Personal Growth

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

The Wisdom Daily: When Empathy Prevents Compassion December 29, 2016

"Empathy and compassion go hand-in-hand, right? It’s a given that the best way to care about other people is to walk in their shoes and to see how they feel.

The Dangers of Purity December 28, 2016

"The holiday of Hanukkah should be a fraught one for American Jews. Most of us know it as a gift-giving holiday, oriented towards our children, and we like to focus on its religious aspect as a holiday of religious freedom. And it is those things. But it is also other things, darker, and bloody. Because it is also a story of the Jewish people divided: preferring assimilation to Jewish practice, and some assimilating to an extent that they rejected circumcision and participated in idol worship.

Designing for Impact: A User Centric Model for Hillel December 28, 2016

"This fall, nine Hillel outposts across North America started testing out whether Jewish organizations can become more relevant by developing a radically “user-centric” mindset and then building all of their other institutional priorities, structures and communication in support of that mindset.

These Hillels – from universities large and small, public and private, commuter and residential, and of varying size of staff and budget – are the first cohort of the Campus Leadership Impact (CLI) Platform, an intensive two-year training in the methodology and strategies of Design Thinking.

CLI is the first project launched by the Jewish Design Initiative (JDI), an independent umbrella organization founded by Rabbi Yonah Schiller aimed at developing Design Thinking platforms across the Jewish organizational landscape.

Schiller developed the CLI Platform in partnership with CLAL – The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership and a national foundation in response to persistent interest from other Hillels that saw Tulane Hillel increase its participation by 230 percent and more than triple its annual budget over the past seven years...."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: A Rabbi’s Christmas Message December 23, 2016

"With the flurry of discussion about how Jewish and interfaith families are handling the confluence of Hanukkah and Christmas this year, I'm here to say ‘chill out.’ As a rabbi whose job is to engage with and support interfaith families, I'm well aware that this time of year may create angst for interfaith couples as well as their parents and relatives. I'm not dismissing or diminishing the very real emotions that are tied up with these holiday celebrations.

Try An Adult Spin On Hanukkah This Year December 22, 2016

Try an adult spin on Hanukkah this year.
It's probably what you, and 100 million other Americans, could use just about now.

Download Part 1 of the Hanukkah card.

Download Part 2 of the Hanukkah card.

THE OLD HOLIDAY SONG begins with the words, I have a little dreidel, but in the wake of our recent election, many feel so spun around- by dejection, elation or just plain confusion-perhaps we should change the words to, I am a little dreidel.

Turns out that a good game of dreidel could help us do much more than bring back happy Hanukkah memories. It could remind us how best to move ahead together when things feel like they are spinning as wildly as a holiday top.

Playing dreidel is all about the Hebrew letters on its 4 sides-nun, gimmel, hey and shin-each of which corresponds to an action taken by the player who spins it and, if you stop to think about it, can guide us toward the collective wisdom we need both nationally and personally.

The Wisdom Daily: Just How Transformational Is Burning Man? December 22, 2016

"...Just how transformational is Burning Man? As an intended model for a utopian society with ‘Ten Principles’ ranging from radical inclusion, civic responsibility and participation to radical self-reliance, decommodification and gifting (among others), how much does this granddaddy of all transformational festivals represent the ideal movement towards a society that is far from the ‘default world’ we live in?..."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Saying No To Silencing: The Jewish Duty To Speak Out December 22, 2016

"Spirituality is biography. Jewish spirituality and Jewish biography both demand a duty to speak out, reject silencing, and stand up against any power that would silence another. Such is the call of Hanukkah and this moment of meaning for Jewish life...."

By Rabbi David Markus, a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, from the Rabbis Without Borders Blog on My Jewish

The Wisdom Daily: Write A Letter To Someone You Don't Expect Will Ever Write Back December 21, 2016

"We all have heroes in our lives. For me the obvious, no-brainers are my amazing father, the surgeons who saved my life, Walt Disney and a few other people who have inspired me to be strong, resilient, creative and compassionate. I discovered a new hero in my life long after I actually met him. In fact, you could say I knew him literally in another life...."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Don't Let The Light Go Out! December 21, 2016

"Last night our congregation's chant meditation group met to contemplate light as we arrived at the cusp of the darkest day of the year and looked ahead to the festival of Hanukkah. Many of us in our community have been struggling to see bright times ahead or feel optimistic about what may lie ahead in the USA and beyond as we enter 2017.

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