To Educate, Listen, and Provide Resources

Our Mission

To decrease the stigma surrounding mental illness through conversation and education, while providing a safe place for those affected to seek support and advice.

Why Now

The status quo is unacceptable. 40% of people will have a diagnosable mental health disorder in their lifetime. 20% in any given year. Essentially everyone has family or a friend affected. According to the NIMH up to 50% of these people are untreated leading to higher morbidity and mortality. Too many people with mental illness are silent because they are afraid of their reputations in "the community". Too many mothers suffer because talking to someone might ruin their child's chances of making good friends, getting into the right schools, and finding a spouse. Kids and teens are starving and cutting themselves; feeling hopeless and with nowhere to turn due to lack of support and education.

How We Will Accomplish Our Mission

We will accomplish this by acknowledging that mental illness is real and common, and giving a voice to those who are afraid to speak. Through education and communication, we will begin to understand and eradicate the stigma that surrounds mental health/illness. Those affected will receive support through the Support Room, Live Chats, and Resource pages.

 

We will further our mission and reach into the community by initiating mental illness essay competitions and sending our curricula and speakers into schools, synagogues, and other venues.

 

 

Our Hopes

In the Jewish community, those who suffer from mental illness face unique challenges and find it particularly difficult to confront the stigma and find confidants or professionals who understand their unique values and way of life. Whether you personally have a mental illness, have a relationship with someone who does, or want to be an educated and informed member of your greater community, we hope this website will be the source of guidance, inspiration, and support that is so desperately needed.

Our Team

Executive Board

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Founder and President

Dr. Ariel Mintz grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After spending two years learning in Israel, at Derech Eitz Chaim and Shaalivim, he earned his BA in Psychology at Yeshiva Univesity in New York. He went on to obtain his MD at Oakland University William Beaumont School of medicine. He is currently a licensed physician working to complete his training in General Psychiatry at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. After that, he hopes to subspecialize in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He has a supportive and talented wife and two wonderful children. He is very passionate about destigmatizing mental illness in the Jewish community and bringing comfort to those who are suffering. Ariel can be reached at arielmintz@refuathanefesh.com.

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Vice President of Creative Board

Shanee Markovitz was born in Israel and grew up Southern Florida. She is currently studying at Midreshet Nishmat in Jerusalem and plans to attend the honors program at Stern College for Women in the fall of 2017. Shanee is a big proponent of destigmatizing mental health and being open about it. Her own experiences, including her mother's suicide, have led her to get involved, speak out, and make a difference. She has written popular articles on numerous sites including the Forward and is in the process of writing a book about various mental health topics. She speaks in public forums about the effect mental illness has had on her life and the wisdom she has attained from her struggles, as well as the impact mental health has on individuals and communities. She is devoted to seeing the stigma of mental illness disappear during her lifetime. She would love for you to join with her on the quest to destigmatize mental illness and support those in need. Shanee can be reached at shaneemarkovitz@refuathanefesh.com.

 

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Vice President of Advisory Board

Dr. Aryeh Goldberg grew up in Toronto, Canada and spent a year and a half studying in Israel at Yeshivat Har Etzion before completing his BA in Philosophy at Yeshiva University. He received a master's in Medical Humanities and Bioethics and a medical degree from Northwestern University in Chicago. In 2016, he moved to Los Angeles with his wife and 1-year-old daughter to train in psychiatry at UCLA. He is committed to decreasing societal stigma around mental illness and promoting mental health awareness and access. He is incredibly excited about Refuat Hanefesh and this unique opportunity to begin to accomplish that important goal! Aryeh can be reached at aryehgoldberg@refuathanefesh.com.

 

Creative Board

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Editor-in-Chief

Etan Neiman grew up in Chicago, Illinois and obtained a BS in Accounting at Yeshiva University. While there, he was editor of Yeshiva's student newspaper's Business Section and President of Active Minds, an organization dedicated to decreasing mental illness stigma on college campuses. He currently works as an accountant for Brand Sonnenschine. Etan has spoken and written extensively about his own mental health battles with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Depression. He looks forward to joining others on a similar journey to break the harmful stigma-induced silence. Etan can be reached at etanneiman@refuathanefesh.com.

