Some of the Montreal Wexner Heritage alumni recently brought Rabbi Jonathan Sacks to town for several teaching engagements that were shared with the greater Jewish community.  Additionally, we were fortunate enough to get to study in an intimate group with him over breakfast. Rabbi Sacks shared with us a very empowering message that he had learned as a child from his father.  He would ask many questions about Judaism, and

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Mar 2016

Hello, Columbus!

“Describe the leadership role(s) you envision for yourself in the North American Jewish community ten to fifteen years from now.”  I don’t remember exactly how I answered this question on the Wexner Graduate Fellowship application when I filled it out in 2003, but I’m quite sure I didn’t imagine then that someday I’d be sitting here — at The Wexner Foundation offices in Columbus. Wexner has been such an important

Last week, the Portland Heritage Class, which graduated in 1997, got together as a group for the first time in about 15 years. We have all seen each other informally and at various communal events, even board meetings over the years, but this was the first time we gathered intentionally as Wexner alumni to think about the future of the Portland Jewish community. We also reached out to Graduate Fellowship

I’ve heard that for those who come to use the mikveh (ritual bath) with ImmerseNYC and other community mikvaot across the country, one of the most powerful aspects is the embodied experience of feeling fully accepted and enveloped in the warm water. Our lay-led planning team for Water and Wine, ImmerseNYC’s launch event, attempted to replicate that experience for attendees.  We wanted to send the message that through various life

Photo: WGF Class 25 celebrates their graduation after four years in the Wexner Graduate Fellowship (not pictured: Dalit Horn and Raysh Weiss). The following remarks – originally started with a joke – are excerpted from a talk Jeremy gave during last week’s WGF Winter Institute in Fort Myers, Florida. According to the Pew Study, 42% of North American Jews think that having a sense of humor is an essential part of

CONGRATULATIONS TO: Foundation Partner Alisa Doctoroff on being named to the 2015 Forward 50. Vicky Glikin, WGF Alum (Class 22), on her appointment as Senior Cantor of Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, TX.  Jennifer Gorovitz, WHP Alum (San Francisco 06), on joining the New Israel Fund as Vice President for Operations and Administration. Jamie Hackel Hyams, WHP Alum (San Francisco Pro), on joining the Hebrew Free Loan of San Francisco as

This first-hand account of the terror in Paris was written by Aaron D. Panken, WGF Class 8, and first appeared on JTA’s website on Monday, November 16, 2015.  PARIS (JTA) — My son and I met in Paris on Friday morning, walked the charming streets of the City of Light, visited the Picasso and Pompidou museums, then went to synagogue at the MJLF (Mouvement Juif Libéral de France), one of

Pictured from right to left: Marcia Cohodes, WHP Alum (Minneapolis), Stephen Hazan Arnoff, WGF Alum (Class 13) and Ofer Chen, current WIF (Class 27), meet each other at The Wexner Foundation Reception.   Ofer Chen, current WIF (Class 27): My favorite thing about the GA was the feeling of a special connection bonding all participants from so many places and opinions into one community, and allowing each of us to approach others and

Celebrating Mordy’s JPRO Young Professionals Award at the Wexner Reception at the GA. Pictured (from left to right):  Rabbi Jay Moses (Director, Wexner Heritage Program; WGF Alum, Class 5), Jordanna Birnbaum Amsel (WGF Fellow, Class 27), Cynthia Bernstein (WGF Alum, Class 22), Rabbi Elka Abrahamson (President, The Wexner Foundation), Mordy Walfish (WGF Alum, Class 22) and Or Mars (Director, Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program; WGF Alum, Class 6).   The following is

In this week’s Torah portion Toldot we read an interesting yet strange story.  Isaac is getting on with his years, and his eyes are dim. He wishes to bless Esau his son, and he tells him “bring me some food, and then I will bless you”. His wife Rebecca overhears the conversation, and in an effort to ensure that Jacob gets the blessing and not Esau she comes up with