Clal nurtures new skills in leaders, helping them to prepare for the civic, spiritual, intellectual and ethical challenges in American life.
"Between Israel and Gaza, Ukraine, and the mounting horror that is ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), not to mention Afghanistan, the United States is currently involved, in one way or another, with four different wars. Not all are equally "hot", and we are currently "only" bombing in one of them, but a quiet time in foreign policy it is not! That made this week's opportunity to hear from two former Secretaries of State and one former Secretary of Defense, especially interesting..."
"Whatever you feel about the political biases of the media, the fact that the only news we see about Israelis and Palestinians, in the endless 24/7 news cycle, is of hate, violence, destruction and death makes it easy to despair about this seemingly insoluble conflict. Despair is not only the greatest sin but also a failure of human imagination. Yes, the vitriol and enmity that grows each day as people are traumatized by war is very real but it is not the only story.
"‘With almost 90 percent of Broward County's Jewish community not affiliated with a synagogue, Ramat Shalom in Plantation will open The Sam and Laura Hoffman Center for Jewish Life in September to provide spiritual direction and perform Jewish life cycle events for the growing number of Jews who have not made a synagogue a part of their lives..."
"In life, the most common friendships we form are with our peers - people who see the world as we do and who are in the same age bracket. This is understandable. We meet most people at school or work. But is there a certain limitation to surrounding ourselves with only those people that are very similar to us? As Albert Einstein said, ‘If you only talk to people like you, you'll never learn anything new...’"
"Words like truth and falsehood, honesty and lie, get tossed around with great ease and certainty. But what if it isn't as simple as that? What if something false is actually true? Think that's not possible? Think about placebos that work even though they "shouldn't". A recent study shows that believing that you have slept well, even if you have not, will improve your performance as if you had.
"What do you say when you look at your life? Is your glass half full or half empty? Your life, or at least your longevity, may depend on your answer. Recent studies bucking the trend toward "positive psychology" and the science of being happier, indicate that pessimism, not optimism, may contribute to living a longer life. Of course, the pessimists among us will doubt these findings and their promises, which ironically may make those promises more likely to come true!..."
"‘There is a time to be silent and a time to speak.’ So says the author of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) in a famous chapter that begins by telling us, “there is a time for every matter under heaven.” Yesterday was Tisha B’Av, a fast day which traditionally commemorates the destruction of the first and second temples in ancient Jerusalem and all subsequent tragedies to befall the Jewish people.
"Nazis, Nazis, Nazis," said Steve our 40 year-old, charismatic, Australian (by way of a half dozen countries) guide as we began a walking tour of Berlin, "that's all most people think when they come to Berlin." My family and I were in Berlin for a week - our first time in Germany - and Steve was so right. Berlin is young, hip, culturally rich, fun and edgy - and for the week we were there not fifteen minutes could go by without thinking Nazis, Third Reich, Holocaust. Memorials, museums, the guttural sound of achtung in announcements, any elderly person, and the Fette Fraktur black letter typeface all triggered anxious mixtures of incredulity, anger, horror - and guilt about having such a great time in such a fascinating city that was the seat of genocide. Most of the time these were passing feelings we masked and mitigated by macabre jokes about being detained, arrested, or deported..."
"Every April for the past five years Professor Clay Christensen has travelled to New York City to co-host the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards—a collaboration between Christensen and the Disruptor Foundation (which he co-founded with us) and the Tribeca Film Festival.
"In the past week the rabbis writing on this blog have commented on several current controversial issues, Christian anti-Semitism, US immigration law, and the Hamas-Israeli conflict. The views expressed are varied, and if you are a regular reader of this blog, you will often see rabbis taking different opinions on the same issue. This is the kind of pluralism and open dialogue Rabbis Without Borders fosters.