Personal Growth

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

A Way to Start Your Day, Morning Kiss by Tzemah Yoreh July 25, 2013

Clal Resident Tzemah Yoreh, Ph.D. brings us bilingual poems or daily prayers to start the day. He shares that "many people cope with Monday doldrums with a nice hot shower or a cup of coffee.

Clal Poetry in Translation Reaches Wider Audience July 25, 2013

Several of Clal teaching fellow Janet R. Kirchheimer’s poems have been translated into Russian by poet Liana Alaverdova. Six of these poems now appear on Literary Echo and in Jewish World. The poems in Literary Echo are: About Niederstetten; Summer Afternoon, 1934; Town Hall; Breaking Laws; and My Father's Sister; and the poems in the Jewish World are Where I am From; and The Photograph in My Hand.

Finding Meaning at St. Paul's School June 25, 2013

"What does it mean to be a “religious school” in the 21st century? The answer can be hard to find, and can make individuals rejoice or retreat, depending on one’s comfort level with discussing such issues...We embrace all faiths – that’s who we are...Rabbi Irwin Kula, who has twice visited St. Paul’s from New York City, including as a member of the 2013 Chapel Review Team, says that religious institutions in the 21st century must meet the challenge of recognizing those who are not religious.

‘Those we work with are my teachers in life’ June 21, 2013

"...Rabbi Steven Bayar got the whole project started when he decided he wanted to get his congregants out of their comfort zones, away from their homes, to another part of the United States. “Every congregation raises money and is invested in tzedaka programs in their communities,” he said. “We all support organizations in Israel and some support other causes and organizations by sending money.

Augmented-Reality Game Brings a Story of Jewish Labor Organizers Back to Life June 6, 2013

"There is a feeling you get when you stand on, say, the ground at Gettysburg or the steps of the Lincoln Monument and you know that something momentous, a piece of history, occurred right on that part of the Earth right beneath your feet. But what about the history that went down at less noted locations, places that you pass every day on your way to work or when you take your dog out for a walk?

Journey To Sinai June 5, 2013

Clal Resident Tzemah Yoreh, Ph.D. has published another in his Biblical Narrative (Kernel to Canon) Series, however, this volume is a bilingual edition. In Journey To Sinai he traces the development of his uniquely divergent account into the canonical text we have today. The book series develops the his work on his website,

These Video Games Won’t Rot Your Brain, They’re Changing The World June 5, 2013

"It’s not your imagination: in the past few years, the gaming world has seen an uptick in the number of socially responsible games—things like WeTopia (basically Farmville with a charitable component), Half the Sky (a choose-your-own adventure women’s empowerment game), and Foldit (a puzzle game that solves real-world science quandaries). For the best of what’s new, look no further than the nominees for the 2013 Games for Change Awards. The nominees are separated out by category.

Where positive psychology and Judaism overlap June 4, 2013

"I recently participated in a rabbinic seminar on positive psychology, a new field that aims to increase people’s happiness level. Positive psychology advocates argue that happiness, defined as “the overall experience of pleasure and meaning,” is the “ultimate currency.” They argue that no pursuit is more important than contentment and satisfaction with one’s own life, and therefore one should prioritize those pursuits that enable him or her to experience positive emotions and feel a sense of purpose.

Shabbat SHELACH: Never See Yourself as a Grasshopper May 30, 2013

"As the Israelites were about to invade the Promised Land, Moses sent out spies. He would later say that he did this at the request of the people [Deuteronomy 1:22]. Perhaps this showed a lack of Israelite confidence in God, perhaps it only revealed a lack of self-confidence. In any case, perhaps as a kind of test, God reluctantly agreed to the request.

Choosing to Remember May 27, 2013

"Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces...Remembering is not a neutral act. As we tell and retell the stories of the past, we as individuals and communities choose what to remember and what to forget. We don’t faithfully record the past, rather we reconstruct our past with the needs of contemporary culture clearly in mind – shaping and manipulating the past in order to mold the present.

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