How are our identities formed and what does that mean for Jewish identities?
From Eli Talks and Sinai and Synapses.
Rabbi Mitelman is founder and director of Sinai & Synapses, incubated at Clal, and is a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow.
"How did you pick your current career, or could it better be said that your career picked you? When did you know what you "wanted to be when you grew up"? Think back to eighth grade... Imagine you then picking the career you have now. Sound crazy? Well, that is pretty much what the State of Texas is asking 400,000 graduating eighth graders to do just about now. What are they thinking?..."
"How the United States responds to the kidnapped Nigerian girls and the epidemic of rape on the college campus will define for a generation just how equal women really are...It turns out, left to their own devices, college kids have enabled a deep rape culture. 1 in 5 women are victims of sexual assault in college. Most students, men and women, are guilty of bystander apathy, or lack of knowing how to intervene rather than assault. Meanwhile, there is small group of repeat offenders whose behavior goes unchecked.
"What is your attitude toward mistakes? Well, this week researchers at IBM announced that they found two new kinds of industrial polymers that are strong, lightweight and crack-resistant and that could be utilized in several industries ranging from aerospace to microelectronics. The discovery could enable development of plastics that are easily recyclable (currently plastics are notoriously difficult to recycle), creating far less plastic waste. Scientists had long assumed that all major types of plastics had already been discovered..."
"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.