therapist

Jewish Music That Doesn’t Kid Around

With her ‘Shir Fun’ classes and albums, singer Dafna Israel-Kotok
is at the forefront of a new type of Jewish children’s edu-tainment.

04/13/2010
Associate Editor

On a Wednesday morning shortly before Passover, in a sunny room overlooking the Henry Hudson Parkway, Dafna Israel-Kotok is in her element.

Joyously shaking her long, straight black hair as she plays guitar and sings for about 10 small children and their moms, the 30-something Sabra musician freely alternates between English and her native Hebrew.

Dafna Israel-Kotok: Kids music “you can grow with.” Photo courtesy of Shir Fun

Filler Up

Years ago I had this therapist who loved a certain gas station analogy. It went something like this: You keep going to this one gas station and they never have any gas. So why do you persist, trying to get gas out of an empty pump, when just across the street you could fill up your whole tank?

I thought of this after I made the mistake of calling a guy I used to date who consistently stomped on my heart. In other words, he had no gas for me, and yet, I kept trying to filler up. “How are things going?” I asked, after a hiatus of eight months.

Suffering From War’s Aftermath

02/19/2007
Israel Correspondent

KIRYAT SHEMONA, ISRAEL — “Mira,” a woman in her late 50s, hasn’t been able to stay home alone since the start of Hezbollah’s summertime war with Israel, when more than 1,000 rockets struck this hilly northern town on the Lebanese border.

How Far Can Their Dialogue Go?

11/14/2007
Special To The Jewish Week

For several tense minutes last week, it seemed as if the first “National Summit of Imams and Rabbis” might fail even before it got off the ground.

Both participants and observers waited with bated breath as Sheik Omar Abu-Namous, one of the event’s organizers, called for an Israeli “apology” to the Palestinians, along with some form of compensation for families who lost their land in 1948, the year Israel was established.

Circle Of Friends

06/28/2000
Jewish Week Book Critic

For his 50th birthday last fall, 120 friends gathered to surprise and honor Jeff Martin. It was a show worthy of Broadway: Friends who work in theater sang to him, others wrote tributes, his drama teacher from Jamaica High School spoke. “It was the kind of memorial I would probably pray to have at my death,” the entertainment producer and director said, “And it happened when I was there.”

Setting Limits Is An Act Of Love

Special To The Jewish Week
01/30/2009

One of the most dramatic changes I have observed over the course of my 35-plus years practicing psychotherapy is that when a phone call interrupts a therapy session nowadays, it is most often the patient’s phone that is ringing and not the therapist’s.

Trying to resist the urge to tap my foot to the lively beat of the ring tone, I could not help smiling as a patient of mine recently retrieved her blaring cell phone from her purse.

On The Couch

12/29/2009
Other than “How are you?” which is in reality a greeting, “What do you do for a living?” is the single most common question we ask each other. Not only the perfect icebreaker, it is also a subject that genuinely interests us. Best of all, it is a simple question with a simple answer. Except in my case. Yes, I can give a simple answer: I am a psychiatrist. It is accurate, but it is simultaneously deceptive. The listener invariably makes inaccurate assumptions.

Across The Great Divide

03/16/2007
Staff Writer
In a synagogue library in northern Westchester, a dozen senior citizens sit around a long table discussing current events. In a temple conference room on the Upper West Side, a young family talks about the tensions raised by a child’s serious illness. In the meeting room of a Long Island JCC, a group of recent widows share photographs and memories of their late husbands.

Making A Better Place

07/01/1998
Staff Writer
With her 10-year-old son at her side, a disabled widow from Long Beach told a hushed group of 500 UJA-Federation lay and professional leaders that the local Jewish community center has "been there for us in the very darkest of times." "I have an immune disease called fibromyalga," explained Harriet Cohen, 46, at the annual Long Island General Assembly in Roslyn, which provides UJA-Federation-funded organizations an opportunity to display their activities.

Across The Great Divide

09/03/2008
Associate Editor
In a synagogue library in northern Westchester, a dozen senior citizens sit around a long table discussing current events. In a temple conference room on the Upper West Side, a young family talks about the tensions raised by a child’s serious illness. In the meeting room of a Long Island JCC, a group of recent widows share photographs and memories of their late husbands.
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