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About the Author:

Zack Bodner is a seeker, writer, storyteller, community organizer, and above all else, a doer. In his role as the CEO of the Oshman Family JCC, the organization created the Center for Social Impact, which is committed to helping repair the world through initiatives that address poverty, disaster relief, racial justice, civic responsibility and more. Zack also oversaw the launch of the Taube Center for Jewish Peoplehood, which hosts the Architects of the Jewish Future Series and the Kol Isha Women’s Leadership Development Program. Additionally, under Zack’s leadership the OFJCC created the annual Zionism 3.0 conference, which became The Z3 Project, a global effort to reimagine Diaspora-Israel relations.

Before joining the JCC, Zack served for 14 years as the Pacific Northwest Regional Director of AIPAC. Zack holds a Master’s degree in Philosophy of Religion and Theology from Claremont Graduate University and a Bachelor’s degree from Yale University, where he played varsity soccer. Additionally, he studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Ohr Somayach Yeshiva, and Stanford Business School.’
Zack is an accomplished speaker, including as a MOTH storyteller and TEDx presenter. He writes regularly for publications including The Forward, Times of Israel, The J Weekly, and eJewish Philanthropy. He is a member of YPO and was in the Executive Leadership Seminar at The Aspen Institute. He served as an iFellow Mentor for the iCenter, is an Amitim Fellow for JCC Global, is a member of the Board of Directors of the JCC Association of North America, and is on the Advisory Board of the Taube Center for Jewish Studies at Stanford University.

Zack lives in Silicon Valley with his wife and three children.

Zack Bodner, Why Do Jewish?: A Manifesto for 21st Century Jewish Peoplehood

Tuesday, February 21
Time and LocationL
7 PM at the J | Mankoff Conference Room
Free to attend

How do I live a more meaningful life? How might I feel more connected to others, to the world around me, to the past and the future? In an era when we can choose our own identities, why might we choose to identify as Jews?

These are just some of the questions Zack Bodner addresses as he thoughtfully shifts from asking “Why be Jewish?” to “Why do Jewish?” After laying out a compelling answer to that question, he goes on to explain what Jewish Peoplehood is and why he believes we are in the throes of an evolution to the next era: Jewish Peoplehood 4.0. He also provides a road map for how to do Jewish in the twenty-first century—including proposing “the next big Jewish idea.”

Insisting that taking action is what matters most, Bodner proposes a creative new framework for doing Jewish based on an acronym from the Yiddish word TACHLIS, which means “getting down to brass tacks.”

Through a combination of personal stories, insights from some of the world’s greatest teachers, and contemporary analysis, Why Do Jewish? takes one of our oldest wisdom traditions and provides an accessible guide for anyone looking for answers to life’s most important questions.