“The Wexner Israel Fellows spent the first two Sundays of September together with 75 Center for Public Leadership (CPL) fellows from around the world who are all studying at the Harvard Kennedy School. The first Sunday was an Outward Bound Experience on Thompson Island where fellows engaged in a number of physical and mental challenges in mixed teams – including scaling a 60-foot alpine tower. It was the first time the Wexner Israel Fellows had been included with all of the students at CPL. My favorite quote came from one of the Wexner Fellows. In talking with me and one of the United Arab Emirates Fellows she commented that she had heard that the HKS could sometimes be a tough environment for Israeli students and then added “today that myth has been totally shattered for me!”

Elisha Gechter is the Program Manager for the Wexner Israel Fellowship Program and the Senior Executive Israel Leadership Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School. She represents The Wexner Foundation at Harvard and works with mid-career Israelis who spend a year studying for a Master’s in Public Administration at the Kennedy School as well as mid-career Israelis who spend a month of intensive training at the Center for Public Leadership. Before joining The Wexner Foundation, Elisha worked at Hebrew College in Newton, MA as the
Associate Director of Adult Learning and Community Engagement, running programs to connect parents and people in their 20s and 30s to community and to Jewish wisdom. Elisha can be reached at egechter@wexner.net.

“Climbing high is not the most important thing, but rather trusting the guy that secures you from beneath. It reminds us that leadership, no matter at what level, is a team work and without any true anchors it is harder to get there.”

Lt. Col. David Shternberg, a current Wexner Israel Fellow (Class 26), has served as an officer in an elite IDF unit since 1999. He holds a BA degree in economics and management, a Master in business administration and a MA degree in legal studies. During his service he held prominent positions in various fields of expertise and experienced work with a wide range of government agencies. David lives with his wife Limor and their son Yoav in Tel Aviv. His fields of interest include literature, theater, film, hiking outdoors and music.