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Going for the Win Win: Legitimizing Israel and Making Money Simultaneously

Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2017 by Scott M. Cohen

As a Jewish American committed to Israel’s well being, I am concerned by the volatility in diplomatic sentiment towards Israel.  We witnessed such a swing last December when the UN Security Council voted to effectively disassociate Israel from Jerusalem, only to rebound a few months later when Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, brazenly and unapologetically supported Israel and called out its detractors.  Since that time, there have been multiple expressions of…


An Evening to Remember: The Les and Abigail Wexner Israel Tribute

Posted on Thursday, July 20, 2017 by Brenda Morginstin

Last week Leslie and Abigail Wexner, Chairmen of The Wexner Foundation, joined us in Israel for a special evening to celebrate 30 years of the Wexner Fellowship in Israel --  a moving tribute to Les and Abigail and deeply significant for all of us here in Israel who consider ourselves part of the "Wexner family".  Together with Wexner Heritage Members from North America who were here for their Summer Institute, and other alumni from all programs, more than 500 people gathered for …


Reflecting on the 3 Weeks, the Kotel DIspute and What We Might Do About this Month's Permutation of Sinat Chinam

Posted on Thursday, July 20, 2017 by Elihu Stone

If we are awake to our heritage and history, we must at least consider that the recent confluence of events involving our holiest site – The Temple Mount -- and the tensions between different groupings of Jews in Israel and between Israeli and Diaspora Jewry are hardly "coincidental."  Often, near Tisha B'Av, the Creator presents us with a spur to review our priorities and learn deeply our texts, which provide profound wisdom for dealing with these very crises.     All man…


The Four Questions - Wexner Heritage Summer Institute in Israel Edition

Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 by Jonathan H.F. Crystal

Dear NY16 Vexnerim,   I'm cruising at 35,000 feet.  We just said good-bye, and I miss you already.  I'm exhilarated, exhausted and appreciative.  I just want to sleep. But I can't.  Even as I'm coming off the "high" of our week together in Israel, I feel the dread coming on like a freight train: how am I possibly going to answer those questions? You know, those questions, from family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and even my doormen: "How was your vacation? Where d…


Jewish Life Made Me Feel Visible: The Purpose of Our Work Engaging Our Youth

Posted on Thursday, July 06, 2017 by Mark S. Young (Wexner Field Fellow Class 1)

Reposted with thanks to   Earlier this summer, the musical Dear Evan Hansen and its superstar (and Jewish summer camp alum) Ben Platt, swept the Tony Awards. Their wins come at the start of the Jewish camp and youth group trip season, which has caused me to reflect on my youth experiences. In my reflection I consider this musical’s message, and I’ve come to realize the true potential impact of Jewish life for our youth.   Certainly, bo…


Loving My People Is Worth the Effort

Posted on Wednesday, July 05, 2017 by Adam Weisberg

In the abstract, love is about as good as it gets. Yet Jewish wisdom seems to know just how hard it is to love, how inclined we are to move in the opposite direction.   In the book of Leviticus, we learn: “You shall not hate your kinsfolk in your heart.” (19:17) The Torah seems to understand that each of us will find some people so challenging that we will be inclined to harbor the deepest of ill will toward them. The verse continues: “Reprove your kinsman, but/and incur…


Listen Learn Lead Repeat

Posted on Sunday, July 02, 2017 by Josh Weinberg

Look at any device you are holding right now.  These days it might be appropriate to paraphrase Andy Warhol’s prescient observation…In the future, everyone will have a podcast.    Indeed, there’s a ton out there and, thankfully, in the Jewish community there is a wide range of great, thought-provoking programming from Tablet Magazine’s Unorthodox to Reboot’s The Kibitz.   As a Wexner alum, I continue to look at ways to deepen my extraordina…


Promoting Pluralism in Israel through Jewish Mindfulness

Posted on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 by Jennie Litvack

Jewish mindfulness is helping revitalize Jewish spiritual life in North America, so why couldn’t it do the same in Israel?  Why couldn’t it help make Judaism more meaningful to Israelis, including the many “secular Jews” who seek spiritual fulfillment from sources outside their religion?  And, by expanding the pluralistic landscape in Israel, why couldn’t North Americans find more common ground with Israelis while sharing a Jewish spiritual experience?&nbs…


WEXCHANGE – Jewish Geography & Networking Worldwide

Posted on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 by Burton D. Garland

Simply stated – the Wexner website has been an unbelievable resource for me. As I prepared for my upcoming trip to Israel, I felt it would be a good idea to connect with Israelis in a similar profession and also part of the Wexner network.  After speaking with Rabbi Moses, he encouraged me to us the new WEXCHANGE tool on the website, that was specifically built to help connect our network.  I don't think I can qualify the value of that incredible advice.   After performing…


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