"How Do You Celebrate B’nai Mitzvah Without Dad?...Thousands of children lost their parents in the attacks; each family and faith group marks the event in its own way. On May 21, the National September 11 Museum on the World Trade Center site will open to the public.
This week, attorneys in Broward County, Florida argued over the right of Park Lakes Elementary School student Giovanni Rubeo to read the Bible during a free reading period. It turns out the Bible is on the approved list of books, though the school claimed it was not. The bottom line is cultivating love of reading should trump whatever book you may happen to be reading.
Twice a year Clal sponsors a Rabbis Without Borders Rabbinical Student Retreat to allow students to be exposed to some of the most innovative thinking in the Jewish world that has a direct impact on the way these students might shape their rabbinate. Twelve different seminaries from across the denominational spectrum co-sponsor these retreats. The program is run by Clal Senior Fellow, Rabbi Sid Schwarz.
"I wrote about Palestinian professor Mohammed Dajani's visit to Auschwitz with 27 of his students a few weeks ago. On April 28, Holocaust Memorial Day, Dajani spoke on Breaking Holocaust Taboos in Palestinian Society with some 100 students and faculty in the audience at Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School. In this speech he described how his feelings and ideas evolved from the day a member of his family received treatment for a medical condition at Hadassah Hospital - simply as a patient and human being...."
"Question: Do you have other mentors? “Alan Hoffman — director general of the Jewish Agency. “Susan Kramer has had an impact on me in terms of encouraging and trying to make sure the Jewish part of our organization lives and breathes. Ellyn Hutt. Irwin Kula, Brad Hirschfeld — the Clal rabbis...."
"Here we go again. On Monday, a narrowly divided Supreme Court upheld decidedly Christian prayers at the start of local council meetings declaring them in line with long national traditions. The court said in a 5-4 decision that the content of the prayers is not significant as long as they do not denigrate non-Christians or try to win converts. Interestingly, the Obama administration backed the winning side, the town of Greece, N.Y., outside of Rochester.
"Where were you the morning of September 11, 2001? What was the cycle of thoughts and feelings that churned through you that day? How do you tell the story of those events today? While many people say that it was a day that "changed everything", do you think it really did?..."
"At the launch of the Tribeca Film Festival’s Innovation Week, which is under way right now in New York City, a gaggle of leaders in innovation shared what they are most excited about in innovation right now. Their answers range from new technological gadgets to new ways to think about our own identities...Rabbi Irwin Kula, co-founder of Disruptor Foundation: ‘The most interesting thing happening in innovation to me now is how people are innovating their identities.
"I plead for Jewish community to be a place where we can lovingly and respectfully engage with the fullness of Israel. Like my country of origin—the UK—or my country of residence—the USA—there are things that make me feel extraordinarily proud, and there are things that sometimes happen that cause me to feel embarrassment or disappointment. Israel has to be experienced—it is an amazing place. The people are as diverse in background and opinion as any other place. There is so much to learn there.
"From ancient promises in the Bible to contemporary prognostications about success in business, the claim is often made that we will do well by doing good. But is it true? Does doing what we think of as the right or good thing really create material success, and should that even matter? I am not so sure that it's true, and yeah, I think it matters..."