View the complete remarks of President Obama along with those of WGF alum Rachel Isaacs (Class 19) , during the evening Hanukah party. Rabbi Isaacs starts at about the 9 minute mark. To see a transcript of Rachel’s benediction, check out her own blog Jewish Waterville, by clicking here



View the complete remarks of President Obama along with those of
WGF alum Steven Exler (Class 17) , during the day time Hanukah party, please click here.  Rabbi Exler starts at about the 8 minute mark.

Editor’s Note: The Wexner Foundation was delighted to see so very many of our alumni in photos all over social media being honored by the White House. If you would like to share yours, please post them in our closed facebook group by clicking here. 

 Rachel Isaacs, a Wexner Gradute Fellowship alum (Class 19) serves Colby College as the Jewish Chaplain and the spiritual leader of Beth Israel Congregation. She is also the director of the Center for Small Town Jewish Life. as well as the Dorothy “Bibby” Levine Alfond Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies at Colby, teaching Hebrew, Jewish Theology, and Jewish Humor. Rachel was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 2011. As a native of Jersey shore, there is little that she loves more than skeeball, frozen custard, and the waves.  As a Jew, there is little she relishes more thor’s Note: an hosting people for Shabbat meals. She also keeps a personal blog, Jewish Waterville, for words of Torah, Jewish activities in Maine, and news from the Jewish world. Rachel can be reached at

Steven Exler, a Wexner Gradute Fellowship alum (Class 17), serves as Senior Rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale – The Bayit, a large open Orthodox synagogue in the Bronx. He grew up in Baltimore, MD, has a B.A. in Biology from Brandeis University and an M.A. in Bible from Bernard Revel Graduate School, and has studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion, in the Yeshiva University Beit Midrash and at Yeshivat Maale Gilboa. His ordination is from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, where he was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. He sits on the Rabbinic Advisory Boards of Eshel, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and Yeshivat Maharat. He lives in Riverdale with his wife Shira and their son Ilan and can be reached at