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Mental Health Lecture Series

Our Daughters, Our Future: An Educational Series Exploring Girls’ Mental Health and Wellness

In response to increasing rates of mental health challenges facing girls and young women in the Jewish community, Gateways is convening a series of experts to speak directly to parents and educators on how to identify early warning signs of girls’ mental health issues and share strategies to support girls who are struggling. All webinar presentations are free and require pre-registration. In the week following each webinar, Gateways will convene a discussion (via Zoom) facilitated by a clinical psychologist to share additional resources and to address specific concerns and questions.

This series is supported with generous funding from The Miriam Fund of CJP Boston. The Miriam Fund is a philanthropic community committed to creating an equitable world that expands opportunities for women and girls.

Videos of all webinars, as well as resources provided by our experts, can be found below.

Upcoming Webinar

Reintegration Post-COVID: Understanding the Impact on Our Youth

Date: November 10, 2021, 7:30 – 9:00 PM

photo of a counselor sitting and talking to two girls

The Topic: As the world reopens, all of us are changed. Lockdown has allowed all of us to experiment with different aspects of ourselves — from gender identity to values clarification. How do we support our kids as they emerge into a world with new identity choices and values? What is the connection between identity development and wellness?

photo of Betsy Stone, Ph.D.

Our Speaker: Betsy S. Stone, Ph.D., is a retired psychologist who currently teaches as an adjunct lecturer at HUC-JIR. Her classes include Human Development for Educators, The Spiritual Lifecycle, Adolescent Development, and Teens In and Out of Crisis. Betsy also teaches webinars and seminars on topics ranging from a series of national webinars on “13 Reasons Why,” to adolescent spirituality, to Gen-Xers as parents, and teen brains and stress. She is an engaging speaker whose passion for the lives of teens and their parents has brought her invitations to teach throughout North America and Europe. She has worked with the Jewish Education Project on multiple webinars and live teaching opportunities, including trips to Broadway shows, Character Strengths, and Bullying. She also leads groups for clergy, as they navigate the complexities of their personal and professional roles.

During the COVID-19 crisis, Betsy has led webinars for congregations, Clergy, Hillels, Hebrew Union College and the Jewish Education Project. Her topics include Trauma in our Bodies and Brains; Post-Traumatic Growth; Grief, Anxiety and Stress; and Issues of Reopening.

Series Promoting Partners

  • Blue Dove Foundation
  • Camp Yavneh
  • Camp Young Judaea
  • Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest New Jersey
  • Hillel Community Day School of Rochester
  • MetroWest Jewish Day School
  • The Rashi School
  • RespectAbility
  • Ruderman Family Foundation
  • Ruderman Synagogue Inclusion Project
  • Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston
  • Striar Hebrew Academy of Sharon
  • Temple Aliyah
  • Temple Beth Zion
  • Temple Israel of Natick
logo for The Miriam Fund

This series is supported with the generosity of The Miriam Fund of Boston’s Combined Jewish Philanthropies.


Past Webinars

June: Trauma

The Impact of Trauma on Our Youth: Myths, Facts, and Strategies

The experience of trauma is prevalent throughout our communities and impacts individuals functioning across all domains. The ACES study has demonstrated that trauma impacts not only our mental health, but our physical wellbeing. Trauma can be generational and occurs in many different forms. The good news is that with treatment and the presence of positive relationships, we can foster resilience and heal. This webinar focused on understanding the impact of trauma and building resilience in those who have lived through traumatic experiences and explored the presence of intergenerational trauma in the Jewish community. The session was led by psychologist Dr. Miri Bar-Halpern, and featured a young speaker who shared her lived experience.

April: Self-Injury

Self-Injury: Understanding the Risks & Signs and Promoting Resilience

Self-injury can be a complex and frightening topic for those living and working with adolescents. This webinar gave parents and educators practical information on dispelling myths about and recognizing the signs of self-injurious behavior in young people, and provided strategies on how to have conversations with teens that decrease stigma. The session was led by psychologist Dr. Ashley Warhol, and featured a young speaker who shares her lived experience.

Our Speaker: Ashley Warhol, Psy.D., is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and the Director of Clinical Services and Internship Training at Devereux Massachusetts & Rhode Island. Dr. Warhol specializes in treating youth with chronic mental health difficulties, specifically those who have experienced complex trauma and significant suicidal ideation and self-injurious behavior. Dr. Warhol provides training locally and nationally on best practices for working with LGBTQ youth, self-harm and risk management, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. In addition to her work at Devereux, Dr. Warhol teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at Becker College and Assumption University. Dr. Warhol also serves on the Board of APA’s Division 53 Special Interest Group for Acute, Inpatient, and Residential Services.

February: Eating Disorders

Identifying Eating Disorders and Promoting Resiliency

This webinar will gave parents and educators strategies to recognize the signs and symptoms of eating disorders and to support children and teens who exhibit them. Led by experienced psychologist and professor Dr. Allyson Cherkasky, and featuring a young woman who shared her experience living with an eating disorder, the presentation focused on how adults can help young people harness their power to maintain healthy relationships with their bodies and food.

Our Speaker: Dr. Allyson Cherkasky is a licensed psychologist and associate professor at William James College in Newton, MA. She is the director of the Health & Behavioral Medicine area of emphasis in the Counseling and Behavioral Health Department. Dr. Cherkasky completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the Behavioral Medicine Program at Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medicine School and has held staff psychologist positions in Women’s Heath at CHA, Newton-Wellesley Eating Disorders & Behavioral Medicine, and Medical Weight Loss at Beth Israel Lahey Health. She was the former clinical director at Walden Behavioral Care, has worked in private practice, consulted, and provided supervision over the past two decades. Her clinical and teaching interests are in women’s health, eating disorders, weight management, behavioral medicine, integrated behavioral health, and social determinants of health. In addition to teaching, Dr. Cherkasky thoroughly enjoys mentoring early career professionals.

December: Bullying

Creating a Culture of Dignity: Moving Beyond Bullying

Based on over twenty years of teaching and constant feedback from today’s generation of young people, Rosalind Wiseman’s presentation is a call for action to transform the way we understand young people and create communities where children can thrive. From young people’s friendships, bullying, anxiety, social media use, conflicts with friends and family, and the constant pressure to “keep up,” she shares how we can best connect with young people; especially now when they need us most. She gives concrete advice for us so we, in turn, can guide the young people in our care while avoiding the common communication breakdowns and power struggles that often occur between young people and adults.

October: Anxiety and Depression

Striving to Raise Resilient Teens in these Uncertain Times: Strategies to Manage Anxiety, Stress and Depression

Learn from Nancy Kislin, LICSW, a nationally recognized expert working with teens and parents to navigate through the stress and angst of the modern world. Author of the book, LOCKDOWN: Talking to Your Kids about School Violence, Ms. Kislin appeared recently on CNN with a simple, but profound message: Only when we bring our whole, complete, flawed and authentic selves to our roles as parents, educators, and members of a community can we raise kids resilient enough to handle the many challenges of life today. We also hear an inspiring first-person account of recovery from a young woman speaking with This Is My Brave, a national organization that uses the power of storytelling to break down the stigma surrounding mental illness.