Building Bridges

Clal builds bridges across communities to encourage pluralism, diversity, and openness.

Big Year for the Bible on TV December 10, 2013

"The Bible, at least on national television, comes in parts. No, I am not referring to the common distinction between the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and the New Testament. I am referring to the just announced NBC mini-series, “A.D.: Beyond The Bible,” which will take up where this year’s record-setting History Channel series, “The Bible,” left off..."

Celebrate Abundance and Possibility: Thanksgiving November 28, 2013

"Call it a simple coincidence, call it Thanksgivukah, call it a once in a lifetime opportunity to integrate the quintessentially American and the quintessentially Jewish, but whatever you call it, celebrate the abundance and possibility in your life this year, as Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlap...."

How to have a happy Thanksgivukkah November 27, 2013

"Whether you will celebrate “just” Thanksgiving, “only” Hanukkah, both separately or the wonderful mash up going by many names, my favorite being Thanksgivukkah, you can make the whole thing happier and more meaningful by following a few simple steps. Not to mention that in taking these steps, you will be walking in the path of the original heroes of both the Thanksgiving and the Hanukkah stories..."

The Quintessential American Jewish Holiday: Hanukkah November 27, 2013

"Hanukkah is an ancient Jewish holiday that has truly come into its own in the context of America. The historic victory of the ancient Maccabees and the miracle of oil postdate the biblical era, so while the events were marked through the generations with lighting of lights and eating special foods, it remained a lesser holiday..."

K.I. Caviar scholar in residence focuses on what unites us as Jews November 27, 2013

Rabbi Hirschfield will be the Caviar Scholar in Residence the weekend of Dec. 13-15. His theme for the weekend at K.I.

Calendar Mash-up Is Spur To Gratitude November 19, 2013

"...Chanukah and Thanksgiving coincide this year for the first time since 1888, and will apparently not do so again for thousands of years..."

By Brad Hirschfield Special to The Jewish Week,

Blessings for America: Parshat VAYISHLACH November 16, 2013

"When challenges arise, it is easy to pray for a solution. Journeying towards a meeting with his estranged brother, the biblical Jacob had a nighttime encounter with an angel..."

By Rabbi Daniel Bar-Nahum, from Sacred Stories: A Living Commentary on American Jewish History and the Hebrew Bible,

Brad Hirschfield on the Place of Prayer in Government Meetings November 7, 2013

This week, for the first time in 30 years, the Supreme Court heard arguments regarding the role of prayer in government meetings. In Galloway v. Greece, NY, a local woman objected to the predominantly Christian prayers that were said during town council meetings in Greece, NY. "We need to feel welcomed even when we don't feel agreed with. That's the real challenge that lies at the heart of this case" says Rabbi Brad Hirschfield.

The Wisdom Daily : Video: Innovating Compassion. A Discussion with Irwin Kula, Angela Maiers and James Doty, M.D. October 28, 2013

Watch Rabbi Irwin Kula, Angela Maiers and Dr. James Doty take their conversation to the next level by discussing "innovating compassion." The Rabbi, visionary educator and neurosurgeon met a few weeks ago at the Business Innovation Factory (BIF) Summit in Providence, RI, a gathering of over 400 innovators from across different fields coming together to discuss their innovation stories...

The Wisdom Daily: Can the Death of a Parent Bring Families Together? October 24, 2013

"Few moments in life are as difficult as losing one’s parent. In the swirl of sadness and mourning, a parent’s death can unify or further divide the surviving family. In some cases, the highly charged emotions may amplify issues between siblings. But this can also be a remarkable opportunity to heal some of those long-standing hurts and wounds that are part of every family I know, including my own. There can be a positive potential for healing in this otherwise difficult moment...."

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