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

Wexner Summit on Civil Discourse

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Your application is due by July 16th.

Civil conversation about issues that matter is a scarce commodity in our world today. Polarization is the order of the day and opposing camps seem to be growing further apart, retreating to echo chambers with only occasional forays into the worlds of those with whom we disagree; primary modes of exchange have become personal attacks and talking past each other. People do not seem to be able to listen with the intention of learning from an "opponent," imagining new possibilities across difference and, least of all, finding solutions to our most pressing challenges.

This state of affairs is no less true within Israel and the North American Jewish community — in each country and across the Israel-North American divide.  Middle East politics, religious practice and social issues top the list of hot-button issues that divide our community and are often avoided altogether.  This Summit will bring together those alumni of Wexner leadership initiatives who are committed to reshaping discourse in the Jewish world in accordance with values that animate the work of The Wexner Foundation: respect, open-mindedness, curiosity, pluralism and deep listening.

Goals of this Summit include: 

  • To generate or build upon initiatives that bring together diverse groups across the North American Jewish and Israeli communities to discuss the crucial issues of our day in a constructive manner.
  • To mine the resources (human, intellectual and spiritual) within the Wexner network that can contribute to those efforts.
  • To build skills among our alumni and strengthen their ability to be conveners of conversations across difference.
  • To model civil discourse and strengthen the Wexner community’s status as a model for this work.

The ultimate aim is that the strengthening of avenues for civil discourse will pave the way for the real work of leadership to take place: collaborative action and the kind of expansive and fearless imagination needed to address the challenges confronting Israel and the Jewish people worldwide.

Questions?  Please contact Liz Meyers, Senior Administrator


  •  Participants must commit to attending both meetings:
    • December 3 - 5, 2017 in Princeton, NJ
    • October 21 - 23, 2018 in Cambridge, MA


  • Alumni of all Wexner Leadership Initiatives who have a special volunteer, professional or personal interest in this topic should apply (unfortunately, we are unable to include spouses/partners.)
  • Participants will be selected from among alumni of our five major programs (Wexner Heritage, Wexner Senior Leaders, Wexner Israel Fellowship, Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars and the Wexner Field Fellowship). You are eligible if you are graduating from one of those programs by this summer, or if you are already an alum.
  • We will be giving some preference to teams of applicants who together plan to implement communal conversations or other relevant initiatives as one outcome of their Summit work going forward. 
  • All programmatic, hotel, food and travel expenses will be covered by The Wexner Foundation.
  • Participants must attend both Summits and be prepared to engage in ongoing work between and after Summits. The dates again are: 
    • December 3 - 5, 2017 in Princeton, NJ
    • October 21 - 23, 2018 in Cambridge, MA