Mental Health and Wellness

Shmirat Haguf v’Hanefesh Caring for the Teen Body, Mind and Soul

Shmirat Haguf v’Hanefesh: Caring for the Teen Body, Mind and Soul is an integrated teen mental health and wellness program, led by Congregation Or Ami (Calabasas) that reaches teens and parents throughout the Greater Los Angeles area. Anchored by a Teen Wellness Retreat and Parent­ Teen Mental Health Summit, Shmirat Haguf v’Hanefesh presents an effective, accessible Jewish imperative for healthy, balanced living. The project focuses on teen wellness at every entry point into the synagogue, including teen classes, youth groups, faculty/staff professional development, parenting workshops, conversations with the bookkeeper, Shabbat, and High Holy Day services. 

Shmirat Haguf v’Hanefesh builds the capacity of teens, parents, clergy, faculty, experts, and staff to create a community within and beyond synagogue walls to positively impact teens’ emotional, spiritual and physical health. Led by Rabbi Paul Kipnes, Rabbi Julia Weisz, Rabbinic Intern Elana Nemitoff and our committee of experts, Shmirat Haguf v’Hanefesh has saved lives and is transforming lives.  

For more information, please contact Rabbi Paul Kipnes or 818-880-4880

Parent-Teen Mental Health Summit

Parent-Teen Mental Health and Wellness Summit: Speakers and their Bios


9:15-9:30 am: Registration
9:30-9:55 am: Welcome (Sanctuary) – Rabbinic Intern Julie Bressler & Rabbi Paul Kipnes
10:00-10:25 am: Taste of Wellness Options

  • Mindful Eating (Dr. Michelle McParland)
  • Mindfulness of the Five Senses (Dr. Danny Zamir)
  • QiGong (Julie Brams, LMFT)
  • Yoga (Jen Quick)

10:30 am-12:00 pm: Dr. Dan Siegel Keynote Address and Q&A
12:00-12:40 pm: Lunch
12:45-1:45 pm: Wellness Workshops

  • Whole-Child Parenting: Supporting Life-Ready Teens (Ryan Gleason)
  • When Strong Emotions Get in The Way (Estee Diamond, MS, LMFT)
  • Listening to Nature:  How Our Relationship with Nature Improves Our Physical and Emotional Health (Julie Brams, LMFT)
  • Talk Loudly and Talk A Lot: Story Sharing from a Parent, a Teen and a Psychologist–How to Get Through Tough Times (Debby Pattiz, Dani Pattiz, Dr. Gia Marson)
  • Stress Management and Wellness with (Carol A. Polevoi, LMFT, CBS, CPC)

1:50-2:00 pm: Closing (Sanctuary)

Transforming a Synagogue Community

Curriculum and Resources

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