Last May, Head of School Gary Weisserman announced that he planned to step down at the end of the academic year. Along with his email came a letter from the Milken Board of Trustees informing the community that a search party had been formed to “identify an outstanding new head of school,” ensuring “a smooth transition as Milken continues to provide the highest quality education and services to our students and their families.”
As the Milken community absorbed the news of Mr. Weisserman’s resignation, the Board worked diligently to find an interim replacement. On June 15th, a mass email was released, notifying the community that Dr. Robert Wexler was hired as the temporary Head of School. The Roar sat down with Dr. Wexler to find more about the new addition to the Milken administration.
Raised in Los Angeles, Dr. Wexler attended Public School and was a member of Wilshire Boulevard Temple. Originally planning to pursue a legal career, he was persuaded to change his life trajectory by a discussion with his rabbi during his junior year of high school.
While he began his initial college studies at UCLA, Wexler also studied Hebrew at the University of Judaism. Upon his graduation from UCLA, he enrolled full time as a rabbinical student at the University of Judaism. While attending the rabbinical program there, he simultaneously received an MBA from Baruch College. “I assumed I wanted to be a pulpit rabbi,” Dr. Wexler told The Roar, “but the Head of rabbinical school came to me and offered me a job during my second year. I had a job waiting for me right when I graduated.”
Ordinated in 1977, Dr. Wexler then spent a year at Princeton University teaching Hebrew in the Department of Middle East Studies. After his stint at Princeton, he returned to California and began working at the University of Judaism, which merged with the Brandeis-Bardin Institute to become American Jewish University (AJU) in 2006. When asked about his impression of Milken so far, Dr. Wexler exclaimed, “When I see Milken graduates, I think that you represent the future of the Jewish community.”
Impressed with the dedication of the Milken faculty and the positive energy of the students, Dr. Wexler gave The Roar some advice to students. “Study hard, of course,” he said. “But more than that, he said that high school is a “wonderful time to make friends for a lifetime and to explore different academic disciplines to figure out what you want to do. When I was growing up as a Jewish boy,” said Wexler, “you could basically be a doctor, lawyer or go into your parent’s business. Now there are so many new fields that didn’t even exist when I was in school.”