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Speak Differently and Think Bigly

Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 by Rabbi Daniel Kirzane

In a year of surprising, radical and sometimes tragic transitions, at least one has been honorable and celebrated: the dignified retirement of Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman, Ph.D. Dr. Hoffman taught liturgy at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion for 45 years, and during that tenure has guided the lives and careers of countless Jewish professionals. I am honored to be counted among them and to wish Dr. Hoffman a restful and enriching retirement.   As a rabbinical student, I stud…


Ruach in the Windy City

Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2018 by Ann Luban

On the last Tuesday in August, Chicago area Wexner Graduate Fellowship alumni, current Field Fellows, spouses and children, nearly 60 of us in total, gathered together for our first ever family gathering hosted in the beautiful Base Hillel. We took this opportunity to reconnect, or in some cases meet one another for the first time as we ranged from WGF Class I to Class 27, plus two current field fellows — some  Chicago natives and some alumni who had just moved to Chicago this su…


WexCoComm Builds Engagement in Their Growing Network

Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2018 by Anna Serviansky

WexCoComm is a group of Wexner Graduate Fellowship alumni who volunteer to think about how we all might make the most of our Wexner community and connections. We help shepherd initiatives, offer advice to the WGF/WFF professionals when asked, and try to identify ways that Wexner fellows and alumni can be of service to, and make the most of the talent and energy of, the Wexner community.     I remember when I applied for the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, a WGF alumna and my assign…


Lessons from Pixar Studios: Staying Animated in Leadership

Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2017 by Miriam Heller Stern

This article was inspired by a site visit that WGF alum Justin Rosen Smolen (Class 23) and I, WGF alum Miriam Heller Stern  (Class 13), took as part of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship Alumni Mentoring program.  The Wexner Foundation launched the Mentoring Program for Alumni of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship over four years ago, thanks to a grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation.  This intense program was created with the understanding that there are now two generations of alu…


Elie Wiesel’s Legacy: The Best Way We Can Be Human Is To Be Profoundly Jewish

Posted on Wednesday, July 06, 2016 by Joe Kanofsky

With the passing of Elie Wiesel this week, I lost a dear teacher and mentor of over 30 years.  I will always be his student.   From the first time I heard him speak when I was a teenager until our last meeting just two years ago, he asked me questions that I needed to ask myself, supervised my graduate theses, taught me how to teach and lived and sang and smiled so that I would understand what it means to be a Jew.  Sifting through so many memories, I realized that elements of W…


Heard Round WexWorld: The Network at Work

Posted on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 by Dalit Caspi-Schachner and Michelle Fisher

Back in 2012, the Israeli Consulate in Boston reached out to campuses, declaring March the "Month of the Israeli Woman" and providing a list of Israelis in the area who could speak to student audiences.  WGF alum Michelle Fisher (Class 10), Executive Director of the MIT Hillel, saw the list, but none of the women seemed appropriate for MIT.  Wanting still to support the endeavor, she remembered there were Wexner Israel Fellows at Harvard each year and, scanning a list of female Fellows…


Walking Willingly: Reflections on the Wexner Graduate Fellowship Mentoring Program

Posted on Friday, July 24, 2015 by Michelle Lynn-Sachs and Jenny Solomon

From her first WGF Institute at Ocean Edge in 1997, Jenny (Solomon, Class 10) was asked if she knew WGFA Michelle Lynn-Sachs (Class 6).  After all, we both hailed from Dallas, Texas. Each of us attended college at Brown University. Raised in actively engaged Reform Jewish homes, we both began our graduate education at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.  And, if that wasn’t enough, we even share a physical resemblance, with loose auburn curls and abundant freckles…


The Third Mentorship Cohort of Wexner Graduate Fellowship Alumni Launches

Posted on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 by Nina Butler

As the Wexner Graduate Fellowship Alumni (WGFA) Community continues to grow and evolve, colleagues are tackling more and more “Big Issues” in their local, national and international Jewish communities.  As we endeavor to do so, extra resources have been developed to fortify our Wexner community’s internal health and strength.  Thanks to The Wexner Foundation’s partnership with the Jim Joseph Foundation, a year-long mentorship program was launched two years ago t…


Heard Round WexWorld: Leaving My Work in Good Hands

Posted on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 by David Rudis

A few weeks back I ended my term as president of The JTA. But great news, our new president is now Wexner Heritage Alum (NY 1) David Eisner. This makes for the fourth Wexnerite in a row as president of The JTA. So Danny Krifcher (DC 03) begot Elisa Bildner (Metrowest NJ) who begot David Rudis who begot David Eisner. All of us are still trying to answer Les' challenge, "how much more effective could we be if we were better informed."  David Rudis, a Wexner Heritage Alum (Chicago 3 -99) and …


Heard Around WexWorld: June 20, 2013

Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 by Bryan Kort

“The most coveted title in the volunteer world - Immediate Past Chair”   – Bryan Kort, Wexner Heritage Alum, in a letter to his friend and co – Phoenix 09’er, Marc Lerner, on finishing his tenure as Synagogue President.  Bryan can be reached at


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