Dispatches from the network and updates from the Foundation.
WHP Alum Gary Wexler (LA/Westfield)
Are the woke accusations found on the internet the best methodology to make the race, diversity, equity and inclusion corrections that are so badly needed? Can the methodology even be questioned without leading to cancellation?Cancel Culture is not the creative, excellent way of thinking we were challenged to learn in Wexner. We Jews are a creative people. Cancel Culture is neither. It’s more like revenge. We weren’t taught that.
The process of re-entry into the real world as we slowly emerge from the surreal experience of a global pandemic is strange and fraught. Many times over the last few months, I’ve felt uncomfortable or unsure of how to act in social, professional, or communal settings. I have to re-learn how to behave in “polite society,” and maybe that’s not such a bad thing. I hope that in this process, I am brave enough to move beyond where I left off when we collectively retreated from the world in March of 2020.
Reversing climate change is a multi-dimensional, multi-generational task. Energy transition will require new policies, technologies, communal thinking, and creative solutions. Our community will need to lead through its actions, advocacy, and intentional leadership. This generational endeavor will need to confront economic interests, conspiracy theorists, anti-globalists, and haters of different stripes.
All to convince you that climate change is not only real, but already here, whether we believe in it or not, whether we prioritize it, whether we are overwhelmed by it, whether we are merely comfortable with the way things are in the last quarter of our lives and just don’t have the bandwidth to deal with this.
If we think only of the enormity of the situation, we will be stifled from action, and there are plenty of actions one can take to move the needle forward, even if it is a small step forward. We cannot forget the prophetic words in Pirkei Avot (2:21), “You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.”
As a lifelong entrepreneur, the last time I had a boss was when I was an associate at a law firm in the 1980s. But I was yearning to do something that would have a profound impact on the world, and which would remind everyone of Israel as a center of innovation.
Caught off guard, and not sure that as a 24-year-old graduate student I was in a position to opine authoritatively about the Jewish future, I tossed out the first coherent thought I could generate: “I think the Jewish community of the future will be smaller and also more intensely Jewish.”
I watched him change daily. As he became physically weaker, he also became luminous, glowing, and the fullest, truest, most beautiful version of himself. It was a sacred privilege to accompany him on this journey. With clarity, consistency, and honesty, we shared miraculous moments and found beauty in unexpected places.