Many Great “Wexner” Moments at the URJ Biennial
Pictured from Left to Right: Top: Ken Carr (WGFA, Class 3); Ruben Posner (WGFA, Class 23); Lauren Berkun (WGFA, Class 8); Ken Chasen (WGFA, Class 6); Andy Koren (WGFA Class 1); Elka Abrahamson, (President, The Wexner Foundation); Jason Rodich (WGFA, Class 22); Rachel Joseph (WGFA, Class 20); Michael Latz (WGFA, Class 8); Aaron Panken (WGFA, Class 8). Bottom: Josh Fixler (WGF, Class 25); Miriam Wajnberg (WGF, Class 23); Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi (WGFA, Class 3); Vicky Glikin (WGFA, Class 20); Angela Warnick Buchdahl (WGFA, Class 8); Stephanie Fink (WGFA, Class 9).
More than a dozen Wexner fellows and alumni gathered in San Diego for the URJ Biennial, December 11-15, 2013. Despite our relatively low percentage vis-à-vis almost 5,000 attendees, the impact of our Wexner colleagues was deeply felt, with fellows and alumni in prominent leadership roles throughout the gathering. Some of the Wexner highlights included a spirited discussion on the Pew study by Rabbi Elka Abrahamson and Sarah Bunin Benor (Class 11), Shabbat morning services beautifully led by Angela Warnick Buchdahl (Class 8), insightful Torah study by Rachel Sabbath Beit Halachmi (Class 3), and profoundly thoughtful learning sessions, panel discussions, and worship experiences by so many of our distinguished alumni. One of my personal highlights was standing witness to the highly moving passage of the mantle of leadership of Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion from Rabbi David Ellenson to the President Elect, our very own Rabbi Aaron Panken (Class 8). The URJ Biennial proved to be an incredibly powerful platform for flexing the full strengths and reach of the Wexner muscle. Our amazing colleagues and friends made the fellowship proud with their contributions to this gathering of clergy, professional, and lay synagogue leadership.
Originally from Ukraine, Vicky came to Chicago at age 13. After graduating Cum Laude from Northwestern University, Vicky worked for 3 years as an equity analyst with write-ups on several major financial websites. Having realized that her way to truly make a difference in the world was through the service of the Jewish people, Vicky became the cantorial soloist at North Shore Congregation Israel in Glencoe, Illinois for 3 years before entering Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in 2007 as a Wexner Graduate Fellow (Class 20). Since her ordination as a cantor in 2012, Vicky has served as the Cantor of Congregation Solel in Highland Park, IL. Vicky is currently the President of Reform Cantors of Chicago and serves in an advisory capacity in a number of initiatives of the American Conference of Cantors, HUC-JIR, and Union for Reform Judaism. Some of her singing can be heard here http://www.solel.org/shabbat and she can be reached at email@example.com.