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Bridging the Divides, Fostering Inclusivity: Rabbinic, Psychoanalytic and Academic Perspectives on Traditional Judaism and Contemporary Gender/Sex Identities

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 14 Cheshvan 5780

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Click here to purchase the book and scroll down to register!


Here is some more information about our panelists:

Rabbi Mark Dratch, LMSW, Executive Vice President of the Rabbinical Council of
America, was ordained at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan  Theological Seminary.  He earned
a masters in Jewish Education and an MSW from Yeshiva University.  He founded
JSafe:The Jewish Institute Supporting an Abuse Free Environment.  Rabbi Dratch
served as a pulpit rabbi and Instructor of Jewish Thought and Ethics at Yeshiva. 

Michelle Friedman, M.D., is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in private practice, the
chair of Pastoral Counseling at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabinnical School (YCT) and
Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Hospital in New York City. A graduate of Barnard College, NYU School of Medicine and The Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Study and Research, Dr. Friedman has been involved in bridging religious life and mental health issues for over 30 years. She has spearheaded educational initiatives on a variety of topics, including religious identity, postpartum depression, and sexuality. In 1998 Dr. Friedman was invited to develop a pastoral counseling curriculum for YCT in order to prepare Modern Orthodox rabbis to meet the challenges of contemporary community leadership. Her recent book, The Art of Jewish Pastoral Counseling: A Guide for All Faiths co-authored with Dr. Rachel Yehuda and published by Routledge, comes out of her teaching experience and her ongoing contact with graduates of YCT and other rabbinical seminaries.

Miryam Kabakov , LCSW, is the Executive Director and a founding board member of
Eshel, an organization that supports and advocates for LGBTQ Orthodox individuals
and their families.   Prior to being a leader at Eshel, Kabakov was the New York and
National Program Director of AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps, Director of LGBT
programming at the JCC Manhattan, Social Worker at West Side Federation for Senior
and Supportive Housing, and was the first social worker at Footsteps.  Miryam attended
the Ramaz Upper School, Stern College for Women, received her Master’s Degree in
social work from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work.  She also received certification
in fundraising program from the University of St. Thomas, in program evaluation at the
University of Washington, and from the Institute for Informal Jewish Education at
Brandeis University.  She founded the New York Orthodykes, a support group for
lesbian, bisexual and transgender Orthodox women, and is the editor of Keep Your
Wives Away From Them: Orthodox Women, Unorthodox Desires (North Atlantic Books,
May 2010), a collection of writings about the challenges and joys of LGBT Orthodox
Jews and winner of the Golden Crown Literary Award.

Jeremy Novich, Psy.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in New
York City.  He earned his doctorate from Long Island University, Post Campus, and
completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Stevens Institute of Technology.  Dr.
Novich has worked on LGBTQ concerns as a clinician, researcher, and community
educator.  In addition to his clinical work relating to sexuality, identity, and LGBTQ
issues, Dr. Novich specializes in harm reduction psychotherapy for substance use.  He
can be contacted through his website,


Rabbi Hyim Shafner, LCSW, is the Rabbi of Kesher Israel: The Georgetown
Synagogue, in Washington D.C.  Previously  he served as Rabbi of Bais Abraham
Congregation in St. Louis, Missouri, as Rabbi of the Hillel at Washington University in
St. Louis, and as the Rabbi of India for the American Jewish Joint Distribution
Committee.  He has Rabbinical ordination, an MSW in social work, and an MA in Jewish
philosophy, from Yeshiva University.   Rabbi Shafner holds a Certificate in  Advanced
Psychodynamic Psychotherapy from the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute.  He is the
author of the Everything Jewish Wedding Book (2008), a
founding writer of Morethodoxy, and a periodic contributor to The Journal of
Jewish Ideas and Ideals.

Alan Slomowitz, Ph.D., is a Supervisor of Psychotherapy and on Faculty at the William
Alanson White Institute. Dr. Slomowitz is the lead editor of the new book
Homosexuality, Transsexuality, Psychoanalysis and Traditional Judaism (2019). Dr.
Slomowitz edited the book Interpersonal Psychoanalysis and the Enigma of
Consciousness (2018) with Dr. Edgar Levenson and the new release of the book The
Purloined Self (2016) with Dr. Levenson. He is on the Editorial Board of Contemporary
Psychoanalysis, and Internet Editor of the Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Action blog.
Dr. Slomowitz is in private practice in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in New York


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