"On the cusp of the secular new year I sat at my dining room table with three friends, a notepad and a handful of pens, and a tealight in a little dish. As the old year waned, we planned to write down some of the things we wanted to let go of, the baggage we didn't want to carry with us into the new year...."
"...I'm embarrassed that I hadn't seen Jacob until another volunteer focused me on him. When I did see him, Jacob reminded me of Winnie the Pooh's ‘Eeyore’ – withdrawn, shriveled, barely noticed, barely noticeable. He seemed veiled in a sadness so dark that, like a black hole, it seemed to cloak itself and him with it...."
"If you're an attentive listener it's likely you'll hear the word, faith everyday. Faith is a great word for poems and speeches, and for singing aloud in places of worship. But finding something in the word that's truly relevant, truly connected with our daily lives and our sense of the world around us, is difficult...."
"...It seems an odd and arbitrary celebration. After far too many drinks, we count down to the turning of the clock from December 31st to January 1st. We hug and kiss and then often drink some more. We look to 2017 with promise and hope, if but momentarily...."
"Certs Breath Mints used to advertise under the motto: It's two, two, two mints in one. Well, this post is actually three, three, three posts in one. I have no other way to hold together the competing emotions and thoughts that taken me over in the last 10 days as the United States abstained when the UN Security Council voted on a resolution regarding the legality of Israeli settlements in any West Bank/Judea and Samaria territory, including Jerusalem...."
"...Right now more than ever, I want to say something profound and earth shattering. I want to have the answer to all of the ills, all of the sad, all of the pain. I want to say something that changes people’s lives. Every sermon I write, especially when talking about the brokenness in the world, I come to the same conclusion: The world, society, our country and so on, would be better if each person would go out and encounter ‘the other’ whoever that is for you. It feels so touchy-feely, kumbaya-y.
Wednesday, January 11th, at 2:30 pm at the Bacara Resort, Santa Monica, CA, Rabbi Irwin Kula will discuss Disrupting Religion: If an industry can be disrupted after 3,000 years, what does that mean for your business?
"Empathy and compassion go hand-in-hand, right? It’s a given that the best way to care about other people is to walk in their shoes and to see how they feel.
"...the Maccabean miracle was not purely supernatural. After all, they fought their foes, cleaned up their sanctuary, hastened to produce more oil, and maintained faith. Part of the miracle of Chanukah is its empowerment of us as consequential agents in our own survival, agents of social justice, and in maintaining God’s light. Just as God never stops flowing toward us, humankind has always and will always partner with God in maintaining that wonder...."
"This fall, nine Hillel outposts across North America started testing out whether Jewish organizations can become more relevant by developing a radically “user-centric” mindset and then building all of their other institutional priorities, structures and communication in support of that mindset.
These Hillels – from universities large and small, public and private, commuter and residential, and of varying size of staff and budget – are the first cohort of the Campus Leadership Impact (CLI) Platform, an intensive two-year training in the methodology and strategies of Design Thinking.
CLI is the first project launched by the Jewish Design Initiative (JDI), an independent umbrella organization founded by Rabbi Yonah Schiller aimed at developing Design Thinking platforms across the Jewish organizational landscape.
Schiller developed the CLI Platform in partnership with CLAL – The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership and a national foundation in response to persistent interest from other Hillels that saw Tulane Hillel increase its participation by 230 percent and more than triple its annual budget over the past seven years...."