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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 getting.

“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 base.

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," click here.

Please show your support for this program and become a new public TV station member or renew your membership.


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