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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…


The World's Easiest Hatred

Posted on Wednesday, November 07, 2018 by Stephen Arnoff

Antisemitism has been called the world's oldest hatred. It's the shoe that has fit just about every kind of foot on paths of blame, violence and cultural misdirection winding through the world for more than two millennia. It is also the world's easiest hatred.   It’s easy for haters to access a vast pool of myths, images and false notions that fester even underneath the surface of societies where Jews and Judaism feel most at home. The horrific shootings at the Tree of Life Congreg…


Books for Healing Pittsburgh's Children

Posted on Wednesday, November 07, 2018 by Kristen Keller

As I sit down to write this, it has been nine days since the horrific, antisemitic massacre at Tree of Life-Or L’Simcha in Pittsburgh. I’ve tried every day for the past five days to get my thoughts together and write something. Nothing seems right.    Chances are, you have read many news articles and watched the news and seen pictures of my beautiful city. Perhaps you saw the front page of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, with the first line of Mourner’s Kaddish printe…


Talking about the Pittsburgh Massacre with Alan Dershowitz

Posted on Tuesday, November 06, 2018 by Danny Grossman

I am turning to you, fellow Wexnerim, to share the latest edition of One on One with Alan Dershowitz, which includes a moving segment with Wexner Heritage Alum Lou Weiss (Pittsburgh) from Pittsburgh's Tree of Life * Or L'Simcha synagogue and a discussion on how Israel views this tragedy.   To engage in public diplomacy on behalf of Israel, We launched this show over two years ago with a veteran warrior in the realm, Professor Alan Dershowitz. With my help Professor Dershowitz ha…


Stronger Together at the General Assembly in Tel Aviv

Posted on Tuesday, November 06, 2018 by Or Mars

Many assumptions are made about the fraying relationship between Israelis and the North American Jewish Community (NAJC) and how to strengthen it. As with any loving relationship, communication is key to survival. The Wexner Foundation, due to our alumni networks in Israel and North America, is uniquely situated to encourage this communication.   At this year’s Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly in Tel Aviv, 60 of our alumni gathered to facilitate a 300-per…


Braiding Stories and Interpretation into Challah

Posted on Monday, November 05, 2018 by Vanessa Harper

A little over a year ago — last Shabbat Noach — I made a rainbow challah to bring to a school shabbaton. One of my teachers asked, “Wow, do you theme your challot to the parasha every week?” Having never made challah with any regularity, let alone a parasha-themed challah before that afternoon, I replied foolishly, “I guess I do now!”   Thus began a year-long passion project in creative culinary Torah commentary — punnily dubbed “lechlechall…


Pittsburgh Response from Les Wexner and Us

Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 by Jay Moses

For Further Reading We have read many incredible articles of strength and remembrance of those close to the victims. Here are a few from fellow Wexner community members. We encourage you to share your thoughts in the comments below. On Shabbat morning, Wexner Heritage Alum Cheryl Moore (Pittsburgh 07) heard the sirens in her neighborhood and immediately thought of who might be at shul.  Wexner Heritage Alum Lou Weiss (Pittsburgh) compares the Tree of Life Synagogue murderer to Amalek, t…


Turning Tragedy into a Challenge for Leadership

Posted on Monday, October 29, 2018 by Rachel Firestone

As our Pittsburgh Jewish community begins to process the horrific tragedy last Shabbat, I have been reflecting on my short experience as a Wexner fellow and am overwhelmed with gratitude for being part of the Pittsburgh 18 cohort. How does a community respond to tragedy? Jewish communities from around the world will be looking to us, to how we react, how we move forward as Jews and as people. On the mountain top in Aspen, we connected with G-d and with each other, creating a foundation for our …


Applying Wexner Learnings to Troubled Times

Posted on Monday, October 29, 2018 by Ron Klein and Michael Rosenzweig

Our participation in the Wexner Heritage Program (our respective city cohorts, Boca Raton and Atlanta, launched in the same year — 1989) was one of the most transformative experiences of our lives. Since then, we have consistently, and with great pride, applied the Jewish learning and leadership training Wexner gave us to virtually every leadership position we’ve held. The latest such opportunity is our involvement in the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA).   Ron, wh…


Wexner Service Corps Plants, Weeds Garden to see Future Growth

Posted on Friday, October 26, 2018 by Blair Glimcher

The Wexner Service Corps is a program designed to inspire and unite Columbus-area Jewish teens to engage in service learning. The Service Corps is open to high school juniors and seniors to participate in a week-long service trip, followed by a year of monthly volunteering and Jewish learning.   On Sunday, October 14, we volunteered at St. Stephen’s Community House. When we volunteer, we like to learn about the organizations we work with. We learned that St. Stephen’s has serv…


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