For me, leadership, besides making empires rise and fall, is also about being able to communicate with both the dark side and the resistance and hoping the Force will always stay on your side.

The Star Wars movies have a great deal of it all: love and trust, continuity, innovation, robust friendships, hard choices and strong female leadership, which reminds us that we all are born Jedi, and definitely capable of making the impossible possible.

This is the kind of movie that makes us all want to be brave and to save the world.

So may the Force be with you all.

Maria Ben-Assa, a current Wexner Israel Fellow studying at The Harvard Kennedy School (Class 27), is a Major in the IDF Medical Corps and, as the Head of Central Pharmacy Services, combines various disciplines in her responsibilities, including pharmacy, quality assurance and health policy. Maria is married to Eyal and they have two children, Yuval and Tamar, who went to see Star Wars together last weekend. Maria can be reached at


The Star Wars movies feature epic battles between light and dark; and friendship and community are hallmarks of the rebel force. Important in Jewish life, too? Yes, but the real reason I loved the movie was that it watching it was a lot of fun, and we all need some of that now and again.

Ann Hartman Luban is an alum of both the Wexner Graduate Fellowship (Class 4) and the Wexner Heritage Program (Chicago Pro-99). She works as a Program Specialist in the Community Services department at Jewish Child & Family Services in Chicago. She is a founding and current board member of Chicago Jewish Day School, teaches adult Jewish education in her local community, and has served on the Executive Boards of the Jewish Communal Service Association and Anshe Emet Synagogue. Ann can be reached at

Star Wars phenomenon is that a series of fictional movies managed to draw millions of fans and followers across the globe for nearly four decades, and unite them around characters, concepts of hope and fighting for the good, and even languages. As we all know, one of the basic conditions that defines leadership is having followers in the first place. And if that is the case, then Star Wars and its creatures, should be perceived as such leaders by all means.

May the force be with you!

Yoav Tellem is a current Wexner Israel Fellow (Class 27). He has served as an officer in the Israel National Police (INP) since 1999, in various command, operational and staff positions. Most recently, he served as head of an investigative branch in the Unit of International & Severe Crime Investigations (Lahav 433). Yoav can be reached at