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

Even if We Are Not Free, We Are Still Responsible September 25, 2013

"Maureen O’Connor was the first woman elected as the mayor of San Diego, and served six years in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. By all accounts, she was a pretty effective public servant and was even called “a goody two-shoes” by a reporter who had covered her career. But ... earlier this year, O’Connor was charged with money laundering. [She had] gambled so much that she won and lost over two billion...dollars. But there’s a wrinkle to this story.

Living the Land: Sukkot September 19, 2013

"Jews have long been known as “the people of the book,” connected deeply to Torah (Hebrew scripture) and Jewish law (Talmud and later commentaries). However, in biblical times, agriculture was deeply rooted into Jewish life and culture; growing cycles and harvests were connected to most Jewish historical holidays. Today, Jews celebrate holidays through their related biblical stories often forgetting the historic agricultural connections..."

Leaving It Half Finished: Yom Kippur September 14, 2013

"Ordinary items can often capture great meaning. In 1913, Eva Baen joined more than 2 million primarily Eastern European Jews who came to America between 1880-1924. Unlike some, Eva did not leave a difficult life. On the contrary, her family was financially comfortable, her parents loving, yet she longed for something more..."

Is there a Jewish identity in videogames? September 10, 2013

Ever wonder about how Jerry Seinfeld’s monologues are a string of rhetorical questions? Or the way Woody Allen’s more self-deprecating pictures (think Crimes and Misdemeanors) end in unknowable existential pondering? The Jewish sensibility is unmistakable in the realm of pop culture. A bemused attitude and spirit of restless inquiry is consistent. But is there also a Jewish quality to games?..."
Clal Resident Rabbi Owen Gottlieb, founder and director of ConverJent, is profiled in this article.

Recording the Past: HA’AZINU September 7, 2013

"Chapter 32 of Deuteronomy depicts Moses offering his final words of wisdom to the Israelites in poetic verse, forty years after leaving Egypt. He struggles to do what so many leaders do nearing their deaths: convey the significance of his experiences to those who themselves never experienced them..."

Returning to the Land of Your Soul: Rosh Hashana September 5, 2013

"A fresh start. A second chance. Who doesn’t want that? Those are the promises of Rosh Hashanah, and those are the promises that brought most of our ancestors to these shores...."

By Rabbi Michael Ross and Rabbi Brad Hirschfield from Sacred Stories: A Living Commentary on American Jewish History and the Hebrew Bible,

Y.U. Report's Three Paragraphs Fails To Do Justice to Abuse — or Jewish Ethics September 4, 2013

"On August 26, the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, hired by Yeshiva University to look into allegations of past abuse at the university’s High School for Boys, finally concluded its eight-month investigation and released a report detailing its findings.

Taking the First Step: Labor Day September 2, 2013

" The early labor movement is a story of liberation. In the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century, many workers faced low wages, long hours, and unsanitary conditions. Bathroom breaks, fair pay, sick leave, and vacation were for most like dreams of a promised land..."

Ties That Bind: NITZAVIM-VAYEILECH August 31, 2013

" Whether it’s planning to spend a night away from home, or moving to a new country, what we pack speaks volumes to how we plan to spend our time. Especially for someone moving to a new country, the possessions they decide to take with them—and those they choose not to take with them—reflect their sense of who they are, and the lives they hope to lead in their new homes..."

New Riffs on The New Year August 30, 2013

"‘Increasing numbers of people are actually not coming to synagogue to celebrate Rosh HaShanah or Yom Kippur, but are doing home/familial observances,’ offering personal prayers or itemizing developments for which they are thankful, says Rabbi Irwin Kula...‘The number of people who always go to shul on the High Holy Days — that constituency is shrinking,’ says Rabbi Sid Schwarz, senior fellow at Clal"...

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