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Lessons from Rav Emmunah

Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2017 by Zohar Atkins

The sages taught: Never again.   Rav Fear said: Let us stockpile every advantage and every power for ourselves so none can use it against us in the future.   Rav Emmunah said: Let us help societies share powers and advantages more equally, so no individual or group will use its brute strength to intimidate, dominate, exploit or otherwise lord themselves over others.   And the law is with Emmunah. For of the students of Rav Fear it is taught that their favorite Scriptural ver…

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So You Want to Be a Jewish Entrepreneur?

Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2017 by Beth Finger

It’s been almost six years since an idea popped into my head and I felt compelled to turn that vision into reality. It’s been an amazing journey so far, so I thought that I would share some of what I’ve learned.   1. Passion — You’ve got to love your idea and believe that it can really transform the community.   You’ll want to tell the world about it and share your excitement with anyone who will listen.  That passion is contagious and a …

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Identifying Our Value Propositions

Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2017 by David Strulowitz

I was talking to an Orthodox friend who has a very influential position in the Jewish educational world.  He was, quite understandably, bemoaning the incidence of intermarriage among the Modern Orthodox.  It used to be a stigma, he explained.  No one is sitting shiva anymore.  In our increasingly tolerant world, it is not the same as it used to be.  He, of course, is right.  My generation (Orthodox Baby Boomers), largely avoided intermarriage and other life choices …

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Better Energy: Tree-Sonous Value Gap

Posted on Thursday, February 09, 2017 by Yossi Abramowitz

Just as tax day is an audit of our financials and Rosh Hashana is an audit of our souls, Tu Bishvat is the time in the Jewish calendar when we take stock of the glory of nature.  Across the 510 million square kilometers that blanket the third planet from our Sun, about 7.7 million species fly, swim and roam; about 300,000 species sprout, and of those, about a third stand, sway, shade and bear fruit as trees. Tu Bishvat, which begins next Friday evening, is the birthday of the three trillio…

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Wexner Alumni Stack Hands for Tolerance and Change

Posted on Thursday, February 09, 2017 by Julie Gruenbaum Fax

How do you change a communal conversation?  How do you create an environment where sensitivity can flourish, where language is minded, where the implications of throwaway comments are carefully considered?   These questions lie at the heart of an effort by Los Angeles lay leaders who are determined to make the Orthodox community more welcoming and embracing of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.    While the perspective in America around LGBT issues has…

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Redefining the Jewish Family

Posted on Thursday, February 02, 2017 by Chloe Nassau

I grew up as a child of a "Wexnerite" and it was through that lens that I decided to work professionally in the Jewish community.  As the NYC Director for Community Engagement for Honeymoon Israel, I have the distinct privilege of supporting and connecting hundreds of couples in the NYC area to Jewish life in ways that are meaningful to them.  Honeymoon Israel provides immersive trips to Israel for locally-based cohorts of couples that are early in their committed relationship and hav…

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50 Reasons for Hope — Jerusalem in all its Beauty and Complexity

Posted on Thursday, February 02, 2017 by Ruth Saragosti

Last year, approximately 100 Wexner alumni from across Israel and the United States gathered in Princeton for the Wexner Summit, Stronger Together: [Re] Imagining the Israel-North American Jewish Community Relationship.  Participants from Israel and North America formed working groups, and our group, "Connecting in Jerusalem," set out to find connection points for people in Israel and in North America to engage with (and in) Jerusalem.  We decided to do this by building on existing pr…

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Words to Pave a Safe Passage Across

Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2017 by Mahra Pailet

On Friday, January 20, 2017, I was in attendance as Donald J. Trump and Michael R. Pence were sworn into office as the 45th President and 48th Vice-president of the United States of America. I wasn’t there because Donald Trump had my vote for president (he did not).  I was there because I prize the peaceful transfer of power that occurs every 4 to 8 years, because I respect the controls of our Constitutional Republic and because I treasure the democratic freedoms that are so often ta…

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Help Wanted: Religious Pluralism in Israel

Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2017 by Tsachi Mushkin

We are seeking a volunteer web master or programmer to assist / join our team:   During the first Wexner Summit last year, a group of us chose to address the need for Jewish religious pluralism in Israel as a basic building block and tenet for strengthening the relationship between Israel and North American Jewry. The Summit was entitled "Stronger Together: [Re] Imagining the Israel-North American Jewish Community Relationship". Within our group of American and Israeli alumni, it wa…

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Re-Imagining the Role of Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People

Posted on Thursday, January 19, 2017 by Noa Eliasaf Shoham, Netaly Ophir-Flint and Vanessa Bartram

This past spring, we had the privilege to gather with 99 other Wexner alumni in Princeton, New Jersey for the Foundation's inaugural Summit, entitled Stronger Together: (Re)Imagining the North American Israeli Relationship.  From all four of Wexner’s programs, half of us Israeli and half North American, our cohort represents community, government and religious leaders eager to explore and take action on new ways of strengthening the current relationship between Israel and diaspora Jew…

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