Luke Sklar Mental Health Initiative at Holy Blossom
Jewish people have long been closely connected with the fields of psychology and psychiatry and, in fact, were instrumental in their development. Probably the most famous psychologist in history and the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, was Jewish, as were many of his early associates in the field, including Erich Fromm, Alfred Adler and Bruno Bettelheim. Abraham Maslow, the psychologist famous for creating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, was born to Russian Jewish immigrants in Brooklyn. Even with our historic connection to the field of mental health, there is still a great amount of stigma that comes with being identified as a person with mental health issues.
Furthermore, the stigma against mental illness is not limited to Jews. Mental illness is still often perceived as less “real” than physical illness, a sign of weakness or a defect of character. Surveys have shown that employers are reluctant to hire people with histories of psychiatric problems or who are undergoing treatment. Research suggests that a majority of people hold negative attitudes toward the mentally ill and that, for many families, mental illness is a source of shame and embarrassment. That, in turn, leads sufferers to conceal their condition, making it less likely that they will seek treatment. Yet we also know that in any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians experiences mental illness. This can interfere with many aspects of everyday life and have an impact on families, friends and co-workers.
Last spring, a group of Holy Blossom Temple members, Rabbis and professional staff met to establish the Luke Sklar Mental Health Initiative as a tribute to this much-loved member of our community who died by suicide in May of 2018. Its mission is to provide education, support and resources related to the challenges of living with or supporting someone with, a mental illness. We believe that by talking about and supporting mental health, this initiative will work toward ending the stigma around mental illness and encourage others to seek help.
We hope you will join us on Monday, November 11th at 7pm Holy Blossom Temple for the second event in our important speaker series for The Luke Sklar Mental Health Initiative.
Our speaker, Dr. Martin M. Antony, will be discussing the complexities of anxiety. Dr. Antony is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Ryerson University, clinical lead for the Ontario Structured Psychotherapy Program, and president-elect of the Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies. This is a “cannot miss event” for anyone suffering from, or caring for, someone with an anxiety-related disorder, or if you’re just seeking more understanding.
For More Information about this program: Click Here
To Register: Click Here
We hope that you feel as though Holy Blossom is your spiritual home. We also recognize that we cannot be all things to all people. Please take a look at the Resource Guide (by clicking here) to learn about a number of organizations that specifically address mental health. It is our hope that this important initiative in the memory of Luke Sklar only adds further strength to our promise that Life can blossom here.
Parents as Partners
We value our partnership with our parents! As you know, we love having all of you as a part of our program! Parent and grandparent volunteers provide for an incredible experience for the children and we consider this integral to the relationship that we build together.
Special Programming at the ECC
- WEEKLY MUSIC
- WELCOMING SHABBAT MUSIC ON FRIDAYS
- Children will also have the opportunity to experience many other enrichment opportunities on a rotating basis:
- Drumming with Rufus
- Library with Caroline in the Temple newly renovated library
- Music and movement
- Our nursery children visit Baycrest where they participate in an intergenerational program and purchase for the seniors with the tzedakah coins collected in the classrooms.
- Summer Camp at the ECC!
We hope that you will join us throughout the school year on special occasions.
- Intergenerational Shabbat
- Holy Blossom Kabbalat Shabbats with a focus on our ECC
- Little Blossom Friday music AND Little Blossoms with L’Dance on Wednesdays
All children have an opportunity to spend time each day outside, weather permitting.
At the ECC we teach 3 very important principles: Mitzvot, Tzedakah and Tikkun Olam; good deeds, giving to charity and trying to make the world a better place.
- The children collect Tzedakah every Friday which is generously shared with various charities. They also use this money to purchase flowers for the seniors at Baycrest.
- The children collect toys and food to share with those in need during Chanukkah and Pesach and they contribute to the Temple’s Out of the Cold program.
There are so many wonderful opportunities at Holy Blossom. Please join us and become part of our Temple family!
Beyond the ECC
- Little Blossoms with L’Dance
- ECC drop-in play program
- Friday music program
The Early Childhood Centre (ECC) at Holy Blossom Temple views each child as competent, capable, curious and rich in potential. We offer a nurturing environment that respects each child, fosters self-esteem, and supports the growth of the whole child in his/her social, emotional, physical, cognitive, spiritual and creative development.
We follow an emergent, play-based, developmentally appropriate curriculum as set forth by the Ministry of Education that involves a balance of child-initiated and adult supported experiences which allow each child to develop at his or her own pace. Our classrooms include a variety of learning centres designed for purposeful play and children’s exploration, literacy and math readiness, science, daily physical activity and outdoor play. Reform Jewish traditions, values and rituals are interwoven into the curriculum.
Your child will be provided with an enriched and loving Reform Jewish learning experience in our warm, nurturing and stimulating school.