Leadership Initiative for Emerging Professionals


Leadership development for Jewish communal professionals joining the field.

August 30, 2022

For the past year, we have been engaged in an extensive assessment of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars (WGF/DS) Program. Through commissioned research, a series of one-on-one interviews and focus groups, we have learned a great deal about shifting trends in the field of Jewish communal professional training and the needs of today’s emerging leaders. Based on this learning and relying on years of experience in developing emerging talent, we are in the process of designing a new leadership initiative, committed as ever to young adult Jewish professionals. As we focus on developing this new program, we will not be accepting a new class of WGF/DS Fellows this year.

Our commitment to current Fellows/Davidson Scholars and all Alumni remains unchanged. Funding for current Fellows will not be affected and they can anticipate completing the program as designed, with modifications given the reduced size of the fellowship. Our deep engagement with our robust alumni network remains core to the Wexner Foundation’s vision.

May we go from strength to strength.

Program Overview

The Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program selects exceptional candidates with a strong personal commitment to the Jewish community, a record of demonstrated excellence in academic achievement and the potential to assume significant professional leadership roles in the North American Jewish community.

All Wexner Fellows/Davidson Scholars will participate in four years of Fellowship-wide Institutes and gatherings, regardless of funding status.

These programs build a cohesive community of Fellows while enhancing the leadership skills of each individual Fellow. All Fellows are afforded unique opportunities for ongoing interaction with outstanding Jewish leaders and for extensive collaboration with one other. Fellows receive leadership training, peer support, professional mentoring and networking across career choices and denominational affiliations, both during school and throughout their lives.

The Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program experience extends well beyond the four-year leadership program, as our extensive alumni network serves as a professional community throughout Fellows’ careers.


Trisha Kure, Administrative Associate
Stefanie Zelkind, Director

Alumni Offerings

Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Alumni meet annually for institutes centered on themes relevant to modern Jewish life and their professional development. The Wexner Foundation is committed to creating a continental and international web of Jewish professional leaders working together to foster life-long leadership growth and to strengthen Jewish peoplehood.

Meet Our Alumni and Fellows


Wexner Graduate And Field Fellowship Community Coordinating Committee

We help shepherd initiatives, serve as a resource to the Foundation staff, and try to identify ways that Wexner Graduate Fellows/Davidson Scholars, Wexner Field Fellows and alumni can be of service to and make the most of the talent and energy of the Wexner community.

Most significantly, WexCoComm invests time and energy thinking about how to most effectively and efficiently communicate opportunities to members of the Wexner community that could be personally or professionally enriching. Through gauging the interests, issues and concerns of alumni community members, the committee is responsive to those needs and interests that could be appropriately helpful.


History & Partnerships

The Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program was established in 1988 by The Wexner Foundation to encourage promising candidates to successfully meet the challenges of professional Jewish leadership in the North American Jewish community.

In 2005, Leslie and Abigail Wexner launched a philanthropic partnership with William z”l and Karen Davidson. This partnership established an annual cohort of ten Davidson Scholars as part of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. Owing to this collaboration with the William Davidson Foundation, ten Fellows in each new fellowship class are selected in the career areas of Jewish Education and Jewish Professional Leadership and designated as Davidson Scholars.

In 2013, The Wexner Foundation launched a partnership with the Jim Joseph Foundation to establish the Wexner Field Fellowship and to support alumni of both the WGF/DS and the WFF programs.