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Bringing Maccabean Light to Modern Israeli Society

Posted on Monday, December 10, 2018 by Chelsea Feuchs

What is Hanukkah all about? In the United States, the wondrous nature of the holiday is emphasized. A small amount of oil lasted for eight days, the period of time necessary to properly rededicate the Temple. We light candles together in memory of this miracle, enjoying the way their light helps to illuminate some of our longest and darkest winter nights. This image is beautiful and comforting, but it is hardly the whole story. In the same way that the violent final chapters of the Purim megila…

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Hanukkah Through Rhymes

Posted on Friday, December 07, 2018 by Becca Thomas

After a tough year filled with tragedy close to home and in the wider world, Wexner Heritage Members Alana Ballon (San Francisco 18) and Tammy Hepps (Pittsburgh 18) were talking about ways to make the holidays fun in middle of such darkness. Tammy mentioned a menorah-making contest she’d heard a day school was doing in Pittsburgh and Alana thought about a poetry seder she’d seen for Passover, and then the idea to elicit “Hanukkah Haikus, Limericks and Short Poems” was bor…

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Illuminating the World with Hanukkah Light

Posted on Tuesday, December 04, 2018 by Becca Thomas

This Hanukkah, we hope you feel the light that Wexner members, fellows, senior leaders and alumni are sharing from around the world. In a time when many feel darkness, we are strengthened when others choose to illuminate the world with good deeds, bold work and strong leadership. Below you'll see a sampling of members of our Wexner Network who took their Hanukkiot to special places around their homes. Many also had stories to share about the menorahs that will help light this Hanukkah week. …

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Sukkah Stories: Tales from the Midwest

Posted on Wednesday, October 03, 2018 by Becca Thomas

The festival of Sukkot may have ended, but we wanted to highlight a few ways Wexner alumni and staff took time to enjoy the holiday and celebrate with family and friends in their sukkahs. Not even a “Suknado,” the powerful thunderstorm that came through Columbus, could stop the joy.   WHP Alum Jenifer Newmark (St. Louis 15) participated in a lulav shake-off along with her husband John and their twin boys Martin and Samuel as part of the United Hebrew Congregation in St. Louis…

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Uman, An Adventure in Absolutism

Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2018 by Michael Paley

I arrived in Uman, the site of Nachman of Bratzlav’s grave, on the Friday afternoon before Rosh HaShanah. In 1810, just before he died, Rebbe Nachman had said to his followers that they should spend Rosh Hashanah with him, at the grave, or Ziyon as it is called. Unlike all other Chassidic groups, Rebbe Nachman left no one to be the next Rebbe and so he was the last, and his followers were called the “the dead Chassidim.” Since I was a teenager I have always loved the stories an…

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Understanding Jonah with Dr. Erica Brown

Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 by Erica Brown

Thanks to Dr. Erica Brown for sharing these insightful videos about the story of Jonah, traditionally read on Yom Kippur. These 12 minute gems are based on her book Jonah: The Reluctant Prophet (Maggid Books). You can view Part 1 by clicking on the link above to the video, and can see Part 2 here.

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Oh Say, Can You See?

Posted on Tuesday, July 03, 2018 by Angie Atkins

I love how The New York Times publishes a facsimile of the Declaration of Independence every July 4th: august and grey-toned, across a two page spread, arresting, even if one reads it on their fold-less phone. I read it through every year and, like most Jewish texts we return to, I find something new in it each time. Yesterday, that document seemed a bit like a Mishna, and the articles around it—possible US Supreme Court nominees, map-shifting new arms agreements and trade wars, …

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Bringing Digital Natives to "Never Again"

Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 by Stephen Grynberg

Three years ago, I created an interactive website called Illuminate to encourage the commemoration of Yom HaShoah.  As a filmmaker, this was new territory for me.  Films, by their nature, change in their creation: rewrites, re-shoots, reedits.  But once you launch them into the world, their beauty and their blemish become fixed.   With technology, getting out in the world is just the beginning.  Change stands on your shoulder and whispers in your ear and the idea…

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We Remember

Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 by Ellen Trachtenberg

As I anticipate our community wide Yom HaShoah Commemoration this Sunday, coordinated by The Holocaust Museum Houston, of which I am one of the proud founders, I am overwhelmed with emotion.   On the global level I will remember the incomparable number of six million murdered fellow Jews, but I also have a more personal interest.   I will be thinking of my husband’s grandmother, great-grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins, who we only know through my mother-in-law’s …

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