Clal nurtures new skills in leaders, helping them to prepare for the civic, spiritual, intellectual and ethical challenges in American life.
"...Rabbi Ron Aigen [a Clal Rabbis Without Borders Fellow] heard criticism at his synagogue in Montreal this month after he gave a sermon asserting that in the recent battle, Israel had endeavored to live up to the highest standards of Jewish teaching on ethical and just war.
"...Prior to the discussion on the membership amendment, members of the audience gave a warm reception to keynote speaker, Rabbi Brad Hirschfield. A renowned author, lecturer and president of The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, he has been ranked by Newsweek magazine as one of America’s “50 Most Influential Rabbis.”
"Where do you think you would hear these words? Miracle, Wake Up, Blessing, Practice, Community, Confession, Well of Meaning, Beginner’s Mind, Big Why, Promise, Creativity, Humanity’s Voice, Human Centeredness, Spirituality, Light, Healing, Service, Hope, Presence, Faith, Compassion, Gift. No, not at a religious service, at least not of any official religious denomination in America. I heard these words this past week at the BIF-10 Innovation Summit..."
"Who doesn't want to know that their life makes a difference - a difference that at least those closest to them will appreciate? Who among us doesn't want to be remembered? But how are memories created and preserved? What makes some things memorable and others forgettable? These questions have been at the center of society for most of human history. They lay at the center of many religions, much of politics, and so much more.
"Shanah Tova! Happy New Year! Who says so? The summer saw three Jewish kids and one Palestinian brutally murdered, followed by a war — one ended by a cease-fire that Hamas leaders are already threatening to end by Sept. 25 if they don’t get the results they want..."
"Here is a story that is emblematic of so much of what is wrong in our republic. As with many cities' transit systems, you can buy a card - in New York City it's called a MetroCard - and add value to it so that you do not need to buy a single ride each time you travel. Inevitably, at some point you swipe your card and the dreaded words "Insufficient Fare" appear..."
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"Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's violent attack on his then-fiancée Janay Palmer in February is very much in the news. It may cost Rice his career, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell his job, and it may invite us all to do more to address the all too common phenomenon of domestic abuse. It's also a story I take very personally..."
"I walked into the living room of one of our close family friends. Sitting quietly were my friend's 89 year-old father and mother. Just a couple of hours earlier they had heard from a cardiologist in a rather sudden and impersonal way, unfortunately with no family around, the statistics on how long he had to live given his heart condition. There was a mix of sadness and fear. My friends understandably didn't know exactly what to say. Who does? ..."
"All the final conversations [Rabbi Irwin Kula] had in his collection were about love. Not a single person used his or her last breathe to say, “Kill those bastards for what they have done…Be sure to get revenge…I hate them for what they did to me…Avenge my memory.” Every last word was an “I love you” of some variety. Here is what Rabbi Kula learned, “Then I recognized what the real Torah, the real wisdom…the real experience behind religion is…it is about love…and it’s no more complicated than that.
"Don’t assume that everyone walking around tethered to a device is mindlessly texting, tweeting, and chatting. For some, there is serious Jewish education going on. Jewish Time Jump: New York is a location-based, mobile game for iPhone and iPad that simulates the rich history of Jews and other immigrants to New York in the early part of the 20th century. Jewish educators from throughout the New York area participated in an in-service training on site at Washington Square Park.