Israel Therapy: FOR THE CONFLICTED (A 3-Part Virtual Series)

By The Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center: Spring 2021 (other events)

Wed, Jun 16 2021 11:30 AM Wed, Aug 18 2021 12:30 PM

Are you anxious [about Israel’s politics or policies]? Feeling depressed [about its future]? Do you struggle to talk about it with your children [or parents or neighbors]? Wonder why your [colleagues-friends-strangers] expect you to explain the intricacies of Jewish democracy to them?

You’re not alone. Thousands of American Jews marvel at Israel’s achievements in technology, art and food -- but worry about its religious hegemony or ccusations of human rights violations. We worry about what seems like a growing chasm between Israeli Jews and the Diaspora. And who can understand its seemingly endless election cycle?

Israel Therapy is for those who love the Jewish state -- or love to hate it, hate to love it, wonder why it doesn't always love them back. We’ll sort through the stressful confusion and give voice to the feelings, concerns and questions you’ve been afraid to ask.  

Join us for one session or all three, June 16, July 14 and August 18 at 11:30 AM EDT:

  • What does it mean to be a Jewish state if Israel rejects how I practice Judaism? 
  • How do I square my Jewish values of social justice and Israel’s ongoing occupation of the West Bank?
  • Why does it seem like Israel expects us to keep sending money -- yet have no say in how the country is run?

Our chief therapist is Libby Lenkinski, who went to Zionist summer camp from ages 9 to 25, spent a decade living in Israel, and has counseled Hollywood celebrities and international diplomats about the Jewish state. Libby will be joined by Jodi Rudoren, editor-in-chief of The Forward and former Jerusalem bureau chief of The New York Times. Special guest therapists to be announced.

We don’t promise that they’ll eliminate your doubts, but they’ll help with your commitment issues.


Sam Greenberg is the Director of Communications at Hadar. He previously worked as a communications consultant for several organizations and as the Jewish Community Organizer at the Educational Alliance, a social service agency on New York's Lower East Side. Sam holds an MPA and an MA in Judaic Studies from New York University, where he studied as a Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar. A Philadelphia native, he is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Yeshivat Har Etzion.

Susan Silverman is a Reform rabbi and the sister of comedians Laura Silverman and Sarah Silverman. In 1997, she and her husband, Yosef Abramowitz, co-authored the book Jewish Family and Life: Traditions, Holidays, and Values for Today’s Parents and Children.  She worked as a congregational rabbi in Maryland and as a Jewish educator in Boston and moved to Israel in 2006. Susan and her daughter Hallel Abramowitz are members of Women of the Wall, and in 2012, they were arrested for wearing prayer shawls at the Western Wall. News of this went viral after Sarah Silverman tweeted her support. In 2013, Susan was named one of The Jewish Daily Forward's "Forward 50", and the Jewish erotica website Jewrotica.orgnamed her one of the world's ten sexiest rabbis.