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Support Room Facilitator

Yocheved Rabinowitz, LCSW graduated from Fordham University with a masters degree in social work. Her passion for psychology became apparent as a middle-school teacher and coupled with an innate fascination of human behavior, it morphed into a dedicated interest in helping adolescents and adults make positive change in their lives. Filled with curiosity and empathy, she has an interest in helping people live a more authentic and fulfilled life. She specializes in treating trauma, addictions, disordered eating, eating disorders and relationship concerns. Yocheved has presented on various topics including living authentically and effective ways to reach difficult teens. Yocheved currently works out of her private practice in Brooklyn, NY and can be reached at yochevedrabinowitz@refuathanefesh.com.

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Chair of Business Management

Nathan Gilson lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife and daughter. He is the Assistant Director of TAMID Group, a non-profit organization that trains the next generation of business leaders and instills in them a strong connection to Israel. Previously, he spent three years in a marketing and product management role at a financial technology startup. Nathan holds a Bachelor's Degree in International Economic Development from the University of Michigan. His work with Refuat Hanefesh is dedicated to the memory of his friend Bram Glazer z"l. Nathan can be reached at nathangilson@refuathanefesh.com.

 

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Head of Publishing & Social Media

Talia Korn grew up in Miami, Florida and graduated from Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School, where she was involved in Jewish leadership through NCSY. Thereafter, she spent a year in Israel, at The Israel Experience at Bar Ilan University. She currently attends Yeshiva University and is pursuing an education in Psychology. Talia's passions in psychology and mental health awareness stem from her own struggles and observing the world around her. She has volunteered with many people at Kidz Connection and Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital. Talia is excited to join Refuat Hanefesh and be a means of helping people improve their lives by valuing and guiding them through challenges. Talia can be reached at taliakorn@refuathanefesh.com.

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Head of Curricula

Avi J. Gordon, M.A., M.S., grew up Toronto, Canada. He is a Clinical Psychology Doctoral Candidate at Loyola University of Maryland and obtained his M.A. in Psychology from Columbia University. Avi’s clinical experiences at college clinics and outpatient mental health centers include anxiety, depressive, and personality disorders, as well as complicated grief, relationships, and various identity and developmental factors. His research interests include emerging-adult religious and spiritual identity. He is passionate about the mission of Refuat Hanefesh and spreading mental health education and awareness in an effort to ensure access to care for those who may need it. When he’s not working, he can be found rollerblading, playing music or ice hockey. Avi can be reached at avigordon@refuathanefesh.com.

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Head of Marketing

Chaim Ancier MSW, LICSW graduated from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Business and then from Wurzweiler’s School of Social Work. He has worked with families and individuals to obtain social services, taught independent living skills, and helped disadvantaged children develop social skills. He has lectured faculty and students on bullying and its long term effects and worked with chronically ill Psychiatric patients at a state hospital and nursing home. Currently, he is a county supervisor for a team of social workers and public health nurses. Chaim can be reached at chaimancier@refuathanefesh.com.

 

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Outreach Initiatives Coordinator

Moshe Winograd grew up in Brooklyn, NY, where he currently resides with his wife and children. Moshe is completing a PhD in Counseling Psychology this year at Seton Hall University. He received Semikha from RIETS in 2011. Moshe is currently engaged in full-time clinical work at Brooklyn College's Counseling Center, where he also teaches in the Psychology Department. His clinical and research area of focus is Perinatal Mental Health, and he intends to work with couples, families and individuals experiencing difficulties related to pregnancy and women's health. Moshe is looking forward to engaging with the diverse Jewish community in a variety of initiatives to reduce stigma related to mental health. Moshe can be reached at moshewinograd@refuathanefesh.com.

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Head of Recrutiment

Netanel Paley, from Teaneck, New Jersey, is a senior at Yeshiva University majoring in Biology and aspiring to a career in child and adolescent psychology. At YU, he is a student of Rabbi Jeremy Wieder, Director of Outreach for YU’s Active Minds chapter and founder of theEruv, a community organization dedicated to uniting the New York City Jewish community through Chesed projects. Netanel comes to Refuat Hanefesh with a passion for mental health advocacy and a mission to spread the message and resources of Refuat Hanefesh to as many people in the greater Jewish community as possible. Netanel can be reached at netanelpaley@refuathanefesh.com.

Advisory Board

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Website Design Advisor

Avital Mintz grew up in upstate New York and Boca Raton, Florida. After high school, she studied for a year in Israel at Michlalah then continued her education at Stern College, where she obtained a Bachelor's in Psychology. Throughout high school, college, and beyond Avital has volunteered and worked for non-profit organizations such as NCSY, Aish Hatorah, YUConnects, and Kids Kicking Cancer. Currently, she works as an instructor for an organization, Shaarim, providing extra support for children with learning disabilities and mood disorders. She is thrilled to use her web design skills to help people with everyday struggles and challenges. She believes that through openness and empathy, we could improve each other's lives. Avital can be reached at avitalmintz@refuathanefesh.com.

