Wexner Heritage Program
Jewish learning and leadership development for volunteer leaders in North America
Leslie H. Wexner, Founder and CEO of LBrands, was asked in the early 1980s if he would chair a major, national Jewish organization. Although such positions were usually based on philanthropic capacity, he felt that leaders of any major enterprise should also “know their stuff”— in this case, Jewish history and tradition. He felt ill-equipped on that score with the relatively modest Jewish education he had received growing up.
Les realized that his experience was not unique, and that the Jewish community would be greatly strengthened by having more knowledgeable and confident volunteer leaders. In response to this realization, Les and Rabbi Herb Friedman (z”l) established the Wexner Heritage Program in 1985.
The mission of the Wexner Heritage Program is to expand the vision of Jewish volunteer leaders, deepen their Jewish knowledge and confidence and inspire them to exercise transformative leadership in the Jewish community.
The program fulfills this mission by educating up-and-coming Jewish lay leaders in the history, thought, texts and contemporary leadership challenges of the Jewish People. Nearly 1800 leaders from 33 North American cities have participated in the program.
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