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Find out what Wexner Members, Fellows and Alumni are doing. Register for upcoming Institutes.

2017 Wexner Heritage Program New Member Institute Yesodot: Jewish Fundamentals

Welcome to the Wexner Heritage Program! We look forward to working and learning with you over the next two years, beginning this summer with our New Member Institute in Snowmass, Colorado. There are three groups participating in this year’s New Member Institute: Chicago 17, Detroit 17, and Montreal 17. In addition to wonderful learning and bonding with your own city’s group, you will have many opportunities to network and connect with the other groups.

Outlined below is specific information regarding the Institute. It is our pleasure to invite your spouse (married or engaged) to join us with the understanding that they will participate fully in all events. The Foundation will cover all expenses except incidentals and spouse’s airfare. The New Member Institute will be a time for intensive and serious learning. Accordingly, the Foundation’s policy precludes children from being present, though Members who are nursing may bring their infants to Institutes. Nursing mothers may want to bring a caregiver for the baby at their own expense.

The Institute is being held at:

(970) 923-8000

The Institute begins at 12:30 pm on Sunday, August 6th, with registration and lunch (programming will begin later in the afternoon). The Institute concludes after breakfast on Friday, August 11th. Enclosed is a sample schedule for a typical day at the Institute. You are free to explore Snowmass and Aspen on your own Tuesday evening.


The Viceroy Snowmass is 15 minutes from the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport. We should have your arrival/departure information. If not, please forward to Lori Baron as soon as possible. We will then arrange for the Viceroy Snowmass van to meet your flights.


To confirm your participation and reserve your hotel room, please complete the online registration form and follow the directions in the email sent to you with this packet (you will need to log in with your username and password to see the red Registration button on left). Please include your spouse’s name only if they are attending. All rooms are double occupancy; those attending without a spouse are assigned a roommate. If you prefer a single room, it is available at an additional charge of $105 per night. Should your spouse be attending but arriving late or departing early, you are responsible for the Single Supplement for the nights your spouse is not in attendance.


The overall theme of the New Member Institute is Yesodot: Jewish Fundamentals. There are two types of small-group sessions in which Members (and spouses) will participate:

1. Yesodot: Jewish Fundamentals - There are seven sessions in the Yesodot curriculum. Five of them are Judaic content sessions covering essential Jewish concepts and texts. The other two sessions are group-building and personal leadership exercises. For Yesodot, you will learn with your city’s seminar group.

2. Electives - Members and spouses also choose two electives. Each elective is a two-session unit. Elective Session A meets on Monday and Tuesday, and Elective Session B meets on Wednesday and Thursday. Attached are descriptions of the electives. Please indicate on the registration form your first, second and third choices for you and your spouse (you need not choose the same classes). In these sessions, you learn together with attendees from the other two groups. Please note priority is given to those who get their registration forms in by the deadline; inevitably, some sessions fill up and some people will receive their second or third choices. We ask for your understanding and we assure you that the electives are all outstanding learning opportunities.

In addition to these tracks, there are several all-group sessions, where our entire community will come together for learning on contemporary issues of Jewish leadership and for community building.


Services at Institutes are an important community-building experience. They also provide an opportunity to process and reflect upon the learning that happens in the rest of the program. We have engaged inspiring prayer leaders and we strongly urge you to try one or both of them, even if you are not usually a synagogue-goer! There is a Traditional minyan with a mechitza (separation between men and women) which meets for all three daily services and a Liberal minyan which meets each morning for Shacharit.

We need volunteers to read Torah on Monday and Thursday morning for both services, and to deliver a d’var Torah (brief sermon or message on the Torah portion). Please check the box on the registration form if you are willing to read Torah or give a d’var Torah. We will contact you to discuss specifics.


The Beit Café (amateur talent show) on Thursday evening provides an opportunity for entertainment, group bonding and some great laughs at the Institute as we invite YOU to share your talents! Past performances have included musical presentations (bring your instruments), stand-up comedy routines and skits. Each seminar group prepares a song or skit in addition to the individual acts. 


You will receive a Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) from the Foundation at your class Orientation in May or June, as many of the readings for the Institute are from the Bible. The rest of the readings (articles and excerpts from a variety of primary and secondary sources) will be available for you to download from our website, and we will email you instructions for downloading. Please complete the readings in advance of the Institute.


We look forward to seeing you in Snowmass!