Building Bridges

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

A Time for Bold Action: Redefining the Metrics of Jewish Life March 3, 2014

"...People will not remain Jewish just because their parents were Jewish. We have to understand how Judaism works in people’s lives, and then articulate clearly, proudly, how it can work in everyone’s life. The time has come to ask different questions in these surveys. The language and research methods used in positive psychology are a good starting point for developing new questionnaires...."

The Wisdom Daily: Secrets to an Extraordinary Life March 3, 2014

"This past week one of the most inspiring people on this planet, Alice Herz-Sommer, pianist and the oldest Holocaust survivor in the world died at the age of 110..."

The Wisdom Daily:Serving The Dalai Lama March 3, 2014

"The Dalai Lama comes to Minneapolis and meets himself as a two year-old child. Well, he actually met a college student, Tenzin Paichang, who played a two year-old version of His Holiness in the movie Kundun, Martin Scorcese's bio pic from almost 20 years ago..."

Kirtan Rabbi in West Hartford, CT Saturday March 1, 2014 7:30pm February 26, 2014

Bring your voices, dancing socks and open hearts to join P'nai Or and Hartford Chants this Saturday for an evening of Hebrew Chant and musical meditation with the Kirtan Rabbi. Featuring: Sarah Gershuny (vocals); Adam Bauer (bass); David Noonan (percussion); other guests; AND most of all: YOU!

RSVP on the Facebook Event
Click here for more information...

The Wisdom Daily: The Olympic Spirit February 11, 2014

" I am no kill-joy! I love watching the Olympics. I root and feel pride for my tribe (USA! USA!) all dressed in their Ralph Lauren designed outfits. I get goose bumps (with appropriate 1960's self-consciousness) when our national anthem is played at the gold medal ceremony of one of our winners.
But there is a truth about the Olympics that challenges those of us who believe in a universalism that can both include the best and transcend the worst of our particular cultural contexts and tribal loyalties. If we are honest, the Olympic spirit of universalism is maintained only because the International Olympic Committee denies there are fundamental ethical principles that apply to all and avoids making any ethical judgments..."

Tzemah Yoreh: Numbers-Israel in the Desert February 10, 2014

According to Clal Resident Tzemah Yoreh, Ph.D, in this earliest version of Israel’s desert sojourn, the Israelites did not spend forty years in the desert but rather only a few months. A much younger Moses actually led them into the land; they didn’t have to wait for Joshua or for God. Balaam, the foreign magician hired by the Moabite king to protect him from Israel, is strong-armed by God into blessing Israel, instead of doing it voluntarily.

The Wisdom Daily: When Being Out Of Place Is Totally In Place February 7, 2014

"I received a picture and caption this morning and while very funny and specifically Jewish, it speaks to a deep wisdom about the benefits of being out of place, and certainly ones not limited to Jewish or even religion in general. In the picture a Jewish prayer shawl, typically worn at morning prayers, has been placed as a table cloth. The caption accompanying the image read, "This is what happens when your housekeeper set the table".
Let's leave aside the presumption that people all have housekeepers to set their tables, as well as the presumption that housekeepers, by definition, are not Jewish and therefore would not realize their "mistake", and see this actually as a really moving idea, and one which we could use in lots of ways with all sorts of objects..."

SNAP: A Bill's Passage Jeopardizes 70 Million Meals For The City's Hungry February 6, 2014

" Food is love, at least according to many observers of Jewish life. Whether or not food really is synonymous with love, having it or not having it is a very big deal in our tradition. And as the issue of hunger takes a place on our nation’s stage to the tune of billions of dollars, that is something to which we might all pay more than a bit of attention..."

Tzemah Yoreh: The Circle of Life February 3, 2014

In this book, Clal Resident Tzemah Yoreh, Ph.D. attempts to add some spice to Jewish life cycle events. It is intended for anyone who wishes that there were more prayers reflecting contemporary values, while at the same time remaining true to traditional cadences. This book is one in the most recent series of Modern Scripture publications.

RWB alumni retreat, first 24 hours, in gerunds February 3, 2014

"Seeing friends from my RWB cohort again.

Meeting people from the other rabbinic cohorts.

Putting faces with Twitter handles and email addresses.

At an icebreaker, "outing" myself as a reader of speculative fiction.

(Also as a congregational rabbi and a writer.)

Watching the Superbowl with a room full of rabbis.

Hooting and hollering at the football and the commercials alike.

Sipping whiskey with a friend from far away.

Davening shacharit (morning prayer) b'tzibbur (in community).

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