Wurzweiler’s Block Program Offers Israelis Cutting-Edge Social Work Education
As a high school English teacher in Jerusalem, Rivkah Weiss found students frequently turned to her for advice and guidance. But although she loved helping them navigate the personal challenges they faced, Weiss was frustrated by the sense that she could only do so much for them. “I felt like I was limited in my capacity to help them and had this strong desire to further develop my skillset so I could expand my work in this area,” she said.
2014 graduates of the Israel Block Program, left to right: Amikam Schweber, Zvia Altar and Yehuda Ish Shalom
Weiss decided to begin her master’s degree in social work at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work’s Block Program in Israel. Consisting of three summers of formal classroom social work education at Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus in New York City and two years of supervised field experience in Israel, the program is designed to enable aspiring Israeli social workers to gain cutting-edge training without having to relocate.
“The Block Program allowed me to remain in Israel where I live throughout the year and at the same time complete my studies in three summers,” said Weiss. “Wurzweiler and the Block Program particularly are known for their high academic standards and success rate in terms of job placements, and my fellow students and I also became a very close-knit group of religious and secular Israeli, American and Canadian men and women.”
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$1.4 Million Grant Will Train Students to Work With Vulnerable Youth
Drug abuse, multiple trauma experiences, underachievement and a 10 percent high school dropout rate are just some of the problems faced by adolescents growing up in high-risk environments, often leading to mental health disorders that need to be addressed. A new grant awarded to the Wurzweiler School of Social Work aims to boost the number of social workers trained to work with these vulnerable adolescents.
Wurzweiler’s Dr. Ronnie Glassman is the principal investigator for a $1.4 million grant that will train students to work with high-risk youth
Wurzweiler recently received a $1.4 million training grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services to fund over 100 social work students in clinical field placements with at-risk youth in New York City over a three-year period.
“The primary purpose of the project is to increase the number of social workers with strong clinical competencies who will work with adolescents and transitional-age youth at risk for developing or who have developed a recognized behavioral health disorder,” said Dr. Ronnie Glassman, Wurzweiler’s director of field instruction and the principal investigator for the grant. “This will be accomplished by the creation of increased social work clinical internships.”
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Students, Faculty and Alumni Honored as Points of Light at Hanukkah Dinner
Students, faculty and alumni who embody the mission of Yeshiva University were recognized as “Points of Light” during the dinner portion of Yeshiva University’s 90th Annual Hanukkah Dinner and Convocation, held at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria on December 14.
“The lesson of Hanukkah is that the Jewish people must cast the light of our values onto the world,” said YU President Richard M. Joel. “Tonight, we publicize the lights that represent the past, present, and future of Yeshiva University.”
Read more about the Points of Light below. Read the rest of this entry…
Wurzweiler’s Temimah Zucker Raises Awareness of Eating Disorders in the Jewish Community
Blogging, public speaking, running a website, counseling patients and volunteering: It’s all in a day’s work for Temimah Zucker, 24, a student at Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work.
Temimah Zucker, a recovered anorexic, is helping others cope with eating disorders
Zucker, of Teaneck, New Jersey, is a recovered anorexic who has chosen to dedicate her career to helping raise awareness of eating disorders, particularly in the Jewish community, by sharing her story with others and working professionally as a social worker to help those who suffer from this potentially fatal disease.
Eating disorders—which affect people of all ages and ethnicities and have the highest premature mortality rate of any mental illness—are often kept hidden, complicating treatment and prevention efforts. Zucker was diagnosed with anorexia in 2008 when she was a freshman in college, but suffered in silence for months as the disease took a toll on her body and mental health. It wasn’t until her parents showed her “Hungry To Be Heard,” a documentary produced by the Orthodox Union, that she realized she was not alone in her battle, and that there were treatments available to help her recover.
“It was the first time I realized I had a problem,” she said. “There is so much denial and resistance in the Jewish community surrounding this, and I realized I wasn’t alone. With the support of my parents, I started treatment and began my journey to recovery.” Read the rest of this entry…
November 14 Conference Will Explore Psychosocial Care for Elders, Caregivers and Serious Illness
Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social of Work will host the Joanna Mellor Annual Gerontology Conference on November 14. This is the fourth palliative care conference that Wurzweiler has organized in recent years and the first one that will address issues relating to elder care and palliative care concurrently.
“Elder care and palliative care are not separate issues; they’re complementary,” said Dr. Rozetta Wilmore-Schaeffer, associate professor and co-chair of the Gerontology Sequence at Wurzweiler, and one of the conference organizers. “It’s important to recognize that all people dealing with palliative care are not elders, but all elder care includes palliative care.”
Joanna Mellor, for whom the conference is named, died two years ago and had been at Wurzweiler for 10 years. Read the rest of this entry…
Wurzweiler’s Susan Bendor to Retire in January After Five Decades Dedicated to Social Work
Over half a century after she began her career as a social worker, Dr. Susan Bendor will retire in January, capping off 26 years at Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work and a remarkable 52 years in the field.
