Touro fellowship addresses Orthodox mental health needs

Touro fellowship addresses Orthodox mental health needs

From left, Miriam Turk, Nefesh International’s executive director, with Dr. Steven Huberman, dean of the Touro Graduate School of Social Work, and Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, director of operations at Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services.

Touro College’s Graduate School of Social Work has created a special fellowship for members of Nefesh, the international network of Orthodox mental health professionals. Dr. Steven Huberman of Teaneck, the school’s founding dean, announced the fellowship at the organization’s 18th annual international conference, held recently on Long Island.

The annual Nefesh fellowships, established in memory of Touro’s founding president, Dr. Bernard Lander, and his wife, Sarah, will support those committed to serve people who are most vulnerable and at risk in the Orthodox Jewish community.

“It was Dr. Lander’s vision to create a new school of social work that would be diverse and serve the Orthodox community, especially those most vulnerable,” Dean Steven Huberman said.

Nearly 300 mental health professionals from the Orthodox community worldwide attended the conference. Nefesh attracts the largest gathering of Orthodox mental health professionals in the world, including experts in the field, who debate and address the challenges facing the observant Jewish community.

Dean Huberman also led a three-hour seminar on “Being an Effective Supervisor, Agency Manager, or Executive” for leaders of the social services and mental health community, including participants from the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, Nefesh, and Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services.

During dinner, David Mandel, Ohel’s CEO and chair of the Touro College Graduate School of Social Work’s professional advisory committee, was presented with the Esther Solomon award by Rabbi Dovid Cohen, the rabbinic authority for both Ohel and Nefesh.

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