ConverJent develops lesson plans to accompany the game Jewish Time Jump: New York May 28, 2015

Through four modular lesson plans, students in grades 5-7 learn about Jewish workers, employers, and labor activism in the early 20th century. Developed in partnership with ConverJent, the Jewish Time Jump: New York lesson plans and activities include traditional Jewish texts, stories about contemporary labor issues, and a guide for parents.

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Rabbi Owen Gottlieb founded and directs ConverJent, incubated at Clal

Standing - Divorcing at Sinai May 28, 2015

"...The nature of this acceptance of Torah speaks to my experience of the institution of marriage. I never felt the weight of the change in my legal status in entering into it as I have in leaving it; it’s been in the dissolution of the relationship have I’ve really understood its weight. Maybe it’s the same with Torah: It’s easy to accept but hard to keep. And the comparison could go even further: Even if the Israelites had decided to understand Torah first, they most likely would have never gotten to the acceptance.

The Wisdom Daily: Your Job’s Not Meaningful? Think Again. May 26, 2015

"...There are definitely times to make a change, when our heads and our hearts scream out that we're not making the most of our lives, not living with authentic connection to our most deeply held values. There are other times when we might do better to take a breath, and consider that - rather than changing what we're doing - we may be receiving an invitation to think about what we're doing in a new way.

My Chavruta With President Obama May 22, 2015

"I could have said “Dayeinu," “it would have been enough," if the President of the United States came to visit my synagogue, as he did today, May 22. That President Obama came and visited, and I got the chance to greet him and introduce him to the congregation — Dayeinu. What I never anticipated was to have the chance to be in chavruta, in a moment of a Torah-study partnership, with the President. After we greeted him, we took the President into the Biran Beit Midrash at Adas.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg vs Franklin Graham May 22, 2015

While presiding over a same sex wedding this week, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg cited the powers vested in her by the U.S. Constitution, indicating how she might vote on same sex issues currently before the Court. The Rev. Franklin Graham responded by asking people to pray that Ginsburg and other justices might change their minds about same sex marriage.

Rabbi Owen Gottlieb, PhD's work published in invaluable resource for researchers in new media, religion and digital culture May 21, 2015

Rabbi Owen Gottlieb, PhD has written a chapter in a just published book called Digital Judaism: Jewish Negotiations with Digital Media and Culture edited by Heidi A Campbell. The chapters present a broad analysis of how and why various Jewish groups negotiate with digital culture in particular ways, situating such observations within a wider discourse of how Jewish groups throughout history have utilized communication technologies to maintain their Jewish identities across time and space.

The Wisdom Daily: Getting Real About the Black Experience May 21, 2015

"...Curing the disease of racism is not about changing hardcore racists. It's about the vast majority - the silent majority (most of us in this country) - understanding the lived experiences of our fellow human beings and citizens. Our minds are not changed because of intellectual arguments; as important as such arguments are, they come later. We change once we identify and empathize with the pain and the humanity of the other..."

Sleepless for Shavuot May 21, 2015

"...Rabbi Irwin Kula, an author, popular speaker, and a regular teacher at the JCC Tikkun believes the JCC’s Tikkun works for hundreds of people for two reasons: one, people want communal events that transcend denominations. “That’s part of everyone standing at Sinai,” he says. “It’s not an individual experience. Everybody’s there.”
The other magnet, he thinks, is the profound symbol of Sinai -- the idea that an enslaved people suddenly becomes free, with the law to embrace or not.

Is Shavuot dead? May 21, 2015

"...“We have no Jewish identity problems. Zero,” Rabbi Irwin Kula said when I asked him for his take on the new Pew. “People are now forming their identities in radically new ways.”... That means people, even millennials, are not abandoning Judaism. Just that where they find it wanting — whether in institutions, liturgy or ideology — they are mixing, blending, bending and switching to create a Judaism that works for them.

The Wisdom Daily: Coexisting Beyond Bumper Stickers May 19, 2015

"...It's not that commitment to coexistence means "no boundaries ever." We all need boundaries, as much as we also need to transcend them. And political passion (like passion in general), is a good thing. However, shouldn't we be able to agree that invoking God to curse others, no matter how wrong you think they are, is pretty much always out of bounds? Especially when it's the kind of baseless group hate expressed by the blue "Jesus" sticker..."

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