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After a Tragedy: Practical Solutions and Healing

Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2018 by Drew Goldstein and Daniel Berkowitz

Seventy-two hours after the largest mass murder of Jews in American history, politics had divided our Squirrel Hill community. For the two of us, it culminated with the-anything-but-normal Tuesday night after 11 of our friends and neighbors were brutally killed praying inside their synagogue. In a feeble attempt to listen to the trauma experts’ advice to go back to “normal,” we scheduled a business meeting. However, amidst the backdrop of a controversial Presidential visit to P…

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Civil Discourse Around the Thanksgiving Table

Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 by Becca Thomas

At a recent Wexner Summit that included Wexner Israel Fellows and Senior Leaders, Graduate Fellowship Alumni and Heritage Program Alumni, this dynamic group came together for the final Summit in a series about Civil Discourse. Having started the conversation early in 2017, this group has engaged in deep dialogue, learning, problem-solving and collaborative work targeted at enhancing the understanding of those engaged in conversation.   Among the many lessons and takeaways gleaned from th…

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What is this place?

Posted on Monday, November 19, 2018 by Ari Moss

I am the grandchild of Shoah survivors. Until my Bar Mitzvah, I did not have the faintest understanding of what that truly meant. Around the time of my Bar Mitzvah, I began to understand the gravity of the Shoah, but prior to that, my experience and understanding of being Jewish had only the vaguest notion of tragedy.    For me however, defining Jewish identity in response to the Shoah would never work. I formed my Jewish identity at 9-years old when I began to attend summer camp in …

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Morning Lecture with Rabbi Elyse Goldstein

Posted on Sunday, November 18, 2018 by Eta Blitzer

The Montreal Alumni of the Wexner Heritage Program were fortunate to participate in an early morning lecture by Rabbi Elyse Goldstein at the home of Julie Shugarman and Ilan Gewurz. Rabbi Goldstein is teaching the current Montreal Group sacred texts.   Rabbi Goldstein’s lecture was titled “Women are From Genesis, Men are from Leviticus: Seeing Torah through a #MeToo Lens.” Rabbi Goldstein rejected the idea that the Torah can be read through a neutral lens; each reader br…

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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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The World’s Jewish Museum - Showing That Our Tribe is Universal

Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2018 by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin and Laura Solomon

Sometimes our identity and membership in this wonderful tribe of Jews creates tension with Western notions of political and social universalism. It can feel like cognitive dissonance or yet another “gap” to add to those between Democrats and Republicans, US and Israeli Jews, the secular and religious, pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian. Maybe each us of just needs to be a “[wo]man in the streets and Jew at home,” to quote Yehuda Leib Gordon.   But that’s not wha…

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Condolences from WHP Montreal 17 to Pittsburgh 18

Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 by Samantha Mintz

Wexner Heritage Member Samantha Mintz (Montreal 17) was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. She received her BCL and LLB from McGill University and practiced tax and estate planning in a law and accounting firm in Montreal before working as a tax planning professional at the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal. Samantha is now a full-time volunteer channeling her energy as Vice President of Congregation Shaar Hashomayim and is a member of the planning and allocations committee at Fede…

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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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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…

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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…

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