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Irwin Kula (born November 29, 1957) is an American rabbi and author, currently serving as the president of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (CLAL). In 2008, he was listed as 7th in Newsweek’s “50 most influential rabbis” list.
Kula is the author of Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life and a co-editor of The Book of Jewish Sacred Practices: CLAL’s Guide to Everyday & Holiday Rituals and Blessings. Kula is also the co-host of the weekly radio show, Hirschfield and Kula (KXL, Portland, OR).
He is a blogger for The Huffington Post and the WashingtonPost/Newsweek.com’s “On Faith” column, and has appeared on NBC’s The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as on The O'Reilly Factor and Frontline.
In 2003, Kula hosted a 13-part public TV series, Simple Wisdom with Irwin Kula, and had a public TV special called The Hidden Wisdom of Our Yearnings. He was also featured in the 2004 film, Time for a New God,
Kula has expressed opposition at proposals for the beatification of Pope Pius XII, who was bishop of Rome during the challenging eras of the Second World War and the Cold War. In January 2009, he also argued that the Jewish reaction to the lifting of the excommunication of bishop Richard Williamson was rather disproportionate. In July 2010 he strongly criticized the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights organization, for its opposition to the construction of Cordoba House, an Islamic cultural center and mosque planned to be built near the World Trade Center site in New York City.
Kula also a recipient of 2008 Walter Cronkite Faith and Freedom Award.
Kula received a “Books for a Better Life” award, and his book "Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life" was selected by Spirituality and Health Magazine as one the 10 Best Spiritual Books of 2006.
- "Top 50 Influential Rabbis in America". Newsweek. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
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- Michael Barbaro, "Debate Heating Up on Plans for Mosque Near Ground Zero", New York Times, July 31, 2010.
- http://www.interfaithalliance.org/galareview 2008 Faith and Freedom Award Gala
- "The 10 Best Spiritual Books of 2006". Spirituality and Health Magazine. Retrieved 2009-06-21.