National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership

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The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (CLAL) is a leadership training institute, think tank, and resource center. It is an inter-disciplinary and inter-denominational movement, in which rabbis from all of the major Jewish denominations in North America are participants. The organisation is described by The Jewish Daily Forward as a "think-tank dedicated to questions of Jewish identity and religious its quest to expand the boundaries of Jewish communal life".[1]

According to the organization's website, "CLAL links Jewish wisdom with innovative scholarship to deepen civic and spiritual participation in American life. CLAL's interdisciplinary programs explore religious and national identity. The CLAL faculty, with its reputation for excellence, represents rabbis and scholars from many streams and disciplines, and provides cutting-edge teaching, lectures, courses, seminars, and consulting across the country."

Rabbis Irwin Kula and Brad Hirschfield presently serve as co-presidents of CLAL.[2][3]


CLAL is an acronym formed from the organization's English language name (Center for Leadership and Learning). It is also a transliteration of a Hebrew word that can mean community, as in the expressions "Klal Yisrael" which refers to the Jewish people as a whole. It is intended to suggest the organization's stated mission to serve as a center of interdenominational cooperation in American Judaism.[4]


CLAL was founded in 1974, by Rabbi Irving Greenberg, Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, and Steve Shaw.


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