Heard Round WexWorld: Summit on Social Justice
Orit Farkash-HaCohen, WIF Alum (Class 18)
What moved me the most was that for three full days cynicism was gone out the door. But really. Even the Israelis who are prone to be skeptics of everything. The Summit was a strong emotional reminder for me of why I am committed to what I do and why it is something to be proud of.
Sue Reinhold, WHP Alum (San Francisco 14)
After the tight bonding of the Heritage Program, I wondered how I was going to get to know enough about 45 people in two-and-a-half days to develop relationships and create traction on the issues at hand. The Summit process filtered us into small group work and an action plan very effectively. I left with three or four Wexner allies and workmates across the different Wexner programs who are as dedicated to some of my close-in issues as I am. There’s a lifetime of work ahead, so that’s invaluable.
Moishe Keinan, WIF Alum (Class 8)
I found a group of social change agents — Graduate fellows and Heritage alumni and other Israelis — who all want to empower at-risk teens. They are going to help me with the Attias/Keinan fund, which empowers underprivileged teens through micro-financial education. And I am going to help them with their projects too.
Josh Weinberg, WHP Alum (Washington DC 13)
I loved having our Israeli Fellows with us. I don’t know if “surprised” is the right word, but they were a wonderful addition because they reminded me of all the important work being done in the social justice arena in Israel. Too often American Jews get overwhelmed by the relentless debate and division over peace and security — don’t get me wrong these issues are paramount to Israel’s future — but they mask the myriad of domestic challenges and, more importantly, the people who are making a difference. We scratched the surface on our Heritage Israel Institute last summer, meeting with activists and NGOs, but here at the Summit we had a more intimate setting to both learn about their work and come together with Israelis to creatively focus on social justice solutions.
Justus Baird, WGF Alum (Class 15)
We spend so much time talking about leadership, and not enough time looking about the impact those leaders we serve are making out in the world.
Karen Brownlee, WHP Alum (Cincinnati 13)
I greatly appreciated hearing (briefly) about each participant’s social justice passion. For the rest of the Summit, participants felt free to approach one another to give emotional or practical support. I loved giving and getting positive feedback and offers of assistance.
Joanne Moore, WHP Alum (Washington DC 13)
When applying for the Summit, I had hoped to find people interested in addressing the global refugee situation. I was pleased to meet so many “Wexners” from the US and Israel that shared my concern and desire to do something. The 46K Group was born of our shared interest in improving the situation in Israel with asylum seekers and globally for all refugees.
Sam Goldman, WHP Alum (San Francisco 11)
Not only did amazing people from four Wexner programs meet, we formed relationships that will last well beyond this program. I am thrilled that we are building a bridge with our Israeli brothers and sisters and that we will tackle problems in Israel and in the U.S. together.
Karen Korn Herron, WHP Alum (Washington DC 13)
More questions than answers…
Where is the intersection between Social Justice Organizations and the Organized Jewish World? How do we enlarge the sweet spot to support each other, build capacity and engage a broader Jewish community in social justice as part of the fabric of Jewish life?