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A New Year and a New Opportunity to Consider Our Kids on the Autism Spectrum

Posted on Thursday, October 04, 2018 by Rachel Kest

Just Set it and Forget it   Remember the days before DVR or streaming, when you used to actually watch infomercials that were on late at night or Sunday morning because there was nothing else to watch? Who doesn’t remember the king of the infomercial Ron Popeil and his rotisserie chicken machine? He had this mantra that both he and his studio audience repeated over and over and over — just set it and forget it — showcasing just how easy it is to make a rotisser…


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…


We Need to Talk About Jewish Mothers

Posted on Sunday, September 30, 2018 by Mindy Berger

The 2018 General Assembly (GA) of The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) is coming to Tel Aviv in October and will highlight the work of the Federation Movement and address the challenges of the Israel-Diaspora relationship. The theme of the GA this year is “Israel and the Diaspora: We Need to Talk.” Thousands of Israeli and Diaspora leaders from a cross section of Israel and North American will be part of the dialogue.   This year The Jewish Women’s Renaissance…


A Letter From Alum Lisa Messinger, Wife of Rabbi Aaron Panken, z"l

Posted on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 by Lisa Messinger

It’s difficult to capture the paralysis of loss, and I won’t try to do so here. I know anyone reading this letter has faced a painful hurdle, and each of us has somehow found a modicum of strength to face the next day, no matter how unimaginable that task may feel.     The surprise for me, in these early months, has not been the bottomless sadness, but the accompanying sense of urgency — to heed Aaron’s voice in my head and not falter from the work he be…


Meet the Goldbergs

Posted on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 by Karen I. Treiger

A bed, a meal, a blanket, a suitcase, a shower, shoes, a warm cup of coffee, a safe place to live. I took these things for granted for most of my 57 years. But no more.    In June of 2016 I traveled with my family to Poland to walk in the footsteps of my in-laws, Sam and Esther Goldberg. My father-in-law, Sam, was one of approximately 65 to survive the Death Camp Treblinka (870,000 murdered) and after escaping during the prisoner uprising in August of 1943, he ran to the woods. Ther…


Houston a Year Later

Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2018 by Joe Kaplan and Joe Kornfeld

One year following the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey, Houston’s Jewish community continues to work through the process of rebuilding.   Several large synagogues, the Jewish Community Center, the Jewish geriatric home, two Jewish pre-schools, one Jewish day school and more than 2,000 homes in Houston’s Jewish community were severely damaged as a result of the storm. To say the community was in a state of emergency is an understatement. The Jewish Federation of Greater …


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…


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…


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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