Wurzweiler Students Explore Trauma and Resilience in Israel

Collaboration With Tel Hai College Will Expose Students to Experts in the Fields of Emergency Response, Trauma and Recovery 

From May 22-25, 11 exceptional students from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work will take part in “Trauma and Interpersonal Violence,” an intensive course on trauma, emergency response and recovery at Tel Hai College in Israel.

A collaboration between Wurzweiler and the Tel Hai College Department of Social Work, the program will feature lectures and workshops on trauma intervention, site visits to Israeli agencies that provide advanced trauma care, meetings with social workers and other mental health professionals on an IDF army base and a real-time emergency response simulation exercise with army and civil defense personnel.

“Resilience studies is an important arena for social work intervention in today’s climate of natural disasters, constant violence and uncertainty. Hands-on course work in Israel is a great way to expose our students to the experts in the field,” said Dr. Saul Andron, associate professor and The Hausman Chair in Communal Social Work at Wurzweiler and the architect of the program.

“We are honored to be working with Tel Hai College, an institution that is renowned for its specialty in trauma, stress and emergency response, and excited for our students to meet with Tel Hai faculty experts, government and nonprofit groups that are at the front lines in training mental health professionals and providing services to Israelis in border communities.”

Wurzweiler faculty members Dr. Lynn Levy and Dr. Rozetta Schaeffer will join Andron on the program to present lectures and conduct group activities for the Wurzweiler and Tel Hai students.

Highlights of the program will include a lecture from Taly Levanon, director of the Israel Trauma Coalition; presentations by Dr. Moshe Farchi, director of Stress, Trauma and Resilience Studies at Tel Hai College;  a drill with the Golan Search & Rescue unit; a visit to a service center for rape victims in Kiryat Shmona; and a meeting with mental health officers stationed at the Mechva Alon army base.

“In just four days, we will provide our students with more substantive coursework in preventative practices, immediate response and post traumatic intervention than the average North American social work student can hope to gain in several semesters,” added Andron. “This program is sure to be a career-defining experience for these young mental health professionals.”

For their participation in the course, the Wurzweiler students will receive two credits towards the completion of their master’s degrees. To fulfill the course requirements, the students will be required to develop presentations about their Israel experiences to share with Wurzweiler students and faculty towards the end of the summer semester.