Clal nurtures new skills in leaders, helping them to prepare for the civic, spiritual, intellectual and ethical challenges in American life.
Rabbi Brad Hirschfield served as keynote speaker at Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale on November 14th, 2013, where he addressed a session on the spectrum of Jewish issues in end of life care.Read more...
From MJHS Foundation in Focus. Vol. 14, No. 4.
Too often, the discussion around religion and science produces a lot of heat, but very little light. Over the next few months, Sinai and Synapses will be working to change that.
"...I cannot wrap my mind around the vision of Messianic time, even though the great Jewish philosopher Maimonides insists that hope is a pillar of Jewish spirituality. On Yom Kippur, I had a quick glimpse of hope. The idealism of my son and his friends, the liturgy’s endless prayers for peace, and the community’s yearning for self-improvement seduced me. But the glimpse soon faded into memory…
Until this week.
Last week, [Clal's] Rabbi Tsvi Blanchard commented on the story of Joseph’s reconciliation with his long-lost brothers. What a risk Joseph takes when he reaches out to these men he knew only as bullies! He reveals himself, literally and figuratively. Literally, he cries and cries. Speaking his brothers’ language, he says “I am Joseph.” Figuratively, he opens his heart, showing that he hopes to be received with love...."
On Tuesday, December 3, Sinai and Synapses held its first seminar exploring the interaction of religion and science. Eleven people — representing clergy, scientists and journalists — came together to learn from Dr.
"“What we’re witnessing is a very healthy generational shift — healthy communities go through generational shifts,” says Rabbi Irwin Kula... “The key to generational shifts isn’t simply a rejection of the past, but new blood [that] innovates and preserves. “That is exactly the strength of these three rabbis,” Rabbi Kula continued. “All three of them innovate with a great respect for the past.”..."
"Call it a simple coincidence, call it Thanksgivukah, call it a once in a lifetime opportunity to integrate the quintessentially American and the quintessentially Jewish, but whatever you call it, celebrate the abundance and possibility in your life this year, as Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlap...."
"Hanukkah is an ancient Jewish holiday that has truly come into its own in the context of America. The historic victory of the ancient Maccabees and the miracle of oil postdate the biblical era, so while the events were marked through the generations with lighting of lights and eating special foods, it remained a lesser holiday..."
"We are coming into the holiday season and something is badly out of whack in America – beyond our ongoing economic and political crises. Take Hawaii State Representative Tom Bowers who, sledgehammer in hand, walks his district's streets and parks looking for shopping carts used by homeless people, which, he then smashes to bits.
"When challenges arise, it is easy to pray for a solution. Journeying towards a meeting with his estranged brother, the biblical Jacob had a nighttime encounter with an angel..."
"Truly caring for a person at the end of life requires conversations — about love and legacy, about bestowing and receiving blessings, about choosing life versus fighting death...."