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The Journey from Lay to Professional Leadership

Posted on Friday, November 16, 2018 by Caryn Rosen Adelman

When I reflect on my personal journey as a lay, communal and civic leader to a paid professional, consulting to and for philanthropists and philanthropies, my first reaction is that it wasn’t easy. As a lay leader I had reached the top of every organization in which I chose to be involved. I was given incredible opportunities to represent, lead and shape organizations and institutions, but at some point I wanted more.   The “professionalism” of volunteers was “…

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Paying WITNESS to Elie Wiesel

Posted on Monday, November 12, 2018 by Ariel Burger

The origin of Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel's Classroom was tied to a conversation I had with Professor Wiesel about leadership. After yet another public moral failure by a well-known politician, I asked my teacher what it would look like to create a leadership institute based on his approach to ethics, deep learning and empathy. In his modest way, he demurred, but I found the holy chutzpah to raise the question several more times. This led to the beginnings of a plan for a fellowship for em…

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One Step Forward, One Step Back

Posted on Monday, October 22, 2018 by Nancy Kohn

Our Jewish Women’s Foundation (JWF) in Chicago has a pledged endowment of over $9.5 million. Our mission is to expand and improve opportunities and choices in all aspects of Jewish women's and girls' lives through strategic and effective grant-making. The Foundation empowers Jewish women as leaders, funders and decision-makers.   For many years I was an agitator opposed to investing funds instead of spending it immediately. Why do we want an endowment that would sustain our work for…

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How the Wexner World Changed my Life

Posted on Friday, October 19, 2018 by Elliott Robinson

I grew  up with a modern orthodox “right leaning” Day School and Yeshiva education, attending Religious Zionist Camp Moshava, active in its Bnei Akiva Movement, where my interaction with less observant Jews was limited. The Torah learning in school was “mildly interesting,” but mostly boring and rote, with many unmotivating and non-dynamic teachers.   Post high school, I spent a “gap year” on a work-study program (in 1970, way before it became popu…

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Drawing Leadership Lessons from David Ben-Gurion

Posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 by Moshe Elad

Sometimes, one leader's decision can affect the shaping of an entire country. David Ben-Gurion, undoubtedly the greatest leader of the Jewish nation, made a decision that was not popular at the time, but his stubbornness and consistency in its implementation can serve as an example of how to lead a public and adhere to a goal.   During Israel’s early days as a state, several Jewish intellectuals demanded that the government allocate a significant portion of the funds to research and…

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Wexner Field Fellows Guided by Expert Facilitation

Posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 by Graham Hoffman

One of the telltale signs of a brilliant facilitator is that their facilitation becomes nearly invisible to the participants. We saw this at the Wexner Field Fellowship Fall Institute in Aaron Henne, a pilot Wexner Field Fellow as part of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship Class 28 and Wexner Heritage faculty. Aaron focused on storytelling and organizational mission pitching. And yet, his unique gift is not limited to cloaking his facilitation in invisibility — rather, he thoughtfully and…

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Meet the Goldbergs

Posted on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 by Karen I. Treiger

A bed, a meal, a blanket, a suitcase, a shower, shoes, a warm cup of coffee, a safe place to live. I took these things for granted for most of my 57 years. But no more.    In June of 2016 I traveled with my family to Poland to walk in the footsteps of my in-laws, Sam and Esther Goldberg. My father-in-law, Sam, was one of approximately 65 to survive the Death Camp Treblinka (870,000 murdered) and after escaping during the prisoner uprising in August of 1943, he ran to the woods. Ther…

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Houston a Year Later

Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2018 by Joe Kaplan and Joe Kornfeld

One year following the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey, Houston’s Jewish community continues to work through the process of rebuilding.   Several large synagogues, the Jewish Community Center, the Jewish geriatric home, two Jewish pre-schools, one Jewish day school and more than 2,000 homes in Houston’s Jewish community were severely damaged as a result of the storm. To say the community was in a state of emergency is an understatement. The Jewish Federation of Greater …

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Emerging from the Cave at New Member Institute

Posted on Monday, August 20, 2018 by Tammy Hepps

In the last session of this year’s Wexner Heritage New Member Institute in Snowmass, Colorado, Rabbi Moses taught us the Talmudic tale of when Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and his son emerged from a cave after twelve years of Torah study and prayer. Upon encountering the outside world, filled with its humdrum concerns, “every place that they directed their eyes was immediately burned” (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Shabbat, page 33b). Rabbi Moses sought to instruct us on how to c…

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Wexner Delegate Council Meeting as Lead-in to Elul

Posted on Monday, August 20, 2018 by Sonya Bekkerman

In photo: Members of the WHP Alumni Council getting on the balcony, or at least to the top of the Rim Trail.   Don’t lead, listen.   I have always viewed serving as a delegate on the WHP Alumni Council as a tremendous privilege. It’s a humbling experience to be among such accomplished, learned and committed people. It plugs me back into the Jewish socket and demonstrates the force and raw talent the Foundation has harnessed for more than 30 years, a force that I am grat…

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