About Clal

Clal-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership:

  • Brings Jewish wisdom to the American spiritual landscape and makes it a resource for all.
  • Builds bridges across communities to encourage pluralism and openness.
  • Promotes dynamic, inclusive Jewish communities in which all voices are heard.
  • Nurtures volunteer, professional and rabbinic leaders and helps people to re-imagine Jewish life.
  • Enhances Jewish participation in American civic and spiritual life.

Founded in 1974, Clal-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership is a leadership training institute, think tank and resource center. A leader in religious pluralism, Clal links Jewish wisdom with innovative scholarship to deepen civic and spiritual participation in American life. Clal’s interdisciplinary programs explore religious and national identity. The Clal faculty, with its reputation for excellence, represents rabbis and scholars from many streams and disciplines, and provides cutting-edge teaching, lectures, courses, seminars, and consulting across the country.

Working with established and emerging volunteer leaders, rabbis and other religious leaders, professionals, scholars, and opinion makers, Clal has earned a reputation for compelling programs embodying the principles of openness and diversity. Joining with a network of leaders and experts from diverse fields, Clal offers new perspectives on contemporary issues, reaching an influential body of leaders, thinkers, and practitioners. Clal’s internship and professional education programs connect modern experience with ancient texts and traditions. Clal’s publications and materials offer thought-provoking ideas, tools, and techniques to enhance people, communities, and institutions. In all of Clal’s work, it strives to build vibrant Jewish life that is spiritually engaged in the intellectual and ethical challenges of the world-at-large.

Creating an informed, engaged and dynamic Jewish life is Clal’s mission. A leader in pluralism for almost 36 years, Clal offers innovative programs, classes, leadership training, and resources to strengthen communities and institutions. Bringing Jewish wisdom to a broad audience, our unique faculty provides cutting-edge tools and techniques to address contemporary challenges. Clal is dedicated to building vital Jewish life that is spiritually rich and engaged in the intellectual and ethical questions of the wider world.

  • Leadership and Community Development
    Clal programs offer insights into Jewish thought and practice that speak to personal and communal needs. Working with federations and other institutions nationwide, faculty nurtures a new generation of leaders and philanthropists, and links Jewish tradition with civic and spiritual concerns. Promoting bridge building, Clal fortifies leadership, volunteer participation, programming, and practice to help communities plan for the future.
  • Pluralism at Work
    Pluralism embodies an appreciation for Jewish expression that transcends the usual boundaries. Clal’s Rabbis Without Borders seeks to position rabbis as American religious leaders and spiritual innovators who contribute Jewish wisdom to the American spiritual landscape. Building Bridges: Abrahamic Perspectives on the World Today, a first-ever interfaith series conceived by and featuring a rabbi for Bridges TV (American Muslim TV Network), brings religious leaders together to foster greater understanding amongst the faiths.
  • Building Partnerships
    Joining with new and established partners in a variety of settings, Clal widens the scope on Jewish identity today. From working with The Clinton Global Initiative on the role of religion, to training rabbinic and medical students with Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, to creating a new dialogue with the University of California at Irvine to uncover the underlying passions fueling the Middle East conflict, Clal bridges the gaps that separate communities and addresses how traditions can honor their own uniqueness while remaining connected to society.
  • Innovative Tools, Ancient Wisdom
    Always evolving, Clal presents fresh approaches to reach new audiences and old friends. Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life (Hyperion, 2006) helps people to live more richly and fully. A national public TV pledge special, the "Hidden Wisdom of Our Yearnings," was based on this book. Remember for Life (Jewish Publication Society, 2006,), a resource on the Shoah inspires the celebration of life. Time for a New God and Freaks Like Me, two compelling new documentaries challenging our notion of God and examining religion and violence respectively, were screened at film festivals nationwide. "Simple Wisdom with Irwin Kula," a national public TV series, brings Jewish wisdom to the questions of life. "Turn to Me," a new documentary released by the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, encourages volunteerism and visiting the sick. Embracing Life and Facing Death: A Jewish Guide to Palliative Care (CLAL, 2003) provides insight for patients, their families, caregivers, and clergy, blending Jewish thought with medical science. The Book of Jewish Sacred Practices: Clal’s Guide to Everyday & Holiday Rituals and Blessings (Jewish Lights, 2001), holiday cards and all of Clal’s resources present fresh insights, practices and rituals.
  • Clal on the Radio
    Intelligent Talk Radio airs on KXL in Portland, OR — the 25th largest market nationwide. Going beyond the "same old," the show offers a fresh alternative to the usual left and right wing sniping, finding the hidden truths buried deep in the divide. Covering the American spiritual, cultural, and political landscape, it provides a new perspective missing from the airwaves. Also available online (www.intelligenttalkradio.com)