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Listed for many years in Newsweek as one of America’s “50 Most Influential Rabbis,” and recognized as one of our nation’s leading “Preachers & Teachers,” by Beliefnet.com, Fox News regular contributor, Washington Post blogger, and think tank President Brad Hirschfield is the author of You Don’t Have To Be Wrong For Me To Be Right: Finding Faith Without Fanaticism (Harmony, 2008). He also conceived and hosted two groundbreaking series for Bridges TV—American Muslim TV Network, Building Bridges: Abrahamic Perspectives on the World Today (three seasons), and American Pilgrimage. He is also the Co-founder and Executive Editor of The Wisdom Daily.
Rabbi Irwin Kula is a disruptive spiritual innovator and rogue thinker. A 7th generation rabbi he is Co-President of Clal–The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership a do-tank committed to making Jewish a Public Good. A thought leader on the intersection of innovation, religion, and human flourishing, Irwin has worked with leaders from the Dalai Lama to Queen Noor and with organizations, foundations, and businesses in the United States and around the world to inspire people to live with greater passion, purpose, creativity and compassion.
As Director of Operations and Administration, Aliza J. Kaplan manages the operations of the organization, and her responsibilities include: business, financial and legal issues, short-term and long-range budgets, resource development and production, web based-services, and human resources.
Rabbi Julia Appel is known for creating welcoming and diverse Jewish spaces for exploration and empowerment. Rabbi Appel creates and leads Clal’s city-wide and graduate training programs in innovation and Jewish entrepreneurship. Ordained by the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College, she is passionate about creating Jewish community that meets the challenges of the 21st century – in which Jewish identity is a choice, not an obligation. She recently founded the start-up Bina Community Circles, a new spiritual project fostering Jewish personal flourishing and communal change through deep relationship-building circles.
Rabbi Elan Babchuck is a rabbi and entrepreneur who spends much of his time exploring the rich intersections between these two traditions. He’s committed to leaving behind a world that is more compassionate, connected, and just than the one he found, and – in pursuit of that commitment – he is the Director of Innovation at Clal, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, and the Founding Executive Director of Glean Network, an incubator, and network for entrepreneurs who are building new models of faith in action, which partners with Columbia Business School.
Joshua Stanton is Rabbi of East End Temple in Manhattan and a Senior Fellow at Clal. He serves on the Board of Governors of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations, which liaises on behalf of Jewish communities worldwide with the Vatican and other international religious bodies.
Shelli Aderman comes to Clal from a varied and exciting background, where she started learning to code computers as a child. As an adult, Shelli continued her fascination with all things behind-the-scenes in a career of theatrical stage management and administration. As the Program Administrator for many of Clal’s varied projects, including Glean, Rabbis Without Borders, and Stand and See, she gets to use all of her backstage skills in the support of rabbis.
Janet R. Kirchheimer is a Clal Teaching Fellow, Assistant to the Presidents, and LEAP Program Manager. A poet, essayist, creative writing teacher, and filmmaker, she is the author of How to Spot One of Us (2007, Clal). Nominated for a Pushcart Prize, her work has appeared in numerous journals, anthologies, and on-line publications.
Lela Casey has a BA in International Politics from Penn State and a BA in Elementary Education from Rhode Island College. After teaching for several years, she began pursuing a career in writing. Her work has been featured on many websites including Kveller, Hevria, and Elephant Journal.
Along with her work as assistant editor for The Wisdom Daily, she currently is an arts and culture journalist for Radius Mag and guest editor at Hevria.