Author: Zack Bodner

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...

New Year, New Chances

As we begin a new year in the Jewish calendar, we traditionally use this opportunity to look back on the past year, take stock of our lives, apologize for our mistakes, wipe the slate clean and start over. This is a chance for us to be grateful for our blessings...

_IMG_7528

The Quintessential Summer Experience

Summertime: What comes to mind when you think of it? For me it’s tall glasses of iced tea, condensation dripping down the glass. It’s sunglasses, bathing suits and sand toys for the beach. It’s family vacations, road trips and sleeping in nylon tents in the backyard. And it’s summer camp. My summer...

10403198_1562615060622777_6199029638216409470_n

What I Learned From My Dad

Editor’s note: This essay originally appeared in The Times of Israel. Today is both Father’s Day and the 6-month anniversary of my father’s passing. So in honor of his memory, I want to share a few thoughts on what I learned from my dad. For he was, among other things,...

IMG_8355

The Graduation Speech That Won’t Wait

I have always wanted to be invited to give a speech at a commencement ceremony. And since I am not sure it will ever happen, I decided to use my remarks at our OFJCC Leslie Family Preschool Graduation Ceremony to deliver that speech. Enjoy! I’m guessing that since you have...