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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…


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…


The Dichotomy of Choice

Posted on Thursday, October 18, 2018 by Yelena Kutikova

When I was younger, I told myself that I would never visit Germany. Given my family history, it is not surprising why I chose this stance. My great grandmother was killed in Babi Yar, while many other family members died or greatly suffered by the hands of Nazis during World War II.   However, victim-hood wasn’t the only war narrative my family passed on to me. As far as I can remember, my grandfather always told me stories about his experiences as a soldier during WW II and the to…


Shabbat Dinner Home Hospitality, Hosted by Wexner Alumni in Israel

Posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 by Maurit Beeri

Wexner alumni in Israel recently hosted the Massachusets Executive Women's Mission to Israel for Shabbat Dinner. In addition to Maurit Beeri, WSL Network Member Michal Lebenthal Anderson (2015), WIF Alum Orit Farkash HaCohen (Class 18) and WIF Alum Rachel Benziman (Class 11) also hosted groups.   One of our family's Shabbat pleasures is to host visitors from the U.S. for dinner. These are most often assigned to us randomly, by way of our affiliation with the Mevaseret Zion Reform Congrega…


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…


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…


Wexner Service Corps Helps Students in Need on Rosh Hashanah

Posted on Monday, October 15, 2018 by Lydia Colvin

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 September 9, Wexner Service Corps was scheduled to help at an event called the Buddy Box 6000, where we would pack boxes of food for kids in need. However, due to rain, this event was cancelled…


Guys Talking About Sexual Assault and Consent

Posted on Thursday, October 11, 2018 by Cody Greenes

I discovered Moving Traditions through our local Federation. I heard their presentation as a board member and was floored. I came up afterward and asked how I could help. The Shevet programming allows our guys (not "boys") to set aside time for reflection on their growth in this world as young Jewish men. CEO Deborah Meyer is right on point in the piece below: we (adult volunteers) don't teach or tell, rather we are trained to help guide a discussion …


On Getting a Call Asking to be Forgiven

Posted on Thursday, October 11, 2018 by Rayzel Raphael

When I was 15 years old, almost 50 years ago, I had a very exciting boyfriend who would drive from out of town on the spur of the moment to Knoxville, surprising me and bringing me flowers. So I was very psyched when I got invited to a dance in his town and begged my parents to let me go. They wanted me to have a social life so they relented. My mother had explained the facts of life to me, yet she had not explained the facts of life of teenage drunk boys.   It was a full weekend of …


Jewish Rockstars, Jewish Leaders

Posted on Tuesday, October 09, 2018 by Scott Harris

“Why don’t I write a song for our siyyum?” was what came out of my mouth one Monday night last Spring. My idea was to add some original music to our Siyyum, our final thank you, that would be presented at our last Wexner Heritage Institute in Utah. Never mind that I hadn’t written a song in at least a decade!   Yet one morning in May, as I set out on a long run, the kernel of a melody popped into my head. I got home and dashed something out and immediately shared i…


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