On a beautiful July evening, about 80 people from the Los Angeles Wexner mishpacha gathered for an evening of learning and sharing at the home of dual Wexner Heritage Alumni Dana (LA/Bank of America) and Evan (LA 05) Schlessinger.  We were blessed to engage in a very intimate discussion with Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky, the leader of B’Nei David, a vibrant Modern Orthodox shul in Los Angeles, and Rabbi David Woznica of Stephen S. Wise Temple, a large Reform synagogue, artfully moderated by Jay Sanderson, head of the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles.  The rabbis shared their personal views of the role of God and Judaism in their lives and in their very different communities, the importance of Tisha B’Av, and perspectives on recent events in Israel and in the modern Orthodox community.  We ended with the question of Jewish survival in our post-institutional world, and concurred with our responsibility to lead … quickly.  Heads were nodding in agreement with one of Rabbi Woznica’s solutions:  to infuse our children with rich memories of the beauty and communal aspects of Jewish life – experiences, like the evening at the Schlessingers’ home, that put a smile on your face and stay with you in your heart and your soul.  Those of us in attendance certainly had souls nourished by the evening, and thank all of our Wexner Heritage Alumni Delegates – Evan Schlessinger, Alan Stern and Donna Bender – for their service in creating this and other soul-filled events these past two years.  

 Sheri Porath Rockwell is an alumna of the Wexner Heritage Program, Los Angeles 2009.  She serves on the board of her synagogue, Ohr HaTorah, and is involved in fundraising and community outreach efforts.  Sheri is General Counsel at a real estate holding and property management firm, and is an active Girl Scout troop leader.  She lives in Pacific Palisades with her three children, Jacob, Lily and Isaac, and can be reached at sheripr@gmail.com