Clal nurtures new skills in leaders, helping them to prepare for the civic, spiritual, intellectual and ethical challenges in American life.

What Is ‘Disruptive Innovation’ and Is it a Path to Political De-Polarization? May 3, 2012

"...[Craig] Hatkoff and Rabbi [Irwin] Kula argue that the key to forging greater understanding of one’s ideological opposite is through engendering a sense of sympathy for one another...Through new media platforms, it is possible, according to both Hatkoff and Kula, for people — be they subject matter experts or cultural icons — to share powerful, transformative narratives that effectively diffuse much of the polarization occurring in the nation today.

Confession? There's an app for that. April 12, 2012

Irwin Kula, of Clal, says that technology is helping to reawaken Americans’ spirituality, at The Economist’s Ideas Economy: Innovation 2012 event in Berkeley, California. View...

From The Ideas Economy from the Economist

LEAD Interns Learn about Leadership from Clal March 27, 2012

In the last month, Clal faculty met twice with a group of college-age Russian speaking Jews who are part of LEAD, a student internship program operated by FEGS and sponsored by UJA Federation of New York. The program brings students together to study leadership and introduce them to the Jewish community. The sessions, arranged by Clal Teaching Fellow Janet R. Kirchheimer, offered the students a chance to learn more about what it means to be a Jewish leader, and are part of our ongoing work with LEAD.

19th Maccabiah Games -- Healthy Engagement March 14, 2012

"Maccabiah is one of the healthiest engagements with young people...in American Jewish life." says Rabbi Irwin Kula who has participated in the games in various capacities, including officiating as rabbi at many b’nei and b’not mitzvah ceremonies. Maccabi USA is seeking Jewish athletes to represent the USA at the 19th World Maccabiah Games in Israel, July 17-30, 2013.

The U.S. elections and its Jewish lessons February 28, 2012

"...Is there a way to see some benefit or truth in another’s views? Is it possible that our values are not all about being clearly right or wrong? Can you live in the possibility that truth is not a monopoly? And might this be a Jewish principle? Perhaps Judaism has wisdom for what is lacking in our public, on the divisive discussions that face society today? ..."
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A Spiritual Approach to Jewish Education January 11, 2012

"The public discourse about Jewish education reform has given birth to many innovative and often highly creative solutions to the Hebrew afternoon school of the twenty first century. We have been rewriting curriculum, revising textbooks, and restructuring the very foundation of synagogue learning. However, the Jewish community of educators and administrators have paid little attention to the heart and soul of good teaching: the teacher!..."

Join the Kirtan Rabbi at Limmud NY! January 10, 2012

January 13-16th (MLK Day Weekend)at the Hudson Valley Resort in Kerhonskon, NY, join hundreds of learner-teachers at Limmud NY 2012. With the help of Shoshana Jedwab and others, The Kirtan Rabbi, also known as Reb Drew and Clal Resident, will be offering: a Liberal Kabbalat Shabbat service; meditation infused text study; Jewish Tai Chi; Kiddie Kirtan; and — of course — a full-on, rocking Hebrew Kirtan.

A Place for Gays in Orthodoxy January 9, 2012

"Not a month goes by without a young person just out of the closet — or sometimes that person’s shocked parents — contacting me in search of Orthodox leaders to respond credibly to their questions. It was this reality that was on my mind as I confronted the backlash to a same-sex commitment ceremony I performed last November. In response, 100 rabbis signed a statement censuring me.

Reaching Hundreds of Thousands of Jews Online with a Contemporary Voice December 21, 2011

Recognized as one of American’s top 50 female rabbis by the Forward, Laura Baum is a transformative figure in contemporary Jewish life. This year OurJewishCommmunity.org, the online congregation Rabbi Baum helped create, was named by Slingshot as one of North America’s 50 most innovative and inspiring programs.

Tsvi Blanchard Named Scholar-In-Residence at Fordham's Institute for Religion, Law & Lawyer’s Work December 19, 2011

In recognition of his notable national and international work on Jewish law, Clal Director Rabbi Tsvi Blanchard, Ph.D., was named Scholar-in-Residence at Fordham University’s Institute for Religion, Law & Lawyer’s Work. The position is ongoing, and will include participating on special projects, teaching a Talmud seminar, and appearing at worldwide conferences. This is the first time such a position has been named. Since 2007, Rabbi Blanchard has been an adjunct professor at Fordham University’s School of Law.

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