Irwin Kula
Rabbi; President of CLAL
01:48

Re: If you had $100 billion to give away, how would you spend it?

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Kula seeks to provide aid on three levels: local, and national, and international, from the most personal, case-driven, non-systemic individual person with pain to the largest systemic institution.

Irwin Kula

Known as both a provocative religious leader and a respected spiritual iconoclast, Irwin Kula has inspired thousands nationwide using Jewish wisdom in ways that speak to modern life.  He is the author of Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life (Hyperion, Sept. 2006), which won a “Books for a Better Life Award,” and was selected as one of “10 Best Spiritual Books of 2006.” Featured in the public TV special, “The Hidden Wisdom of Our Yearnings,” and the acclaimed film, Time for a New God, he ranked No. 8 in the “Top 50 Rabbis in America,” listed in Newsweek, and was named by Fast Company magazine and “Religion and Ethics Newsweekly” (PBS) as one of the new leaders shaping the American spiritual landscape. A regular on The Today Show, he is the co-host of Hirschfield and Kula: Intelligent Talk Radio (KXL, Portland, OR), and hosted his own public TV series, Simple Wisdom with Irwin Kula. Rabbi Kula is the President of CLAL, The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership.

Transcript
I don’t have any magic answers, you know. I’d like to balance between helping individual people, you know, in their lives and engaging in systemic change. And I think that’s always . . . that’s always the balance. Do I give to the beggar on the street? Do I give to the individual person who is homeless? Do I, you know, build that one-house makeover house? Or do I figure out how to stimulate systemic change so that the problems actually get addressed? And I’d like to think that I balance between those two things. And then all the balances – the balances between my own neighborhood, my own city in New York City and the world. So local, and national, and international. The most personal, case-driven, non-systemic individual person with pain to the largest systemic. I’d like to hope that I build leverages and partnerships; that I’d like to be able to give it away without worrying whether my name is associated with it or not. If my name associated with it actually generates greater partnerships and leverages, yes use my name. If my name keeps people from actually joining, then don’t ever use my name. It could be anonymous. I’d like to feel that those kind of tensions, I’d be able to negotiate and navigate so that at the end, that important energy – because money is one of the most important currencies and one of the most important energy forms we have; that that money will, you know, do a lot of good. Recorded on: 8/15/07


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