Clal builds bridges across communities to encourage pluralism, diversity, and openness.
"I jumped onto the uptown 5 train just as the doors were closing. I pushed my way through the wall of people, blocking the doors and empty seats. It was the middle of the afternoon on a weekday, prime train time, apparently. I put my bag on the floor and squeezed between two shoulders on the bench. I wasn’t dying to sit down, I just figured I’d take up less space that way. The doors shut and the automated train announcer politely requested that we stand clear of the closing doors.
"Wisdom involves making difficult choices in challenging situations. In the United States today, we are deluged by rapidly changing circumstances, required to make ethical choices, political choices, economic choices while the substrate underlying those choices is behaving a bit like melting Jello. How do we cope?
The Sacred Calling: Four Decades of Women in the Rabbinate is the winner of the 2016 National Jewish Book Award in the Women’s Studies category. This important book was edited by Rebecca Einstein Schorr, a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow and Alysa Mendelson Graf. Maharat Rori Picker Neiss, a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow also has a chapter in the book as well as our own Rebecca W. Sirbu.
"The Catholic church has long been a place for women who, by preference, family decision or circumstance, didn’t get married and have kids. In centuries past, women and men were “committed” to the church by families as a way of garnering religious and spiritual favor. But in this age of expanded rights for women, I doubt that happens today in America. That meant that the women who live cloistered lives today actually chose it. And that’s remarkable.
"The answer is of course that what we call “media” is mostly corporate owned and operated “news content.” There are many very fine, very talented, very legitimate journalists working for corporate news organizations.
"I’m teaching my 15-year-old daughter how to drive. It’s a nerve wracking process, one that is seriously testing my ability to remain calm under pressure. My kid is actually a pretty good driver. She still has much to learn, but I’m confident that she’ll catch on quickly. It’s the other folks on the road that scare me.
"...it wasn’t sufficient to prove to your opponent that you were smarter and/or more well-informed, and therefore should be taken seriously. You had to actually listen to what he or she had to say if you wanted to change hearts and minds...how do you stop yourself from always believing that you’re right? Maybe most people won’t admit it, but doesn’t everyone think that people who disagree with them are just wrong?
"Dear Mr. Trump,
So it seems that you shall be the president of my country. We are split down the middle, it seems, and fear is crawling at the surface, and hatred creeping into our souls. We are not listening to each other, we are not meeting each other’s gaze. No, we are just running around and around the merry-go-round, the mulberry bush, the prickly pear that means so very little but wounds so very much.
"‘This really is the death of religion as an important force to repair society,' [Rabbi Irwin] Kula said. 'All that religion has become in America is a force to be used by political powers.'
As a result, on inauguration day, no matter who is praying or what they say, the polarization and politicization of the United States will be on display, Kula said.
Even so, Kula said he’s curious to see what Graham and Hier say in their prayers.
"Imprints," a poem by Clal teaching fellow Janet R. Kirchheimer, is one of the top five popular poems in the online journal, as well as one of the top five most shared articles/poems for 2016. Bearings Online is a journal of Collegeville Institute For Ecumenical Studies, a place of scholarship, worship, dialogue, and community immersed in the Benedictine rhythm of work and prayer.