Clal builds bridges across communities to encourage pluralism, diversity, and openness.
"...Just as the world is filled with gurus of bootstrap independence, telling us that it's all about us and the choices that we make – that we can have the life we want if only we put our minds to it and live accordingly – there will be studies suggesting the same thing about cancer. Don't want cancer? Don't do x or y, and all will be well – at least about 80% of the time.
Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz, President & Dean of Valley Beit Midrash (http://www.valleybeitmidrash.org/) interviews Rabbi Dr. Tsvi Blanchard, renowned scholar and professor on the topic of Rabbi Blanchard's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. Rabbi Blanchard talks about his involvement as being his way to express deep religious values, and to him, that moment in time, specifically the march on Selma in which he took part, was one of an important and genuine consensus on a major national value."
"...The magic of storytelling has not been lost or abandoned. It has relocated: Hollywood is the heir to religious storytelling. Film and television inspire our sense of wonder and connect us to big ideas. Religious stories don’t do that for everyone anymore. But we still need this inspiration, and we can still get it if we go to the right place...."
"...The truth is, for many of us, that it’s not always so easy to stop and give thanks. How often do we stop and really think about the deeper meaning of the abundance of blessing that may be in our lives? Thanking can be a difficult and complex process when we are not always aware of the things for which we should be thankful. To be able to have the consciousness to be able to thank, we have to be able to understand clearly what is actually happening around us.
"Two highly respected experts (Dr. James Doty is the head of Stanford's Center for Compassion and Autism Research and Education, and Rabbi Irwin Kula is the president of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership) will lead an intellectually charged discussion about how the head and the heart are connected.
"What would you say to the idea of turning a former concentration camp into a luxury beach-front hotel? No, this is not some theoretical ethics quiz, nor is it the latest project from the European television producers who created a supposed ‘reality’ TV show that invited participants to ‘re-enact’ living through the holocaust.
"Carolyn is Baptist. She always will be. And she comes to my synagogue regularly. By regularly, I mean she comes to everything. Friday night services, Saturday morning Torah study, holiday celebrations, Adult Ed. Everything. Although she brings her Bible and her faith in Jesus along with her to every synagogue function, she doesn’t come to evangelize. And she’s not interested in converting to Judaism. She’s just interested in what Judaism has to offer...."
"...In my own experience, I have had those moments both in the personal and familial and in engagements of interfaith dialogue and encounter. I have sat across from another human being who did not share my theology, my practices or my community and yet I was able to see his humanity and feel connected to him in a way that transcended the differences...."
"I wasn’t in the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial when Dr. Martin Luther King gave his great oration, and I am not old enough to have been at Woodstock, but I’ve been to rock concerts and to political actions where I have felt powerfully connected to all present, our gathering feeling like a profound expression of brother and sisterhood...In such moments of anticipation or hope, my heart has been open to tens or hundreds and, in a few instances, to thousands of others.
"...But a year and a half ago, when I moved to Philadelphia, I came to Philadelphia primarily to live with my partner, and, secondarily, to be a professional. I grieved the loss of the home I had built. I was moving out of the community of learners and the mentors I had found over the course of eight years studying, living and working in Boston. No longer a student, I felt pressure to know my professional calling, to have perfected my craft...."