‘Tis the season of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
It’s a solemn time, a time to ponder the miracle of at least some human bodies, and also to reflect that many of our most respected rabbis owe their educations in part to the Swavorski-studded shmatte fest that airs tonight on CBS.
Jewish multi-billionaire Leslie Wexner, 77, is the Victoria’s Secret CEO, and the show is his baby, just like his eponymous foundation and fellowship.
Created in 1988, the Wexner Fellowship had by 2013 paid for the graduate training of 450 “outstanding individuals” aspiring to the rabbinate, the cantorate and other fields of Jewish leadership.
The most recent Wexner fellow to make headlines is Rabbi Jill Jacobs, who just got herself arrested at the Eric Garner protest.
Wexner started out in his dad’s downtown Columbus, OH store, named Leslie’s after him. Father and son disagreed over strategy, however, so Wexner fils hung out his own shingle, a little operation known as The Limited. Yes, that The Limited.
At one point, his company owned The Limited, Limited Too, Abercrombie & Fitch, Express, Lane Bryant and Lerner New York; along the way, he sold or spun off those brands.
Wexner is not, however, the Jewish Hugh Hefner. He’s a family man with a wife and four children. He generally keeps a low profile – except for his philanthropy, which in addition to the Jewish leadership fellowship supports such causes as Ohio State University, the United Way and various other fellowships.