Politics & Culture

Clal offers new perspectives on contemporary issues, bringing Jewish insights to the American public.

Litigation v Conversation: Rabbi Brad Hirschfield on Discrimination in the Workplace February 27, 2015

This week the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case involving a young Muslim woman and Abercrombie and Fitch. Samantha Elauf’s attorneys claim she was discriminated against when she was not hired because she wore a hijab, which violates the retailer’s “Look” policy. Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, president of Clal and co-founder and executive editor of TheWisdomDaily.com, says that maybe what we need is not so much litigation, but “to imagine bigger and talk more” in an increasingly diverse culture.

From Odyssey Networks’ FAITH ON THE RECORD

The Wisdom Daily: How ‘Birdman’ Proves Money Isn’t Everything February 26, 2015

"...We could all take a lesson. Rather than giving prizes to films and artists who contribute most to the industry's bottom line, or voting for storylines that spoke to Hollywood insiders the most, the Academy seems to want to do more. Beyond just the cool factor or the profit margin, those who nominate and select the Oscar winners often do so to celebrate the message of a film..."

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The Wisdom Daily: An Exchange with a Hero February 25, 2015

"There's much about social media that degrades conversation and exacerbates polarization. But, like every technology, it also empowers us and offers opportunities to speak across boundaries and borders. Tim Byrd, a veteran of the war in Iraq who fought in Mosul, is a juvenile corrections officer in Washington state, a husband and a father of five. I met him on Facebook, where we connected after he heard my guest spot on Glenn Beck's show.

Release Party for New CD by Andrew Hahn, the Kirtan Rabbi, with Bibi McGill - Special Guest February 24, 2015

The Kirtan Rabbi’s third album, Nondual, has been released. Sponsored by Clal and Romemu, the CD release party will take place on Saturday evening, February 28 at 8:00pm at Integral Yoga. Appearing with the Kirtan Rabbi is Shoshana Jedwab, Taylor Bergren-Chrisman, Emily Stern and the Posse, a full-on rocking band, featuring BIBI MCGILL, Beyoncé's lead guitar player.

Andrew Hahn, the Kirtan Rabbi, "First We Sing" February 24, 2015

It was difficult for Rabbi Andrew Hahn to accept that a traditional rabbinical path was not his calling. Then he discovered Krishna Das’s music. A harmonium purchase came next, and he began composing music based on Hebrew melodies using the call and response structure of kirtan.

The Wisdom Daily: Some People Need to ‘Stay Weird’ to Stay Alive February 24, 2015

"...We all need hope. And the more hopeless things seem, the more we need the encouragement of others. By offering both, Moore did what so many award-winners attempt to do in their acceptance speeches - to make a difference. It worked where many others have failed, because he shared a piece of his experience. He humanized what's so often theorized, and in doing so, spoke to people across many divides that usually only help correctness get in the way of compassion..."

How Family Holocaust Stories Became Multimedia Art Exhibit February 24, 2015

"...Janet R. Kirchheimer feels a personal responsibility to share Holocaust stories with the next generation — not simply by telling people what happened, but by portraying the experience through the arts. Kirchheimer does it through poetry and film…. Kirchheimer’s 2013 film, “How I Knew and When,” is based on one of her poems. The short film stars Kirchheimer and her mother and provides poignant vignettes of their relatives’ experiences both during and immediately after the war...."

The Wisdom Daily: Norway’s Beautiful Ring of Peace February 23, 2015

"...The Peace Ring was a symbolic act, to show that these Muslims and the many volunteers who participated with them are committed to protect their sisters and brothers who are Jews, and to do so in the name of Islam, the faith that inspires them and to which they devote themselves (organizers were reportedly inspired after a Copenhagen synagogue was attacked earlier this month)..."

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Rabbis Without Borders: When rabbis won’t speak about Israel February 20, 2015

"...“Israel right now is the third rail — they’re scared to touch it. They don’t want to alienate or inflame some portion of their congregation.” Rabbi [Rebecca] Sirbu said that the narrative about Israel that people believe has changed over the years. The older generation, who lived through the founding of Israel or the Six Day War, have a far different belief system than those who grew up in the 1990s.

How Do We End Religious Extremism? February 20, 2015

World leaders met at a recent conference in Washington, D.C., to discuss how best to address the dangerous rise in religious extremism. But we'd be wise to take a cue from ordinary citizens who understand religious peacemaking, and don't sit idly by while governments debate what to do: "The Muslim community of Oslo, Norway, are building what they call a ring of peace around the central synagogue." Watch my video below for more insight and discussion.

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