Clal builds bridges across communities to encourage pluralism, diversity, and openness.
"So here we are, three weeks after the presidential election, and it ain’t an easy time to be a Jewish communal leader. From rabbis to federation CEOs and heads of other Jewish institutions, we are being called upon to choose how to respond to the election results in very public and profound ways. From where I sit, and the (countless) conversations I have had with colleagues in recent days, there are two primary ways to react: as prophets or as pastors...."
"....The disease of the sin of possession must be what allows someone to justify evil upon evil. Who can call themselves an American, and sit to celebrate this holiday, knowing that America was achieved by genocide, and history has not granted perspective or wisdom – the massacre continues before our eyes? Racism becomes possible when greed and ownership become the highest value, when one does not stand before a knowing moral god or conscience...."
"....I’m shocked. The shock is followed by an overwhelming sense of satisfaction and pride. But all of these emotions are short lived as my trainer quickly moves on to the next set of routines and exercises. Fortunately, the impulse keeps me going until the end of the hour long class. It also pushes me to keep coming back to the class despite the strong, negative forces inside of me that look for ways to undermine my new obsession with punching, kicking and, yes, doing burpees...."
"....But, it was there, in that most unexpected of places, where we learned our most important lesson. It was there where we met a Palestinian named Ali, who was once a stone-throwing activist. This yearning soul fought in the streets against those he saw as the oppressors, against those stopping him from attaining the Homeland he and his family so wanted and deserved. He was angry.
"...Is the ‘mainstream media’ a soul-less golem? In this story, the golem begins as raw material. Major media outlets certainly have the raw material: access to information and the means to share it. But, says the story, more is needed; truth brings the golem to life. The media, too, must be animated by truth. But even with truth, the golem runs amok. It lacks an inner life, so it cannot self-reflect, self-regulate, or exert moral control.
"...We cannot be passive. As partners with God, we are empowered to create the more perfect world we all seek. We will not let hatred, bigotry, or the sin of indifference take hold in our community, our city, or our nation. We were 1,500 strong. We are more than 100,000 strong. Add your voice to ours and we will continue to grow in strength and power...."
"Happy Thanksgiving! For many, Thanksgiving gathers us with family and friends, inviting us to reflect gratefully on our blessings. For others, Thanksgiving can be a day of quiet despair and even shame for those who don't feel grateful and festive...."
By Rabbi David Markus, a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, from the Rabbis Without Borders Blog on My Jewish Learning.com
"...As someone whose candidate did not win on Election Day, I am taking my time to understand why it is that ‘post-truth’ resonated more than ‘truth.’ Part of me wants to throw up my hands and scream, ‘Do we really live in this world?
"....This week Oxford Dictionaries named “post-truth” as its 2016 Word of the Year, defining it as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” This word was chosen, ironically based on facts. The usage of the word increased in print by 2000% from 2015, attributed to the UK Brexit vote in June and the last five months of the 2016 Presidential Election...."
"...This year, there is great question as to whether or not Turkey Day will bring the regular treats of joy, reconnecting, enjoying and being thankful for all that we have, or if it will simply be the catalyst for painful and divisive political and life conversations. Thanksgiving always falls a few weeks after Election Day, and yet, this year is clearly like no other...."