Last week, The Wexner Foundation held a day of activities at the Knesset to welcome the seven new Wexner Israel Fellows who will begin their studies this fall in Cambridge, MA at Harvard’s Kennedy School (HKS). Prior to the public ceremony, Deborah Housen-Couriel, Director of the Wexner Israel Fellowship Program (WIFP), held a leadership learning session. The fellows reflected on their definitions of leadership and shared their hopes and aspirations for the coming year in the U.S.
While Class 25 studied together, their families toured the Knesset. They enjoyed an hour-long visit which combined learning about the history of Israel’s parliament, its politics, and the democratic process in Israel.
Finally, the main event: a reception at which the class was formally presented to their recommenders, to friends of the Foundation and to members and alumni of the three Wexner leadership programs who live in Israel. The Chair of the Selection Committee, Professor Itamar Rabinovich, introduced the class; Advocate Tomer Rosner (WIFP, Class 22) gave the charge to the class, and Rabbi Elka Abrahamson, Wexner Foundation President, spoke about the ten things that the fellows should do and absorb during their upcoming year at HKS as Wexner Israel Fellows. Dana Savoray (WIFP, Class 17), Chair of the WIFP Alumni Council, and Roy Keidar (WIFP, Class 19), Chair of the Alumni Institute Committee, spoke about the WIFP alumni community and some of its projects.
This ceremony has taken place for the past two years at the Knesset — a place representing the democratic values of Israel’s public service embodied by Class 25 and WIFP alumni. All best wishes to Class 25 for a successful year in Cambridge!
Nitzan Gilad works in the Jerusalem office of Wexner Israel Fellowship Program as the Interim Project Manager.