Clal nurtures new skills in leaders, helping them to prepare for the civic, spiritual, intellectual and ethical challenges in American life.
"On a given Friday night, Rabbi Dan Ain can more likely be found celebrating Shabbat in a jazz club or in a Brooklyn warehouse than in a synagogue. Known to many as ‘Rabbi Dan,’ Ain seems just like any other one of his congregants — a motley group of musicians and concert goers, shakers and seekers, and young families looking to get spiritual...
"...I am concerned that so many in our nation are so focused on supporting the candidate(s) with whom we resonate that we may automatically demonize their political counterparts because of their otherness - that is: they are not like us. They don’t say the things we do, or seem to espouse the values we embrace. This reaction may be human. It may have its roots in our ancient tribal instincts — but I also sense that it is dangerous.
"...On both sides of the aisle, people who feel disempowered and cheated, who feel a yearning for a future that seems to get ever farther away, security that is more and more difficult to achieve and a sense of loss for a unified nation, are trying to find a way to a leader who can return those things to us.
And on both sides of the aisle, people are choosing different ways to turn for this hope..."
"...How many times have I rejected a lesson I needed to learn because it was delivered in a way that really was painful? How many times have I justified not doing something because I thought doing so was not ‘who I am,’ even when I knew that doing it would be good for me? How many times have I rejected another person because of something about them that rubbed me the wrong way?..."
"...We all, like Ray Tomlinson, go about our daily lives and work, trying to do our best and perhaps make a difference. And sometimes, like Ray Tomlinson, we create something or have an idea or introduce an innovation that has a tremendous impact, either by changing a life, or a community or the world. As he said, he was just trying to figure out a way for people to communicate. The rest is history...."
"Why does our culture assume the incongruence of money and spirit? Why is money dirty, and holiness pure? Trust me - I know plenty of religious asses, and plenty of saints who moonlight as finance folk. So I'd like us to dispel the notion that money and spirit don't play nice, because I believe this mistaken assumption is playing a role in the current drama of the election cycle...."
"...It is a tremendous privilege and blessing to be asked to do a funeral. That may sound strange, and some funerals are more difficult than others. But it is a great honor to be let into people's lives at the vulnerable time when they are just starting to realize that their loved one is gone. The memories that are shared, the stories told, the tears and, often, the laughter, are so meaningful...."
"....It’s a very unnerving experience," Kula told the 150 interfaith clergy members gathered together at Rodef Shalom Congregation on Feb. 25 for the congregation’s annual Milton E. Harris Interfaith Lecture and breakfast. Co-sponsored by the Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee, the lecture, “Engaging the NONES,” seemed to resonate with the crowd of diverse spiritual leaders all wrestling with the issue of diminishing flocks....
"...it feels liberating to explore a topic that my conditioned former self rejected out of hand, and to do so lightly, without needing to believe or buy into it. No system of interpreting the world, whether economics or astrology, is foolproof or ironclad.
"...Human beings can grow accustomed to almost anything. There is risk in allowing the practice of ignoring one's thirst to become habitual. After a while, one might not even notice anymore that the thirst was ever there. And our emotional and spiritual thirsts are important. They come to tell us something about who we most deeply are...."