The Latest From The Foundation

Dispatches from the network and updates from the Foundation.

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Life’s Leadership Moments

Jun 2009

To the Mikvah!

Rachel Tasch is an alumna of the Wexner Heritage Program from San Francisco, serves as President of Congregation Beth Am, a Reform community in Los Altos Hills, CA. She can be reached at I was about to take on the most significant leadership role in my Jewish journey so far – President of a large congregation. So many logistical details – writing a speech, ensuring a 20% quorum for

Rabbi Michael Adam Latz, an alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship Program, is the founding rabbi of Kol HaNeshamah in West Seattle, Washington. He is returning to his hometown of Minneapolis next month to assume the pulpit at Shir Tikvah Congregation. He can be reached at It was the height of the rabbinic “busy season” (when isn’t it, really?), September of 2006. I was working the usual “insane” hours

Wendy Rosov, an alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship Program, is the Principal of Rosov Consulting, LLC (, a consulting firm devoted to enhancing philanthropic impact in the Jewish community.  She can be reached at I must confess: after untold amounts of intellectual, social, and financial capital expended on the Leadership Training of Wendy Rosov, I still cannot define precisely what leadership is. One year ago I informed my

Judy Schaffert, a Wexner Heritage alumna from Phoenix, is past president of Temple Solel in Paradise Valley, Arizona and of Jess Schwartz College Prep, The Jewish Community’s High School.  She can be reached at After our temple’s music director left, the choir disappeared.  Our new cantorial soloist, a professional singer-songwriter, announced he would start a choir for the High Holidays. Like Nachshon on the seashore, I joined, and recruited

Apr 2009

Parashat Shemini

Rabbi Akiva Herzfeld, a Wexner Graduate Fellowship alumnus, is spiritual leader of Shaarey Tphiloh in Portland, ME. He can be reached at  One quiet Friday morning in the middle of winter in Maine, I tramped through the snow and got to synagogue at exactly 10 a.m., which is when I usually open for business in the wintertime.  I was in for a shock, however, when I arrived that day. 

Mar 2009

Term Limits

David diamond is a Wexner Heritage alumnus and president of B’nai David-Judea Congregation (, a Modern Orthodox synagogue in Los Angeles. He can be reached at I have three months left. This June, my two-year term as shul president will come to an end. When this first occurred to me I admit I was relieved. The position is a drain on my family life. It‘s a drain on my

Tricia Hellman Gibbs, MD, is a member of the 2008 San Francisco Wexner Heritage group and co-founder of the San Francisco Free Clinic, a clinic providing free care to the medically- uninsured. She is also a former member of the United States Ski Team and, along with her husband, Dr. Richard Gibbs, 1998 California Family Physician of the Year. She can be reached at It was February of 1977,

A few weeks ago on a snow day when school was canceled, I was home with my kids “What to do? What to do?” I asked myself before popping in the DVD of “The Ten Commandments.” Yes, those Ten Commandments directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Charleston Heston. I hoped that at a running time of 220 minutes it would keep them busy for the entire morning. To my

Aug 2008

Parashat Ekev

Allison Shapira is the coordinator of the Wexner Israel Fellowship Program and is based at the Harvard Kennedy School. She can be reached at Jews in Italy normally keep a low profile – when I lived in the northern city of Padova, the Jewish ghetto was a quiet place with few people walking around. Not so in Rome, where the Jewish ghetto is a vibrant quarter alongside the Tiber

Jul 2008

Parashat Masei

Seth Cohen, an alumnus of the Wexner Heritage Program from Atlanta, is a partner in the law firm of Kilpatrick Stockton LLP.  He is involved in a variety of Jewish initiatives, most importantly, his own family. He can be reached at,  and his blog on Jewish community issues can be found at What is in a name?  That is the question my wife Marci and I recently were