David Strulowitz is a member of the Wexner Heritage Program, Chicago 2006. He is a financial advisor on the North Shore of Chicago and teaches spirituality classes in the Jewish community.  He can be reached at dstrulow@pinfs.com.

I can’t pinpoint the exact time but around 5 years ago I began a process that can best be described as an awakening. My perspective broadened, adding greater meaning and fulfillment to my life. It led me to participate in Wexner Heritage program, and to be comfortable with my decision to leave the formal leadership ranks of my community. This is not to say those roles aren’t important. It’s just that I discovered they are not me.

Yet among the many voices in my head, one kept asking “well, now what will you do?” I didn’t have an answer. I just had what could be best described as a feeling that the path would present itself. 

While all that was going on, a friend mentioned to me in passing that I should consider teaching spirituality classes to a broader audience. While I was appreciative I was initially dismissive as well. I had at the time been facilitating a study group for friends of mine. While the study group was a labor of love for me it was not something that I was looking to build upon. In fact, it was more something that I wanted to hide behind. For in most traditional communities today, where emphasis is placed on tradition, intellectual study and continuity, spirituality and ritual are like oil and water.

Fast forward to today. I have just completed teaching spirituality classes in 2 synagogues outside of my immediate community, with offers to continue again next year. For me leadership is not just taking the torch from those who preceded you. It’s more like finding the spark that lies within and sharing it with those looking for the same.