The picture shows Kadri Cakrani along with the others in Berat, Albania during the war.  The July 2018, Wexner Foundation newsletter included a piece I authored titled “How Keeping Promises Saved Jews in Albania.” It was about how Albanians, the majority of whom are Muslim, gave refuge to Jews during the 1930’s and ‘40s. Since writing that piece, my involvement with the Albanian diaspora and the people and governments of

Delivering constructive feedback to your direct report about their disappointing progress on a project.   Sharing with your colleague that you are not going to accept their proposal that they worked so hard on.   Telling your friend that you would like him to wear a COVID mask when you meet for coffee.    Telling your uncle that his comments aren’t inclusive of people of color.  These are all situations that can lead to a difficult conversation. And figuring out whether or not you want to have

I’m seated at the front of the room as co-chair of a committee called Dialogue Initiative. Everyone walks into the room with a mix of enthusiasm and reservation.   We’ve sold the meeting as a place to have difficult conversations, with one big caveat: the goal is not to convince somebody else to change their mind. While our deepest desire may be to learn the tools for persuasive arguments, the goal we have all agreed upon is to learn to listen. The banter will

At the 2016 JFNA GA, I had the opportunity to meet Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg z”l as she recorded a message for PJ Library families about the children’s book depicting her life, I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark. I was starstruck by her presence – she was small in stature yet larger than life. I was in awe of her ability to beat the odds as a Jewish woman, to

The imperative to engage in difficult conversations – like the notion of leadership itself – is premised on the principle that change is possible. Painful relationships may be healed, challenging dynamics may be transformed and stubborn misconceptions may be upended. We take risks to reach across divides, because we believe that the way things are need not continue forevermore. For Jews, the idea that growth and change are possible is built into the fabric of our holiday cycle and our Torah.   The Jewish new year commemorates the creation of the world and just after Sukkot we re-commence the cycle of Torah reading from the beginning—Parashat Bereishit.   The biblical account of creation, however, is

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