August event to benefit Columbus Jewish Day School

It’s often the most challenging moments in life that draw people together: a sudden illness, an unexpected layoff at work, the tragic loss of a loved one. In those darkest moments, having a strong support system becomes all the more essential.

When Rabbi Jay Moses, vice president of the Wexner Foundation, heard of the passing of an old friend, he knew he had to reach out. He had officiated the man’s wedding, but since, had fallen out of touch with the couple. So when Moses found out about Dave Goldberg’s sudden passing at the much-too-young age of 47, he felt compelled to rekindle his relationship with his late friend’s widow, Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer at Facebook.

That 2015 connection turned to inspiration when Moses’ insights became a resource when Sandberg began writing her book, “Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy.” He offered reflections and comments from the perspective of Jewish traditions and how that comes into play in coping with difficult life circumstances.

Sandberg "took her own personal tragedy, which is difficult enough for anybody to cope with, and when you're a public figure, it's even harder because you're under a certain scrutiny,” Moses says. “She chose to lean into that experience and to embrace it and to turn her own tragedy into an opportunity to help millions of other people.”

The two will share those insights with a Columbus audience Aug. 1 at 7 p.m., when Moses sits down with Sandberg to discuss “Option B” and her first book, “Lean In,” about empowering women in the workforce. The event, open to the public, takes place at the McCoy Community Center in New Albany. Moses will moderate the event in an interview-style chat. A brief question-and-answer session will follow, in which attendees can submit questions for Sandberg to address.

“An event like this helps strengthen Columbus' profile as one of the great up-and-coming cities of America by putting it into the national conversation about crucial issues facing communities today, including empowerment of women and a need for communities to come together and support each other through difficult times,” Moses says.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Columbus Jewish Day School. Moses, who serves on the board at the school, says this collaboration represents an investment into the future of these students. He adds that Sandberg also prioritizes supporting education in her philanthropic work: She, along with Goldberg’s family, founded the Goldberg Scholarship program, which provides mentorship and financial support to a group of KIPP public charter school graduates, in honor of her late husband.

Andrew Grossman, family law attorney and president of the CJDS board of trustees, says Sandberg’s messages correlate with the core missions of the school: raising future citizens who care about the world and its people and are learning self-reliance at an early age, he says.

This fundraiser event will allow the school to expand their network of support to the broader business community, Grossman says. And having a speaker like Sandberg is, “Inspirational to a whole bunch of different people,” he says.

“People that are really interested in the tech stuff find her to be fascinating,” he says. “People who are just interested in business in general find her to be fascinating. Women find her to be fascinating and inspirational. She just hits so many boxes.”

Tickets are no longer available for this event. For more information, visit https://www.cjds.org/august-1-2018-event/.

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