Wurzweiler’s Dr. Susan Bendor has dedicated her career to helping others.
Born in Budapest, Hungary, Bendor survived the Holocaust as a young child by hiding in a cellar for nine months. By the time she was 21, she had lived in six countries—Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, Israel and Germany—and by 25, she had earned her master’s degree. Her interest in social work can be traced back to her family’s early years in Canada.
“Thanks to a wonderful hospital social worker who helped our immigrant family through a very rough crisis and lightened the burden on our young shoulders, giving all of us a sense of hope, I realized how important and satisfying it must be to make such a difference in the lives of families coping with a variety of challenges beyond their control,” said Bendor. “I decided to follow in his footsteps. It was a privilege to enter a profession that is committed to social justice and to treating everyone with dignity, as were the individuals who saved our lives during World War II and continue to inspire me even today.” Read the rest of this entry…
Wurzweiler School of Social Work Celebrates Dr. Joyce Brenner’s 27 Years of Service to its Block Program
Upon her retirement, Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work celebrated Dr. Joyce Brenner’s more than 27 years of service to its Block Program in Israel by naming her the first recipient of its Distinguished Alumni Award at the Block Program Commencement on July 23.
Dr. Joyce Brenner delivered the keynote address at this year’s Block Program Commencement
“Dr. Brenner has literally been a part of Wurzweiler from its beginnings in 1957, entering our Masters of Social Work program in 1962,” said Dr. Carmen Ortiz Hendricks, Dorothy and David Schachne Dean of Wurzweiler. “She has single-handedly developed and strengthened the relationship between Wurzweiler and the Block Israeli Field Work Program for 27 years. She is the face of Wurzweiler in Israel and a respected leader of the social work profession as well. Dr. Brenner has earned the Distinguished Alumni Award, as she leaves a legacy of hundreds of professional social workers serving the people of Israel and the U.S.”
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Learning to Understand Diverse Populations, Wurzweiler Students Visit NJ Penitentiary
On July 9 a group of students from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work went to Northern State Prison in Newark, New Jersey—not because they committed any crime, but as part of their training to offer social services to diverse populations in need.
“When I first began bringing students to Northern State Prison, it immediately became apparent that it was a powerful experience and more trips were added,” said Dr. Jill Becker-Feigeles, an adjunct assistant professor at Wurzweiler, who has accompanied students on more than 20 such trips since 2003. “The trip brings together so many facets of the students’ social work education: the ways incarceration impacts development at various stages of an individual’s life, issues with policy implications, diversity and ethics. Most importantly, the trip puts a human face on a population sorely in need of services and largely unrecognized, and has become the highlight of the students’ first year at Wurzeiler.”
At the prison—a maximum-security facility that houses an adult population of male offenders for mostly violent crimes—the group first heard from Wanda Carrero, the prison’s educational coordinator, who provided a brief orientation about what to expect. Read the rest of this entry…
Ferkauf and Wurzweiler to Host March 31 Panel on Eating Disorders
Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology and Wurzweiler School of Social Work will host a presentation on “Dispelling Myths: Eating Disorders in the Jewish Community,” on March 31 at YU’s Israel Henry Beren Campus in midtown.
Eating disorders—which affect people of all ages and ethnicities and have the highest premature mortality rate of any mental illness—are often kept hidden, complicating treatment and prevention efforts. Recognizing the seriousness and increasing prevalence of eating disorders, Ferkauf and Wurzweiler are training more psychologists and social workers to diagnose and treat people who suffer from these devastating illnesses.
The event, cosponsored by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), will be open to the public and feature three experts in the field: Dr. Esther Altmann, an educator and clinical psychologist in private practice who served as an eating disorders consultant to Jewish organizations; Ilene V. Fishman, a social worker specializing in the treatment of eating disorders who taught Wurzweiler’s first elective course on the topic last fall; and Dr. Yael Latzer, professor at Haifa University and director of the Eating Disorders Clinic of Rambam Medical Center, which she founded in 1992. Read the rest of this entry…
Wurzweiler Gains Exclusive Screening Rights to ’Bullycam’; Will Incorporate Film Into Curriculum
In an effort to better educate its students about the dangers of bullying, and how to fight them, Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work has gained the exclusive screening rights to “Bullycam: The Video Diary of Kelly Wilson“, a film depicting the relentless bullying of a high school teen from the perspective of the victim.
Wurzweiler initially held an advance screening of the film, which won Best Narrative Feature at the Metropolitan Film Festival, NYC Independent Film Festival, and the Buffalo/Niagara Film Festival, as well as the Thin Line Award at the Thin Line Film Festival, before its premiere in 2011. It elicited such a strong reaction then and in the months that followed that Wurzweiler decided to revisit it as a potentially critical component of the social work curriculum, focusing on its unique ability to help students better understand the many forms bullying often takes among children and teens today and empathize with the emotions and motivations of victims after witnessing a firsthand account. Read the rest of this entry…