Jewish Toolkit

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Blacks and Jews: Oppression Not the Same January 29, 2015

Rabbi Amy Small in a presentation as part of her recently launched venture, Deborah's Palm, an organization designed to help Jews and fellow travelers access Jewish wisdom for meaningful spiritual living, is quoted as saying:"that despite the similarities characterizing the persecution and subjugation of Jews and blacks throughout history, our oppression was not the same...differences between the two communities’ oppression emerged.

Same Sex Wedding Cakes and Hate Speech January 29, 2015

This week Rabbi Brad Hirschfield considers two very different cases that focus on bakers in Colorado and wedding cakes for gay couples. Rabbi Hirschfield says, “There is a fundamental difference between refusing to serve somebody because of who they are, and insisting that all those with whom we interact affirm everything that we believe in."

Janet R. Kirchheimer Exhibit, Kean University, Union, NJ January 28, 2015

"How to Spot One of Us," a collaborative exhibition of poetry, film and photography by Janet R. Kirchheimer and Aliza Augustine, is showing at Kean University. Join Janet and Aliza at the opening on Tuesday, February 10 from 5:00 - 7:00pm at the Human Rights Institute Gallery. For more information, contact Janet at


By Clal

Rabbi Sid Schwarz Led a Service Mission in Haiti with 20 members of Adat Shalom at end of 2014 January 26, 2015

"...Schwarz and 20 congregants returned from a 10-day trip to Haiti in December — the congregation’s third trip in four years to the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. There, they partnered with a pastor and used their bodies and their bank accounts to build houses and provide school tuition for Haitian families, many who had been living under tarps since the devastating 2010 earthquake..."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Why a Rabbi? Five Aspirations for Rabbinic Life January 23, 2015

"...Understanding the rabbi as energetic capacitor shifts our question about what Jews need in rabbis. A new kind of answer emerges: Jews most need rabbis to the extent that rabbis fulfill their energetic functions. Critically, a rabbi’s title, learning and visible leadership do not alone discharge these energetic functions..."

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield on the Latest Charlie Hebdo Cover - What's the Message? January 16, 2015

This week, the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published it's first edition since the killings at their offices last week. On the cover: a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed holding a sign saying "Je Suis Charlie". "I get the impulse to put that cover out," says Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, president of Clal and co-founder and executive editor of, "I also know that just because you can do something, doesn't necessarily mean you should."

From Odyssey Networks’ FAITH ON THE RECORD

Be Proud to Say, 'Je Suis Charlie' January 13, 2015

"Je Suis Charlie — I am Charlie — referring to the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, where 11 employees were murdered in the name of Islam last week, has become the popular rallying cry seen on placards, posters, T-shirts, etc not only across France, but even here in America where professional athletes wore pre-game workout clothes with the slogan..."

Climate, Shmita and Consumption January 12, 2015

"There are times when even atheists have trouble denying that there is a “hand of God” at work in history. How else to explain the coincidence of the largest ever gathering of humanity to assemble around the world to highlight the urgency of global action on climate change the week before Rosh haShana 5775, a shmitah (Sabbatical) year..."

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield on the Charlie Hebdo Attack: No Apologetics, No Islamophobia January 9, 2015

This week the world watched in horror as armed gunman stormed the office of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people and injuring 11 more. As the story continues to unfold, what is the correct response?

On Wisdom – Irwin Kula with Brad Hirschfield January 8, 2015

"We recently announced a new video series - On Wisdom - at The Wisdom Daily. On Wisdom will feature interviews with noted innovators in business, the arts, medicine, religion, academia and more. In addition to hosting these inspiring individuals to talk about wisdom with co-founders Brad Hirschfield and Irwin Kula, the two sat down to discuss what wisdom means to them, and how they use it in their daily lives.

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