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      Seminar: 'The Family in the Eye of the Storm'

      Orot College conference will tackle burning issues such as special-needs children in religious families and the importance of a father-figure.
      By Hillel Fendel
      First Publish: 4/29/2010, 3:30 PM / Last Update: 4/29/2010, 3:22 PM

      “The Family in the Eye of the Storm.” This is the name of a day-long seminar to be held on May 10 at Orot Yisrael College in Elkanah, dealing with some of the burning issues in modern Jewish life.

      The results of some 25 research projects will be presented. Among them are studies regarding trauma and bereavement; the importance of a father figure; What makes a successful matchmaker? and more.

      One study, by doctoral candidate Dafna Bornstein, formerly of Gush Katif, deals with the emergence of PTG - Post-Traumatic Growth - following the Gush Katif expulsion of 2005. Such growth refers not merely to one’s “recovery” after the traumatic expulsion, but  to the finding of new personal strengths. Factors that appeared to support such growth included the husband-wife relationship, level of religious faith, and family structure. The level of anti-Disengagement activity prior to the expulsion was also a factor.

      Another study, by Dr. Yitzchak Kendel, focused on special-needs children in religious families. He found that religious faith helps families with special-needs children reduce stress and feelings of guilt, helps provide an explanation for “why me?”, and enables parents to run relatively normal lives.

      The conference will include two panels, between which it will break up into separate groups for three sessions. One panel, dealing with “Equality of the Genders in the Family,” will feature Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, MK Tzipi Hotoveli, and attorneys Michael Corinaldi and Aharon Namdar.

      The second panel will focus on “Rebellious Teens in Religious-Zionist Society.” Speakers will include Yonah Goodman, Haggai Lober, Dr. Benny Fisher, Miriam Shapiro, and Rabbi Yuval Cherlow.

      Other topics to be dealt with include divorce and “chained wives,” family strength in times of crisis, marriage and home-building, the family in the media, family violence, parental authority, and one-parent families.

      The participants include Rabbis Michael Baris, Yisrael Rosenne and Yehuda Zoldan, Drs. Yuval Sinai and Yehuda Felix, Profs. Neriah Gutel and Shlomo Kaniel, and INN Editor Rochel Sylvetsky, Bilhah Edmanit, and others.

      For information, contact Orot Yisrael College at 03-9061301.