Personal Growth

Clal makes the gifts of Jewish tradition accessible tools for spiritual growth and development.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field:Intermarriage Questions Go Beyond “How Will They Raise the Kids?” November 18, 2014

"A couple of years ago I received a call from a long-time congregant, Steve (I’ve changed his name and other identifying details). He’s very nice, not very involved in synagogue life at this point, though he might have been when his kids were in religious school, before I was the rabbi here. The particular role he takes on, year after year, is setting up for the break-the-fast after Yom Kippur. He enjoys it, and it’s important to him. A few years ago his wife died, too young. I did her funeral..."

Tzemah Yoreh: Book of Mercy November 17, 2014

In this book, Clal Resident Bible Criticism Scholar Tzemah Yoreh, Ph.D. writes that in J's version of the Genesis account the world wasn't created in seven days, it was already there. God was not an aloof deity whose mere words could create worlds, but an insecure and entirely immanent being.

The Pain & Pleasure of Difference: How an Exclusive People Commits to Inclusion November 14, 2014

The Stamford Jewish Family Service worked with Rabbi Steve Greenberg to create five events in the community between November 11-14 for the annual Sam Cohen Lecture Series. This is video of Rabbi Greenberg's community lecture held at Stamford's Ferguson Library that was screened on the Jewish Broadcasting Service on Monday evening, January 12, 2015.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: What's The Deal With Seinfeld's Self-Diagnosis? November 13, 2014

"Last week's announcement by Jerry Seinfeld that he is "probably on the autism spectrum" has been met with mixed emotions by those of us who are connected to the autism community...."

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By Rabbi Rebecca Schorr, Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, from the Jewish Week

Brad Hirschfield on Removing Religious Holidays from the School Calendar November 13, 2014

This week, the Board of Education in Mongomery County, Maryland voted 7 to 1 to eliminate references to all religious holidays in their published calendar for 2015-2016. They acted in response to a request from the community's Muslim leaders that the Muslim holy day of Eid al-Adha be added alongside holidays such as Christmas, Easter, Yom Kippur and Rosh Hoshanah.

The Wisdom Daily: The Future Starts Here November 13, 2014

"We all know and feel that science and technology are transforming how we work, love, and play. Our lives are being affected inside and out: how our brain works, how we communicate, connect and create, how we parent and politic, how we learn and heal and die, our lifestyle and culture. There are techno-utopians who think this is the be-all end-all and techno-dystopians who think this is simply the end.

Priorities that could move our Jewish community forward November 12, 2014

Publisher Jaime Stern of the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix was among the panelists discussing what the community’s priorities should be at a Valley Beit Midrash event held at Congregation Beth Israel on Oct. 22. Jewish News published a recap, “Panel addresses community priorities,” in the Oct. 31 issue. Readers have asked that we provide more information on what was discussed. What follows is an adaptation of her prepared remarks in which she mentions Rabbi Irwin Kula.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: I Am No Soldier: Do We Have An Obligation To Serve? November 12, 2014

"To me, “father” and “soldier” are almost antithetical words. My 89-year-old parent was an English professor. He taught Shakespeare. His world was (and still is to a certain extent) a man of theatre, books, film and intellectual banter. A hammer and a screwdriver were dangerous tools in his hands. His mind was much stronger than his muscles. But my father was indeed a soldier...."

The Wisdom Daily: Is Football the New Tobacco? November 11, 2014

"Could football really be the new tobacco, as suggested by the cover of the NY Times Magazine and to be fair, by The Dish's Andrew Sullivan 2.5 years ago? Before you go calling me some nanny state, un-American alarmist just looking for one more legitimate pleasure that people should be free to enjoy, watch this video which details the brain damage sustained by high school football players..."

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The Wisdom Daily: Songwriting: Saving Veterans Lives November 10, 2014

"Darden Smith is an innovator of the human spirit. I met this charismatic, humble, talented, Texas musician / singer / songwriter a couple of months ago at the BIF10 innovation summit where with guitar in hand, he told his story of how the pursuit of the song has kept him on this planet.

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