Rebranding rabbis December 22, 2011

“We don’t have a blueprint,” said (Rabbi) Sirbu...“We’re really hoping to rebrand people see rabbis as great resources.”

JTNews, 12/21/11

Reaching Hundreds of Thousands of Jews Online with a Contemporary Voice December 21, 2011

Recognized as one of American’s top 50 female rabbis by the Forward, Laura Baum is a transformative figure in contemporary Jewish life. This year, the online congregation Rabbi Baum helped create, was named by Slingshot as one of North America’s 50 most innovative and inspiring programs.

Soliciting Support December 21, 2011

The root of the word that we often use to mean charity—tzedakah-is tzedek. Tzedek connotes justice and righteousness. Each time we do something that brings greater tzedek into the world, we are fulfilling the mitzvah of tzedakah and we become a partner for goodness. When we seek ever greater tzedek by soliciting support for a very good cause, we are inviting others to join us as partners in repairing this world.
Potei'ach et yadekha u'masbi'a l'khol chai ratzon
Your open hand sustains life

In religion, 'everything is happening at once' December 21, 2011

"So what’s happening in American life? A decentralization of religious teaching and practice, with many people picking and choosing what they’ll believe and do -- sometimes from various traditions. Or, in Kula's vivid metaphor: "From the cathedral to the bazaar."."


From James D. Davis,the Florida Sun Sentinel

The 411 on Hanukkah and Why It Matters for Jews and for America December 21, 2011

"...Perhaps the enduring miracle which Hanukkah celebrates is that there is always more light than we first imagine and that the fuel to create it is really there when look we hard enough and dare to trust its power. Here’s where Hanukkah and Christmas, for all their difference, have a great deal in common...."

Brad Hirschfield on Mourning the Death of Committed Atheist, Christopher Hitchens December 19, 2011

"Hitchens often did to religion what much of religion has done, and too often still does, to atheism or any other form of what it deems to be non-religious – compare the best of one tradition to the worst of another which is hardly a fair comparison. But in doing so, Hitchens raised many important questions about fanaticism, ethno-centrism, and the real abuses which faith fuels...."

Tsvi Blanchard Named Scholar-In-Residence at Fordham's Institute for Religion, Law & Lawyer’s Work December 19, 2011

In recognition of his notable national and international work on Jewish law, Clal Director Rabbi Tsvi Blanchard, Ph.D., was named Scholar-in-Residence at Fordham University’s Institute for Religion, Law & Lawyer’s Work. The position is ongoing, and will include participating on special projects, teaching a Talmud seminar, and appearing at worldwide conferences. This is the first time such a position has been named. Since 2007, Rabbi Blanchard has been an adjunct professor at Fordham University’s School of Law.

Interfaith Celebrations: Good or Bad Idea? December 19, 2011

Irwin Kula joins Lauren Green on Fox's "Spirited Debate," to look at how interfaith families approach the holidays, blending traditions in new ways. View... LIVE, 12/16/11

When does Hanukkah begin? December 19, 2011

"Rabbi Brad Hirschfield answers your questions about the festival of lights..."


From Brad Hirschfield’s blog in the Washington Post’s "On Faith" Column — For God’s Sake

Hanukkah: A Higher Holiday with Dr. David Kraemer December 16, 2011

On Wednesday, December 21, 2:00–3:00 p.m., David Kraemer, Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian and professor of Talmud and Rabbinics, The Jewish Theological Seminary, and long-time Senior Clal Fellow, will lecture in the The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Celebrate a masterwork of Hebrew manuscript illumination with a resplendent image of a golden menorah and discover the vital importance of Hanukkah in the Jewish tradition.

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