"How do you react when you see a physically disabled person? Do you stare? Do you avert your gaze? What do you feel – discomfort, shock, fear, anxiety, curiosity, compassion? Has the way you responded to seeing the physically disabled changed over time?
Research shows that viewers of positive portrayals of the disabled on television programs and in the movies are more likely to perceive discrimination and less likely to have negative emotions when encountering people with disabilities...."
When artists, art-lovers, teachers of Torah, and curious Jews come together, creativity and out-of-the-box thinking result. Using the weekly Torah portion — the Crossing of the Sea of Reeds — as our material, the Academy for Jewish Religion's Sacred Arts Institute will explore how close and contextual readings of the Torah can inspire art and how art can reveal new meanings of Torah. Join the Academy for Jewish Religion in its Sacred Arts Institute in Yonkers, NY, for an encounter between the arts and the text. January 5-9, 2014.
Among the teachers is Rabbi Zach Fredman who is a Clal Rabbis Without Border Fellow and Resident along with his pulpit synagogue, The New Shul.
"...I cannot wrap my mind around the vision of Messianic time, even though the great Jewish philosopher Maimonides insists that hope is a pillar of Jewish spirituality. On Yom Kippur, I had a quick glimpse of hope. The idealism of my son and his friends, the liturgy’s endless prayers for peace, and the community’s yearning for self-improvement seduced me. But the glimpse soon faded into memory…
Until this week.
Last week, [Clal's] Rabbi Tsvi Blanchard commented on the story of Joseph’s reconciliation with his long-lost brothers. What a risk Joseph takes when he reaches out to these men he knew only as bullies! He reveals himself, literally and figuratively. Literally, he cries and cries. Speaking his brothers’ language, he says “I am Joseph.” Figuratively, he opens his heart, showing that he hopes to be received with love...."
This week the world paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, who died on December 5th at the age of 95. As mourners gathered and tributes from around the world were made, Rabbi Bradley Hirschfield reminds us that "Memory is a choice – we choose how to remember," and there are many Nelson Mandelas to remember – revolutionary, prisoner, peacemaker, symbol, healer.
On Tuesday, December 3, Sinai and Synapses held its first seminar exploring the interaction of religion and science. Eleven people — representing clergy, scientists and journalists — came together to learn from Dr.
"Stars of David" author Abigail Pogrebin takes part in a talkback with Rabbi Irwin Kula Sunday as musical adaption of her book closes. See The Buzz...
From The Jewish Week 11/11/13
"“What we’re witnessing is a very healthy generational shift — healthy communities go through generational shifts,” says Rabbi Irwin Kula... “The key to generational shifts isn’t simply a rejection of the past, but new blood [that] innovates and preserves. “That is exactly the strength of these three rabbis,” Rabbi Kula continued. “All three of them innovate with a great respect for the past.”..."
"You can't make this stuff up. Last night, FOX New's Megyn Kelly reassured her viewers that Santa really is white. At first, at least, it sounds nuts. Where to begin? The claim that a mythic figure is "really" anything? Ms. Kelly's need to reassure people that a much loved icon could be anything other than white? It really is hard to know where to begin...."
"The term “good death” may be an oxymoron. After all, how can death be good? For starters, try going through the dying process with someone living in terrible pain – physical, psychological or both – and you will quickly learn that, as a doctor friend of mine who specializes in palliative care once said, many things happen every day in the hospital and in the home which are worse than death.
"...[Gladwell's book David and Goliath is]...a fascinating book which spoke deeply to me about three things, and troubled me a little about one thing...Be cautious about celebrating adversity, especially someone else’s, even as a path to great achievement. Pain may be a great teacher, and I am all for making the best of a bad situation, but I would rather find other paths to learning than adversity and suffering, no matter how powerful those latter paths can be. Wouldn’t you?..."