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BJE: Helping Children and Teens Cope with Trauma

BJE: Helping Children and Teens Cope with Trauma

Dec 18, 2018

Increases in anti-Semitism and violence in schools, as well as the recent tragic wildfires across the state, have posed greater challenges for educators working with Jewish students. 

In response, BJE recently hosted two video conferences for educators, titled: "Working with Jewish Students Through Traumatic Times."

The first, for the Professional Learning Community of the LA Jewish Teen Initiative (JTI), focused on working with teens. Panelists included: Chris Herman, Teen Director/Diller Coordinator of the JCC Pittsburgh; Rabbi Melissa Zalkin Stollman, Director of Lifelong Learning at Congregation Kol Tikvah in Parkland, Florida; and Rabbi Paul Kipnes of Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas, California.  The LAJTI is co-funded by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the Jim Joseph Foundation, with seed funding provided by the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles.   

A second, for BJE's Reshet LA Religious School Network, centered on dealing with these kinds of issues in a religious school setting, and included panelists: Rabbi Keren Gorban, Associate Rabbi and Religious School Director of Temple Sinai in Pittsburgh; Chaplain Jennifer Eaves Nye, Associate Spiritual Leader at Valley Outreach Synagogue; and Julie Brenglass, LMFT, School Counselor at deToledo High School.

Panelists shared their recent experiences and discussed what they've learned about working with Jewish students during times of stress, trauma and tragedy. More than 30 educators from across Los Angeles participated in the video conferences.

Rabbi Dalia Samansky of Temple Ahavat Shalom commented: "The webinar topic was relevant, important, and ever expanding.  The presenters were varied, informative, and experienced in various kinds of crisis and response.  The webinar format allowed experts from around the country to join our conversation in a way that would have been financially prohibitive in the past.  It also allowed our time to be better spent in conversation rather than traffic."

For information about the LA Jewish Teen Initiative or BJE's Reshet LA Religious School Network, contact David Lewis, BJE's Director of Experiential Education and Engagement Services at [email protected] or (323) 761-8618.

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