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Beginning a New Journey: WSLP Class 1 Graduation

Posted on Wednesday, July 01, 2015 by Michal Anderson Leventhal and Osnat Luxembourg

Last Thursday evening, the 25th of June, 2015, in Caesarea, 39 senior leaders from across the Israeli civil service were awarded two certificates – one from The Wexner Foundation and the other from the Harvard Kennedy School for Executive Education. The certificates will serve as an eternal reminder of an unforgettable and meaningful experience. As we look back at the amazing process that we have been a part of, culminating three months ago in the remarkable one-month course at Harvard, w…


Heard Round WexWorld: WHP Israel Institute 2015

Posted on Wednesday, July 01, 2015 by Josh Weinberg, Randi Zuckerberg, Danny Kates, Deborah Newbrun

The Wexner Heritage Israel Institute, entitles "Israel: Complications and Inspirations", is off to an amazing start. Here are a few impressions from our first few days. Feel free to add your own posts below.         From ISIS fighting and a drone landing next to us on the Syrian border today, to the brewery in the West Bank yesterday, this has been one crazy whirlwind.     Danny Kates   New England 14       Today, the "One…


Building Joy and Ahavat Israel with The International Shabbat Project

Posted on Sunday, June 28, 2015 by Antony Gordon

Many thought leaders say the Jewish community is torn by dissension and that we should work on ways to build ahavat Israel and understanding across differences. The Shabbat Project, which coincided with Friday evening, October 24th, 2014 until sundown on Saturday evening, October, 25th, 2014 was the most profound example in recent history of Jewish unity.   The concept behind The Shabbat Project, the brainchild of the Chief Rabbi of South Africa, Rabbi Warren Goldstein, is deceptively sim…


Why Be Jewish?

Posted on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 by Michael Waldman

Andy D Being Jewish to me is about connecting with others — feeling and living the connection. I enjoy knowing that all Jews are connected in some way. To me, being Jewish is not so much about the religious aspect, such as study or going to Temple, as much as it is about the longstanding traditions, our culture and the ability to question G-d and what one believes.    Stefani Eisenstat  Being Jewish serves as a framework for my life and provides me with identity and purpos…


Teamwork Makes Dreamwork

Posted on Monday, June 22, 2015 by Ilana Hoffman

At some point in our lives, we’ve all been forced to put ourselves in someone else's shoes, to feel their pain and experience their life through a different lens. We’ve been asked to forego the privileges we take for granted and focus on the lack of resources that others around us have. Rather than feel pity for those less fortunate, we attempt to feel true empathy for other human beings. The Wexner Service Corps’ trip to New Orleans last summer and Detroit this summer changed …


Living “Out” Within the Orthodox Community

Posted on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 by Sue Borison

I grew up 100 percent Camp Ramah and United Synagogue Youth (both Conservative movement institutions), but after marrying a Modern Orthodox man, my husband and I decided to raise our family Camp Stone, Bnei Akiva and NCSY (all Orthodox). We belong to a Modern Orthodox synagogue, and my kids went to a Modern Orthodox day school. I have loved raising my family within this community. Carpools. Camp. Shabbat meals. Cookouts. Parks. Travel. Friends who would watch my kids if I was in a bind or just …


Adapting and Believing in New Ideas

Posted on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 by Jessica Fechtor

On August 19, 2008, at a Wexner institute in Stowe, Vermont, an aneurysm ruptured in my brain. I was 28 years old. Instead of dying, I had some brain surgeries, lost vision in one eye, my sense of smell and a portion of my skull, and went home. I had just finished the third year of a PhD program in Jewish literature when I got sick. It would take months to recover from the initial hemorrhage and the complications that followed, and there was still one more surgery to come, so I went on medical l…


Korach: a Model of What Leaders Must Not Become

Posted on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 by Shai Held

Leadership is supposed to be about giving, but many leaders become overly accustomed to taking.  An elusive phrase in this week's parashat Korah invites us to explore what it means to be a leader – what it means, in other words, to be given the gift of giving.   After a fire breaks out and consumes 250 rebellious chieftains (Numbers 16:35), the people are terrified:  ​they will not come near the mishkan (tabernacle) lest they die as punishment for encroaching upon the sac…


Raising $600,000 in 15 Minutes (in New Money)

Posted on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 by Harry Nelson

I am sure many of you can relate: as president of the board, I had the “honor” of making our traditional end-of-year appeal at the trustee dinner last week.  Here in L.A., most other day schools have made their trustee dinners into pure “stewardship” events to thank donors.  In recent years, we’ve gotten more grumbling from major donors that we should consider doing the same and abandoning the appeal.  After all, hasn’t everyone present already…


Starting a New Discourse About Co-living in Jerusalem

Posted on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 by Eliezer Yaari

The 30th Anniversary of The Wexner Foundation made me reflect a bit on my days since I was a member of Class 7 of the Israel Fellowship. We were asked to fill out “Wexeffects” as part of our registration, and “not to be afraid of bragging.” So, here are some thoughts:     Some years ago, I was asked: “What is your vision as the CEO of the New Israel Fund in Israel?” I said: “My vision is to empower the unheard voices so they can participat…


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