Nitkin-Kaner

Over the past week, pictures of Mardi Gras revelry have been popping up in my newsfeed. These are photos of dear friends, decked out in impossibly imaginative costumes, posing in front of colorful shotgun houses, bedecked with beads and smiles.   I lived in New Orleans for more than two years, and left the city to attend rabbinical school in Philadelphia. The choice to leave was wrenching. Over the months and years I lived in New Orleans, I grew roots and my heart learned to bloom in seas…

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Prodding the Jewish Organizational World into Third Space

Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2015 by Gary Wexler

It Isn’t About Hashtags I was asked to write about the phenomenon of “Hashtag Activism,” in light of  “#JesuisCharlie”; “#JesuisJuif”;  “Je suis George Clooney, the hippest celeb activist at the Golden Globes wearing a ‘Je suis Charlie’ button on stage.” So I understand in view of all this hashtag activism why I was asked to write about the subject, however, I was asked to write about the wrong thing. Yes, has…

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Why I Helped Create a Concert at Lincoln Center to Benefit Holocaust Survivors

Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2015 by Sara Wolfensohn

As an alum of the Wexner Heritage Program in New York, I looked to engage myself with a program that was important to me and to the Jewish community. I have focused on helping Holocaust survivors because I feel it's most important to assist those who need our help the most. I have joined my parents and Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat and his son Brian as honorary chairs of the March 9th performance of Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín at Lincoln Center.  This concert will raise funds fo…

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Heard Round WexWorld: from the Knesset

Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2015 by Roy Folkman

Campaigning is a roller-coaster, with days of good momentum and days of crisis…I am happy to be a part of the Kachlon Kulanu team as I believe in Moshe Kachlon and think he is an honest and brave politician who sees people and their needs.   It is not easy gaining trust of people for a new party, just two years after the previous elections, and I feel that people have become more and more cynical. I am doing my best to bring my passion, values and professionalism in order to brin…

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A Home Away from Home

Posted on Wednesday, February 04, 2015 by Yehuda Bernstein

    Wrapping up our last class workshop as participants in the Wexner Graduate Fellowship on Wednesday morning, I couldn’t help feeling as blue as the clear waters of the Sanibel coast. Each of my classmates had accomplished great things over the past four years. All had contributed in one way or another to the Wexner community, whether by delivering inspiring divrei torah, teaching enriching electives, planning and running programming or simply by offering their insightful per…

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