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Wexner Israel Programs

Strengthening Israel's Public Leadership

WIF Alumni Community and WSL Network Members

Alumni of the Wexner Israel Fellowship are engaged in a wide spectrum of senior public service in Israel. Following their Fellowship year at HKS they are required to devote a minimum of 3 years to public sector work. A recent survey of alumni showed that a full 74% of the alumni community – from Class 1 to Class 23 - are still employed in the public sector, well beyond the 3-year minimum.

Alumni include members of Israel's diplomatic corps, leaders of its civil service, senior figures in public medicine and health, top NGO leadership, and military personnel at the highest ranks.  Distinguished alumni are currently found in all aspects of Israeli public life, many holding major leadership positions in a wide cross-section of government ministries, government authorities, government companies, municipalities and local authorities, hospitals, HMO's and NGO's .

Wexner Israel Fellows return to Israel with a renewed commitment and leadership vision for their work in the public sector. They also return to a growing and dynamic community of Wexner Israel Fellowship Alumni. There are currently 221 Israeli alumni, representing twenty-four Fellowship classes.

This unique community of experienced public leaders is bonded by a passion for excellence in public service and a common language, borne of a shared set of academic and personal experiences from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. The Foundation's seminars and institutes enhances their return to Israel equipped with a greater understanding of North American Jewish life, and the inner workings of U.S. government, both of which enhance their work in public service in Israel.

Upon their return to Israel, the Wexner Israel Fellowship alumni benefit, from ongoing contact with the Foundation and each other, as well as continued leadership training.  This lifelong learning includes:

  • An active Alumni Council that consists of 15 members of a range of classes.
  • An annual Alumni Institute each summer - A three-day seminar devoted to exploring leadership in public service with a Scholar-in-Residence from Harvard's Kennedy School. Past scholars include: Dean Joseph Nye, Ambassadors Richard Haas and Robert Blackwill, Professors Martin Linsky, Ronald Heifetz, Gary Orren, David Gergen, Marshall Ganz, Mark Moore, Robert Putnam, Malcolm Sparrow, Warren Bennis, Daniel Shapiro and Robert Kegan; former Justice Minister of Canada, Professor Irwin Cotler; and Professor Barbara Kellerman of Harvard Kennedy School's Center for Public Leadership.
  • A Reception at Israel's Knesset in honor of the newly-selected class of Wexner Israel Fellows, including ministry leaders and government officials, to enhance networking within the public service community.
  • Gatherings of the Wexner Foundation community in Israel throughout the year to promote social interaction and to maintain involvement in the larger Foundation community.
  • Opportunities for dynamic engagement with Members, Fellows and alumni of the Wexner Heritage Program and the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, designed to further common goals as well as lay the groundwork for a robust Israel-Tfutzot partnership. To that end, Wexner Israel Fellowship alumni often join Wexner Heritage Members for structured mifgashim, encounters exploring Jewish identity through various lenses and experiences.