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Evaluating Secondary Impact of Leadership Development

Posted on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 by Aaron Dorfman and Justus Baird

As alumni of one of The Wexner Foundation’s Jewish leadership programs, we bring a participant’s perspective on the transformative impacts that these programs have had on us, their primary beneficiaries. Today, we’re not just alumni, we’re also the designers of leadership programs. We know the depth of thought that goes into designing programs like the Bronfman Youth Fellowships, the Muehlstein Institute and the Selah Leadership Program.   Good designers of leaders…


(Re) Launching a Heritage Program in Detroit After 30 Years

Posted on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 by Carole Caplan

What might be said in two minutes that can capture my Wexner experience — an experience that has been a blast, a blessing and such a gift in my life? Perhaps I will offer yet another ‘thank you’ to the Wexners and to my Chicago sponsors, and simply ask again (what I believe Wexner wants us to continue to ask): “How can I give back?”   I don’t believe that the Heritage program — although transformative on many levels — is meant to be a game-c…


Heard Round WexWorld: Sukkot

Posted on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 by Cheston Mizel, Edie Raphael, Ken Richmond, Ron Beller, Mark Kravitz, Leslie Hoffman, Matt Gershuny, Steven Scheck, Eric Robbins, Kenny Steinman

Here is a shot of our downstairs Sukkah and our upstairs Sukkah...Chag Somayach everyone.   WHP alum Cheston Mizel (Los Angeles '09)          Our Sukkah is a place for hanging out with friends and neighbors, eating a meal, reading good books and, of course, some yoga and meditation.    WHP alum Edie Raphael (Baltimore '10)          Waking up from the annual Sukkah Sleepover.   WGF alum Ken Richmond (Class …


Shimon Peres, The Eternally Diverse Leader

Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2016 by Nadav Tamir

My personal acquaintance with Shimon Peres began when I was fresh out of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Cadets Course and had been appointed as a junior aide at his office.  It was the days after the Oslo Accords and I was deeply influenced by his unique "can do" attitude that identified opportunities while not ignoring the threats.  I worked by his side until the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, after which he became Prime Minister.  I then remained at the …


Moral Values and Leadership

Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2016 by Alon Avneri

Last week I had the opportunity to speak to a distinguished group of people in an intimate living room setting.  There were Wexner Heritage Alumni, prominent figures in the Boston Jewish community, colleagues from the Wexner Israel Fellows Class 28 and their spouses.  The intention of the gathering was to have a Fellow offer fodder for conversation and I chose to speak about aspects of Israel’s narrative, their connection to moral values and our role as leaders in Israel and beyo…


Heard Round WexWorld: Summit on Social Justice

Posted on Thursday, October 06, 2016 by Orit Farkash-HaCohen, Sue Reinhold, Moshe Keinan, Josh Weinberg, Joanne Moore, Justus Baird, Karen Brownlee, Sam Goldman, Karen Korn Herron

Orit Farkash-HaCohen, WIF Alum (Class 18)   What moved me the most was that for three full days cynicism was gone out the door.  But really.  Even the Israelis who are prone to be skeptics of everything. The Summit was a strong emotional reminder for me of why I am committed to what I do and why it is something to be proud of.    Sue Reinhold, WHP Alum (San Francisco 14)   After the tight bonding of the Heritage Program, I wondered how I was going to get to …


A Close Reading of Unetaneh Tokef

Posted on Thursday, October 06, 2016 by Angie Atkins

36 Minutes LIVE: Elul 5776 just concluded today.  We held sessions with four scholars from around the world: the recently knighted Madame Le Rabbin Delphine Horvilleur, Chief Rabbi of Denmark, Rabbi Jair Melchior and two faculty who are already cherished by many in our network — Rabbi Ed Feinstein (CA) and Talmud Scholar and former MK (Knesset Member) Ruth Calderon (Tel Aviv).  Each session is worth watching and the exploration of the Unetaneh Tokef prayer with Rabbi Ed Feinstei…


Some Tunes from Our Alumni for Yom Kippur

Posted on Thursday, October 06, 2016 by Shir Yaakov Feit and Angela Warnick Buchdahl

Here is a melody I composed for the piyut (liturgical poem) "Ya'aleh" which is chanted/prayed on Yom Kippur after Kol Nidre/ma'ariv — it's based on the alphabet in reverse.  Please email me if you'd like the sheet music and lyrics.  Click here to listen.   Shir Yaakov Feit, WGF Fellow (Class 28) is a singer, composer, designer, producer, teacher and dad.  He engages Jewish, multi-faith and non-affiliated people around the world, building spiritual communitie…


Actions Speak Loudly

Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2016 by Erin Steibel

I felt lost when I learned of my dad’s late-stage cancer diagnosis. Despite having a top team of doctors battling his disease, I knew that prayer was my only weapon in this fight.  I couldn’t shake the feeling, though, that there was more we could be doing.  Our sages teach that repentance, prayer and charity can remove an evil decree.  My father has always modeled that charity encompasses good deeds, so I started thinking that if we could encourage others to embrace …


Four Jewish Camps in Four Weeks: We Are All Different in the Woods

Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2016 by Wendy Verba

As the program officer for Jewish overnight camps at the San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, I made it my mission this summer to visit all four Northern California camps to see, first-hand, how they are helping build the next Jewish generation with the Federation’s support. It was at my final Shabbat at Camp Tawonga, just outside Yosemite, when the power of camp suddenly came clear.  As the morning sun filtered through the trees at Makom Shalom (&ldquo…


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