Spotlight on CLAL
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"THE HIDDEN WISDOM OF OUR YEARNINGS"
Rabbi Irwin Kula Presents
a New National Public TV Special,
Inspired by Jewish Wisdom, on Finding the Sacred Messiness of Life, in
November – December, 2006
First Time Ever Pledge Special with a Rabbi
In the wake of the tragedies that have touched our country recently comes a
voice that comforts, inspires, and teaches us how to cope, find purpose, and
discover growth. “…The compelling new two-hour special for Public TV, “The
Hidden Wisdom of Our Yearnings with Irwin Kula,” introduces a new spiritual
leader for our age. Using Jewish wisdom in a ground-breaking way, Rabbi Kula
offers a fresh language for our search for meaning, engaging audiences in a
process of self-discovery to understand how to “want it all and always have
enough.” The show, based on his new book, Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred
Messiness of Life (Hyperion, Sept. 2006), endorsed by such leading
authors as Harold Kushner, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, and Mitch Albom, will
air in almost every major city nationwide….”
Rabbi Kula begins the program by laying the foundation for understanding the
“hidden wisdom of our yearnings.” He explains the concept that the space
between what we want and what we have is filled with choice and creativity;
that life is filled with “sacred messiness,” and it’s from the messiness
that we learn the most. From there, he discusses the yearning to know
ourselves and the idea that “the more we allow ourselves to unfold, the less
we will unravel”– that we are made up of many selves, each legitimate and
with great wisdom.
Next, he explores the yearning for love – the place where we most unravel.
He leads viewers on a path to achieve greater love and intimacy and shows us
that the messiness the disappointments, conflicts, and tensions in our
relationships is the path to greater love and intimacy. In one of the most
touching segments, he chants a very moving prayer using the final cell phone
conversations from the victims of 9-11. The final act focuses on our
yearning for happiness, how we can want it all and always have enough; the
Jewish wisdom of “dayenu”; and how happiness is truly in the giving, not the
“My ideal would be that this show helps people to know themselves better,
love more intimately, and find greater happiness using an ancient wisdom,”
says Irwin Kula. “Public Television has taken a bold step in airing this
type of program with a rabbi. Its vote of confidence recognizes the value
Jewish wisdom brings to people’s spiritual and personal lives. It is
important for people to show their support of this type of programming by
becoming a new station member, or by renewing their membership.”
A bridge-builder and charismatic teacher, cutting-edge thinker and untypical
rabbi, Irwin Kula, President of CLAL-The National Jewish Center for Learning
and Leadership, has inspired thousands of people of all backgrounds to
deepen their self-awareness and re-examine their lives through the lenses of
ancient wisdom texts. His unique ability to articulate past wisdom, insights
and stories in a way that speaks directly to the spiritual interests and
religious pluralism of the entire country has gained him an ever growing fan
The tools for this exploration and transformation, in Rabbi Kula’s hands,
are the stories that have been handed down through the ages in texts from
the Old Testament and the Talmud. With humor and humanity, his stories
integrate the teachings drawn from spirituality, faith and philosophy into a
message of transformation: that each person has the power to transform
his/her life through insight, self-awareness and applicable practices.
Named by both Fast Company magazine and PBS’ Religion and Ethics
Newsweekly as one of the new leaders shaping the American spiritual
landscape, Rabbi Kula is no newcomer to public television audiences. He was
prominently featured in the acclaimed Frontline program, “Faith and
Doubt at Ground Zero,” where his appearance generated a flood of grateful
viewer mail from those who identified themselves as Christian, Muslim,
Jewish and other. Kula has also hosted the public television series,
Simple Wisdom With Irwin Kula, in which he uses Jewish wisdom to explore
the central issues of life: family, love, money, spirituality and work.
“The Hidden Wisdom of Our Yearnings” was produced by JTN Productions®. JTN
produces meaningful television programming that reflects the richness and
diversity of Jewish traditions. JTN’s mission is to enrich Jewish life
through a dynamic exposure to Jewish culture, history, public affairs and
the arts, and JTN is the only non-profit producer and distributor of Jewish
television programming in the United States. Today, JTN’s programs are
carried by over 90 public television affiliates nationwide, reaching over 80
million American homes and millions of viewers in Israel, Canada, New
Zealand, Hungary, Japan, and China.
“The Hidden Wisdom of Our Yearnings With Irwin Kula” was taped live at the
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, Illinois on April 26,
2006 before a captivated audience of more than 600 fans.
To find out more about “The Hidden Wisdom of Our Yearnings,"
Please show your support for
this program and become a new public TV station member or renew your
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