Clal builds bridges across communities to encourage pluralism, diversity, and openness.
"Yesterday, I buried a friend and teacher of many years. She was older, but hardly "old", at least not from my perspective, and she had a rather limited time in which to deal with her impending death. In fact, the time from diagnosis to demise was exactly 5 weeks. In those 5 weeks however, she continued her role as brave teacher about living life well and wisely..."
"Baseball season opens this week. Yes, hope springs eternal. We made it through winter even if winter wants to hang on a few more days. It is the start of new careers for players and the opportunity for new beginnings for players who had a bad season last year. What makes baseball so much fun is you never know how the arduous 162 game regular-season and three-tier playoff series system (that can extend the season by up to 19 more games for teams that reach the World Series) will play out. Underdogs will arise, favorites will disappoint, expectations will be unfulfilled and the unexpected will surprise..."
"This remarkable film tells the true story of how, in the darkest days of WWII, Jewish prisoners fought back against the Nazis by singing, dancing and laughing...As Rabbi Irwin Kula writes in the introduction to the companion book to the film, "We divide the world between victims who went passively to their deaths and those who courageously fought and killed the enemy.
Calling all Rabbinical Students! Do you want to develop and communicate a Judaism that can compete in a globalized, networked world in which identities and communal boundaries are increasingly permeable? By participating in the RWB Student Fellowship, you will learn how to use Jewish wisdom to speak to contemporary American issues, how to use language that is open and inclusive to reach a larger audience, and how to use Jewish wisdom to add meaning to people's lives.
"Talking past each other is a human problem which affects us all. More often than not, it afflicts us with those about whom we care most. If we didn't care, there would be no conflict, we would just walk away. I came across a recent example concerning the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, otherwise known as the Mormon Church..."
"Sometimes we get into trouble because we overstep boundaries or assumed roles. We jump into a situation too soon. We act with too much enthusiasm or commitment. The bigger challenge that most of us face in life, however, is not that we overstep, but that we understep - that we miss opportunities to be who we most want to be, whether out of fear, self-consciousness, or the simple premise that we are not really up to the opportunity/challenge at hand. Sound familiar?..."
Rabbi Rebecca Sirbu is a panelist at a Women's Empowerment Program on Tuesday March 18, 2014 between 7 to 9 pm at the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey in Parmamus, NJ. The title of the program is "How Religion and Faith Informs and Guides Women in Facing Life Challenges." The program is sponsored by the Interfaith Brotherhood\/Sisterhood Committee of Bergen County.
"...We all have had this challenge of how to respond to friends facing the myriad tragedies of life. We don't know what to say. Our words seem either trivial or unintentionally insensitive. We don't know what to do as we can't change the situation and make things all better. And unconsciously, we may distance even from people we care about because it is sad, unnerving, and frightening to see people suffering unjustly and randomly, to realize we have much less control and are far more vulnerable than we usually imagine, and to know the truth about life - there is very little, if any, connection between our actions and our fate..."
"Despite its air of frivolity, or perhaps because of it, the upcoming Jewish holiday of Purim offers the opportunity to explore the challenges we face when it comes to identity inclusion and race. Both the story of Purim and the rituals of the holiday speak directly to a contemporary sensibility and provide us with some important lessons for living in a diverse multicultural world..."
"A new blood test can predict with 90% accuracy whether or not a person will develop Alzheimer's disease in the next three years. Details can be found in the just published edition of Nature Medicine, where this test is being hailed as "a real step forward". But is it? Do we really want to know that we will suffer from this terrible illness years before we actually become noticeably symptomatic, or is this a terrible case of TMI - too much information?..."