Author: Zack Bodner

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An Ode to American Artistry (on her birthday)

Now I know folks are complaining a lot these days; they’re quick to criticize. They’re saying it’s the end of Pax Americana, and they start to eulogize. But let’s stop with the doom and gloom, and take a moment to recognize That America’s artistic talents transform the world before our...

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How to Fight the Loneliness Epidemic

This summer, the New York Times ran a full-page, front-section article entitled, “If Loneliness Is an Epidemic, How Do We Treat It?” The authors wrote, “More than one-fifth of Americans over 18 say they often or always feel lonely or socially isolated.” And they went on to quote Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who said, “Addressing the...

OFJCC Preschooler Franklynn is all smiles with a chef's hat in the classroom!

“Smile More”—The Preschool Graduation Speech

Editor’s note: OFJCC President and CEO Zack Bodner had the privilege of addressing the Leslie Family Preschool Class of 2021 on May 28, 2021 as they marked the end of their preschool years and journey forward. Please find Zack’s speech below. ___________________________________________________________ Welcome, Leslie Family Preschool Class of 2021! It’s...

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Leadership Matters

As we celebrate President’s Day Weekend, I cannot overstate the importance of strong, reliable, trustworthy leadership. As we have battled COVID for the past year, we have oscillated between trusting our leaders and doubting them. From the highest levels of government in our country to our local medical officers charged...

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52 Truths Parents Should Teach Their Kids

As we begin a new year, it is a tradition to take stock of the last year, reflect on what we did well and what we would like to improve, and set some goals for ourselves for the coming year.  In that spirit, I humbly offer a week-by-week guide for...

The extended clan gathered in Spain for a family journey.

Shabbat out of the Shadows

For our family vacation this summer, we chose to go back to discover our roots. We started in Poland, where the Ashkenazi side of the family could learn more about our past, and ended in Spain to explore our Sephardic heritage. In each country, we captured images of castles and...

Talia and Zack Bodner at AIPAC

I Brought My 14-Year-Old to AIPAC. Here’s What Happened.

What are you teaching your children?  I mean – what are you really teaching your kids? As I focus on teaching Jewish values to my own kids, it is vital that Israel be one of them. I want my children to know Israel, support Israel, wrestle with Israel and love...

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Bacon with Bodner?

While we won’t be hosting Bacon with Bodner at the OFJCC any time soon, we did host a successful Bourbon with Bodner this month, bringing together more than fifty people for booze and schmooze. And this week, we are celebrating Hanukkah here at the OFJCC and out in our community as...

Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center, Israel

Six Lessons I Learned from Elie Wiesel

As I sit on the plane flying home after our first-ever Silicon Valley Community Trip to Israel, I want to reflect on the passing of Elie Wiesel.  We were in Jerusalem when we heard that Elie Wiesel had died, and it just so happened that our group was slated to...