The Latest From The Foundation

Dispatches from the network and updates from the Foundation.

View Category

Life’s Leadership Moments


Jews that are cast as being on the margins often have the most to offer to the Jewish community, but may choose to contribute their gifts to communities associated with other parts of their identity. This is a loss for us all.

Proximity is the single most essential element of sacred relationships, without which neither we nor our communities, can meet our needs as Jews or realize our communal goals.

As I have tried to reify this notion of proximity in my own work and life, I have found it helpful to think about it on multiple levels, each with its own specific action and accompanying spiritual work. The following framework is a work in progress; I welcome your reactions and reflections.

The truth is, I know that I probably would not have applied had the pandemic not happened, and so I am grateful for this silver lining in the cloudy COVID-19 days. This forced change that we all endured inspired to me to listen to my heart and consider what change and impact I wanted to make in the Jewish world.

One of the toughest decisions that we will all need to make at different points in our careers is to know when to declare victory and move on. When is the right time to go?

When I embarked on my transition, I was looking forward to reaching my next destination. Six years later, I have realized that there is a deep value in holding on to the experience of transition itself. With the discomfort of transition comes a unique brand of wisdom and perspective.

More than any task, our students brought cheer – they sang and danced wherever they went. A leader of the community whispered to me on the last day of the trip: “I really doubted there was anything for you to do here, but now I realize that what you all brought here was psychological CPR.”

I am hoping that perhaps with a day of communal fasting followed by a raucous celebration of Purim and the world turned upside down we will balance ourselves out again.  And have renewed strength to do the work required to make what we know is possible real. 

It can be comforting to hear that what we feel is timeless, a universal and inevitable aspect of the human experience. Sometimes, a quiet moment with a line of ancient poetry or prayer can be just the salve.