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A First Israeli Visit to the AIPAC Policy Conference

Posted on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 by Nira Lamay Rachlevsky

The annual AIPAC Policy Conference held in Washington, DC this past March was the first AIPAC Conference attended by a current cohort of the Wexner Israel Fellowship. Cohorts usually go to Washington over our Spring Break to meet with politicians and policy makers, which gives Israeli Fellows powerful insight into how the US Government works. This year was special because we decided to time the trip to overlap with the AIPAC Policy Conference, allowing the seven of us, all professionals working …

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Wexner Graduate Fellowship Alumni Mentoring Program Cohort I Closing Exercise

Posted on Thursday, April 17, 2014 by Emily Walsh

The following remarks were given at the 2014 Wexner Graduate Fellowship Alumni Institute Opening Session  in Glen Cove, NY.   After a series of scripted, and less scripted, conversations on that first day, Phil and I embarked into unknown territory.  Even though each of us had been in less formal mentor relationships, this one was different.  Where in other instances, the pairing had happened more organically and we knew our partner in advance, Phil and I had never even h…

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Heard Around Wexworld: At the Jewish Funders Network

Posted on Thursday, April 17, 2014 by Jeremy J. Fingerman

Pictured: Elisa Spungen Bildner (WHA, Metrowest) and Rob Bildner (WHA, Metrowest) receiving the Shapiro Prize At its annual conference in March in Miami, The Jewish Funders Network awarded Foundation for Jewish Camp the inaugural Sidney Shapiro Prize for Excellence in Philanthropic Collaboration, which acknowledges partnerships of forward-thinking Jewish funders. The award recognizes FJC’s founders, Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, The Wexner Foundation, and The Samuel Bronfman Fo…

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A Workable Universal Tzedakah Standard

Posted on Wednesday, April 09, 2014 by Don Abramson

In 1965, I was eleven years old and living in Canton, Ohio. We had a community Hebrew school and my teacher was a Holocaust survivor named Mr. Gottlieb, now of blessed memory. I suspect he taught Hebrew school because our community needed teachers who knew the prayers and biblical Hebrew while Mr. Gottlieb, like many European refugees, needed a job. He knew his Hebrew, but I found his teaching methods a challenge. So I didn't learn a lot of Hebrew; however, he did once, very serendipitously, tea…

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Passover and Human Trafficking

Posted on Wednesday, April 09, 2014 by Susan Stern

These words we read on Passover ring especially true to me through my work on human trafficking as the Chair of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Most of us believe that slavery is something of the past, or happens in lands far away, but the fact is that 3000 years after the Jewish people were liberated from slavery and 150 years after the Civil War, more people are enslaved today than at any time in history.  Our work found that more than…

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A Seder in Pakistan

Posted on Wednesday, April 09, 2014 by Dinah Zeltser

HEARD 'ROUND WEXWORLD   I got matzah via Amazon.com, and the USAID Mission Director supplied me with matzah meal for the matzah ball soup. He will actually be leading the seder. I will be making most things out of the Jerusalem cookbook by Ottolenghi, but I am still searching for a way to incorporate date syrup into the haroset, and a good side dish for the pomegranate brisket.     Last time I hosted a seder was in Monrovia, Liberia. My husband and I still remember the &ldqu…

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Four Ways to Look at the Wicked Child

Posted on Thursday, April 03, 2014 by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks held a conference call exclusively for our constituents yesterday, to give them some deep material for their Passover seders. In a close reading of the “Rasha” (the wicked child), Rabbi Sacks explored 4 different interpretations and ideas. Rabbi Sacks has agreed to answer questions posted by April 7, so please post them below once you listen to the recording.   Click below to listen:        A global religious leader, philosophe…

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When Do We Force Our Teens To Partake In Jewish Life?

Posted on Wednesday, April 02, 2014 by Emeri S. Handler

As a parent, I value giving my teenage daughters autonomy over their down time.  I believe that they need space to relax, reflect, and develop interests outside of school that will help them grow as individuals.  My children attend a Jewish day school; one that is rich with profound Jewish experiences that enhance their lives and help them solidify their Jewish identities.  So what is the balance between giving them individual control over their non-academic time commitments versu…

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Heard Round WexWorld: Mazel Tov YU WGF 2014 Grads

Posted on Wednesday, April 02, 2014 by Noah Cheses and Avi Narrow-Tilonsky

“On Sunday March 23rd, I participated in Yeshiva University's quadrennial rabbinic ordination celebration.  The ceremony was filled with uplifting words of Torah that inspired us to take responsibility for the future of the Jewish community. One of the most memorable moments for me occurred as the new graduates -- more than 230 -- and our teachers were preparing for a group picture. About 15 minutes into the process, we broke out into spontaneous song about the beauty and power of Tor…

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Who Are Israelis Going to Call?

Posted on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 by Bill Lipsey

When my kids were born I called my rabbi, who led the ceremonies for their brisses and namings.  When my mom passed away I called my rabbi, who met with our family and led us through the process of a funeral and shivah.  When my daughter got engaged I called my rabbi, who married her under a beautiful and meaningful chuppah.  After having lived in Israel I can’t help but wonder, who are Israelis going to call when life happens? We all spend precious time and energy seeking …

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