The Latest From The Foundation

Dispatches from the network and updates from the Foundation.

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Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program


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.

Looking back on the past 34 years since the fellowship launched, we feel tremendous pride – in our Alumni, in our current Fellows, and in the program itself. And we know it’s time for a change.

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.

If we allow ourselves to be counterintuitive and limit ourselves, it seems we might stimulate our creative sparks of imagination for our communal projects, in addition to our personal imagination.

During our ongoing shared global pandemic and time of political and social crisis, we better appreciate the need for both science and religion, for the rule of law, guidance of public policy, and the supreme sensitivity to human suffering and aspirations of all kinds.

Supervision is about developing a professional, collaborative relationship in which both parties share responsibility and feel accountable to one another as they both strive to meet the goals of their organization. Supervision is a skill and a craft – one’s title, salary, and professional portfolio do not automatically or universally make someone an effective supervisor.

America, it seems, is rediscovering the Bible’s approach to idolatry – but it is the Rabbinic approach that is most desperately needed in our time. We simply cannot afford to see our diverse society with its very significant political and ideological differences in biblical terms.

The inverse of my daughter’s question about the stars (“Why are they there?”) is “Why are we here?” Why are we mortals here on Earth, if not to steward and safeguard this planet so that future generations can live here safely? We are here now, imbued with ru’ah, that miraculous word connoting breath, spirit, and wind, to ensure that our children and our children’s children will also, simply, be here.

Jews are remarkably resilient because we cling to hope and make difficult decisions for the sake of our descendants. We plant fruit trees for the next generation. We build endowments. We take action. And we pull back from it all for Shabbat and holidays. We have seeded ideas that billions of people worldwide have adopted, and the Jewish community and Israel can lead on climate issues as well.