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Intellectual Disabilities Advisor

Dr. Stephen Glicksman received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Ferkauf Graduate School of Yeshiva University. He works at Women's League Community Residences in Brooklyn, New York, a life-span social services organization meeting the needs of children and adults with Intellectual Disabilities along with their families. He is also an adjunct associate professor at Yeshiva College and the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology. In addition, Dr. Glicksman is the Consultant Psychologist for the School for Children with Hidden Intelligence (SCHI) in Lakewood, New Jersey and has a private practice in Teaneck, New Jersey. Dr. Glicksman has presented on a variety of developmental topics at numerous professional conferences and his research has been published in both national and international scientific journals. He can best be reached at 347-390-1315, or at stephenglicksman@refuathanefesh.com.

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Child Mental Health Advisor

Hannah Goldberg grew up in Denver, Colorado. She completed her Bachelor’s in Nursing at University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received a Master’s of Science in Advanced Practice Nursing from the University of Illinois-Chicago, where she trained as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. Subsequently, Hannah received her second master's degree from the University of St. Francis, where she trained as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Currently, she works at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles in outpatient psychiatry, where she treats children and adolescents with a broad range of mental illness. In her practice, she frequently sees mental health stigma as a barrier to the care that so many desperately need, and she is excited about this opportunity to alleviate stigma and cultivate awareness within the Jewish community! Hannah can be reached at hannahgoldberg@refuathanefesh.com.

 

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Jewish Content Advisor

Rabbi Dovid Zirkind is originally from Baltimore, Maryland. He studied for two years in Israel at Yeshiva Kerem B'Yavneh and is a graduate of Yeshiva University where he obtained a Bachelors in Psychology. He received Semicha (Rabbinic Ordination) from the Rabbi Yitzchok Elchonon Theological Seminary. He has served as the Associate Rabbi of The Jewish Center in Manhattan since 2012. In his role as Associate Rabbi, Rabbi Zirkind is the director of The Center's Adult Education Programming and Rabbi of its vibrant Young Leadership community. Rabbi Zirkind can be reached at dovidzirkind@refuathanefesh.com.

 

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Marriage Advisor

Rabbi Dani Bauer, originally from Brooklyn, NY, earned a Bachelor’s of Talmudic Law at Yeshivat Sha'alvim in Israel and a Bachelor's in Psychology at Lander College for Men. He obtained Semicha at Yeshiva University and received an M.S. in Jewish Education from the Azrieli School of Education. Rabbi Bauer has served as a rabbinic intern at the Roslyn Synagogue, a Kollel instructor at DRS High School, a Beit Midrash Fellow at SAR High School, and youth director in Bais Medrash of Bergenfield. He has been teaching Gemara and Tanach at Kohelet Yeshiva High School in Philadelphia since 2013. He is currently studying at the Council for Relationships in a post-graduate certification program for marriage and family therapy. Dani can be reached at danibauer@refuathanefesh.com.

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Addiction Advisor

Andrew Waters is a native of Toronto and currently resides with his wife and two children in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. He is a licensed addiction counselor working at the world-renowned Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation: Addiction Treatment Center with adolescents and young adults. As a graduate of the Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies, Andrew is passionate about sharing his knowledge and helping people understand the science of addiction. He looks forward to using his skills to help people on the journey to recovery. Andrew can be reached at andrewwaters@refuathanefesh.com.

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Marriage Advisor

Rabbi Dovid Fredman, MFT, M.Ed., is Aish Minnesota’s Executive Director. His engaging teaching style, quick smile and often quirky sense of humor is a combination that is easy to warm up to. An insightful marriage and family therapist, Rabbi Fredman works with couples and individuals who may need help in their personal as well as spiritual life. Rabbi Fredman’s popular weekly column, Less Than 1,000 Words From The Land of 10,000 Lakes has created a buzz among Jews from all spectrums, leaving his readership with new insights about life, relationships, and their Judaism. Rabbi Fredman has a voracious appetite for books on psychology and anything that makes the human “tick”. He has had the unique privilege of studying under some of the most prolific Jewish scholars of our day, including Rabbi Aaron Lopiansky and Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovits. Rabbi Fredman can be reached at davidfredman@refuathanefesh.com