Author: Zack Bodner

The extended clan gathered in Spain for a family journey. 1

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...

Brunch-menu_crop

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...

It’s Time for a Universal Yom HaShoah Ritual

Did you know tomorrow is Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day? What will you do differently? Maybe you will wear white. Maybe you will go to a ceremony at your local JCC or synagogue. Maybe you will light a yahrtzeit candle. Or maybe you won’t do anything special at all tomorrow. But...

Passover Seder

My Passover Memories

What was your favorite childhood Jewish experience? For me, it was our family Passover Seders. Every year, my family would schlep across the country to Maryland or New Jersey or Florida—depending on whose turn it was to host—to join my aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents, so we could retell...

How to Have the Conversation About Israel at Your JCC or Synagogue

On Sunday, November 22, over 750 attendees participated in an all-day conference at the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto, California called “Zionism 3.0: Israel’s Place in Tomorrow’s World.” In partnership with Ha’aretz newspaper, we hosted speakers from across the political spectrum – from Bret Stephens to Peter Beinart, from...

Loving Israel

This was written in early November from my hotel in Jerusalem where I attended the JCC Global Conference and JCC Innovation Summit with approximately 500 other global JCC leaders. It was before the horrific terror attack in Paris, and, most recently, in San Bernardino. These reflections feel even timelier now. I was invited...

Why We Need Zionism 3.0

Over the last three decades, I have watched with deep sadness as our community cleaved further and further apart over how to support Israel. I am not so naive as to think that Jews will ever be of one mind when it comes to any issue, much less one so complicated as...