We dream of a world where Jewish wisdom is a public good that is accessible to all.
Embracing optimism and opportunity
No matter what the future brings, we believe it offers opportunities. From the obviously positive times to the darker moments, Clal views change itself as a chance to help people to grow and the world to flourish.
This means embracing questions and doubt (alongside answers and faith) to create and uncover the solutions we seek.
In other words, Clal embraces a conscious optimism born from thousands of years of Jewish experience and wisdom. Whether it’s developing new ideas, working with new technologies, or embracing new social movements, we are committed to being an active part of the evolution of humanity.
Privileging people over ideology
In the worldview of Clal, there is no ideology that can possibly be more valuable than even one person. We view ideologies as being in service to people, each of whom possesses infinite value, dignity, and equality. Thus, it is the people who take priority, and if there is a conflict between the two, we will always choose the welfare of people over the promotion of an ideology.
This value extends into further ones, which include seeing that being loving, just, and compassionate is not just more important than being right, it is what’s right. It is an end unto itself, and one we extend into all we do.
Championing pluralism and partial truth
To believe in the value of pluralism is not to discount the need for disagreement and even conflict. Just the opposite. Clal’s call to action is this: it is only through listening and connecting to others that we will be able to make disagreements and conflicts productive.
It is through this deep pluralism that we believe people and communities can access the partial truth of those who view the world differently than them while still retaining and strengthening their own identities and beliefs.
Building public good and communal wellbeing
We embrace questions, doubts, and change, not as steps to destroy what previously existed but to build upon it and realize what is yet undreamed.
We further believe that Jewish wisdom is not a limited good, but one meant for all people who may benefit from it. Many of the questions and doubts people hold often emerge from unmet needs: needs which can be addressed by Jewish wisdom. Jewish wisdom becomes a greater public good by embracing people, their questions, and those unmet needs.
By caring deeply about people and our relationships and investing thoughtfully in communities both old and new, we are innovating what has yet to be.
Passionate team members
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.
Director Of Operations & Administration
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.
Director of RWB and Founder of RabbiCareers.com
Rebecca W. Sirbu
Selected as one of the “Most Inspirational Rabbis in America” by The Forward Newspaper, Rabbi Sirbu sits at the leading edge of American Jewish life. She is currently the Director of Clal’s Rabbis Without Borders, a pluralist network of rabbis dedicated to serving the needs of all people through creative use of Jewish wisdom. She is also the founder of RabbiCareers.com, making it easier for rabbis and communities of all types to find each other.
Director of Innovation
Rabbi Elan Babchuck is Director of Innovation at Clal, and Founding Director of Glean Incubator, an ecosystem of support where spiritual entrepreneurs receive training, coaching, and mentorship. Prior to joining Clal, he served as Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El in Providence, RI, where he became the first religious leader to be named one of the city’s “10 to Watch”. He was ordained by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in 2012 and earned his MBA that year, as well.
Director Of Digital Media
Elad is a blogger, writer, and marketer who has spent most of his adult life creating and nurturing online communities. From the time he started a small online arts magazine (before such a thing was common) in college, to his efforts as an online marketer for startups, to his viral campaign “I Have A Therapist,” to his present-day communities of Pop Chassid, Hevria, and The Wisdom Daily, Elad cares about nothing more than connecting people who are desperately looking for a community that doesn’t exist in the physical world.