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Introducing Wexner Summits: The Network in Action

Posted on Thursday, October 29, 2015

APPLICATIONS NOW CLOSED

In response to the exciting connections and leadership conversations generated by the Foundation's 30th Anniversary Celebration last April, The Wexner Foundation is launching a new initiative — Wexner Summits: The Network in Action.  These Summits will offer platforms for select alumni across all four of our programs to engage in deep dialogue, learning, problem-solving and collaborative work.  Each Summit will address major issues facing the Jewish world and Israel. The topic of the inaugural Summit will be:

Stronger Together: [Re] Imagining the Israel-North American Jewish Community Relationship

For much of Israel's history, many North American Jews related to Israel as a struggling younger sibling in dire need of financial and political support — a stance that came to feel paternalistic and alienating to many Israelis as the nation emerged from its infancy to a new stage of maturity. Conversely, many Israelis reflected an attitude that Israel was the only real center of Jewish life and that all diaspora Jews should rightly make aliyah or else be consigned to a second-class Jewish existence or, worse, imminent disappearance through assimilation. Though these broad characterizations are no longer at the forefront of public discourse or policy in the two communities, the underlying tensions and misunderstandings still simmer beneath the surface, severely hampering the depth and effectiveness of the relationship between the two hubs of 21st Century Jewish life.

What we aspire to achieve, and what the Wexner network may be uniquely positioned to advance, is a deep sense of mutuality in the relationship; a respect for the other community based on real knowledge and understanding of their worldview and experience; and an abiding commitment to the principle that each community has much to learn from the other. Moreover, we are both stronger when we engage in that learning with curiosity, open-mindedness and willingness to grow and evolve. Utilizing our network of leaders in the Israeli public sector and in both the professional and volunteer ranks of Jewish life in North America, Wexner Summits empower and mobilize a cadre of change agents who will work in teams over the course of a year to alter outdated or problematic patterns in this crucial relationship and engage our circles of influence to join in the effort.

Dates:

  •  Participants must commit to attending both Summits:
    • April 10-12, 2016 in Princeton, NJ
    • April 25-27, 2017 in Israel (tentative dates, to be finalized before application process)

Details:

  • Alumni of all Wexner Leadership Initiatives who have a special volunteer, professional or personal interest in being part of a workgroup on this topic should apply (unfortunately, we are unable to include spouses/partners).
  • 150 participants will be selected from among alumni of our four major programs (Wexner Heritage Program, Wexner Israel Fellows, Wexner Senior Leadership Program, Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program.)
  • All programmatic, hotel, food and travel expenses will be covered by The Wexner Foundation.
  • Participants will be asked to contribute a $180 nonrefundable commitment fee.
  • Participants must attend both Summits and be prepared to participate in workgroups between and after Summits.

Not available for these dates? Not your area of passion? No worries! There will be additional Summits in the future on other major topics facing the Jewish world. Stay tuned...

Questions? Contact astorchan@wexner.net