Ayekah? Where are You? That is not just the first question ever asked – by G-d of Adam – but a question asked by my family, friends, and clients last month. “In Utah” was my response. Utah? Really? In the summer? Without your kids? For a Jewish conference . . . in Utah? Yes. My wife and I joined two hundred other leaders from Jewish communities around the country for the Wexner Foundation’s annual Summer Institute. The Institute explored models of leadership informed by Jewish thought and text. The twenty Wexner Heritage fellows from Los Angeles were challenged to return home with new skills and a commitment to implementing them to enhance the vibrancy of Jewish Los Angeles.
While there were breathtaking hikes with exquisite views, the Institute was far from a vacation. We were challenged to delve into our cohort’s year of Jewish text study to deliver incisive dvar torahs. (Believing that paraphrasing is the highest of scholarship, I riffed on a brilliant