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YU News

Pelcovitz Inspired by Families at Chai Lifeline Event

Dr. David Pelcovitz, the Gwendolyn and Joseph Straus Chair in Jewish Education at Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration was a featured speaker at Chai Lifeline’s LH Financial Family Winter Retreat this January in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

The annual event brings together the families of children who have a long-term pediatric illness with mental health professionals and inspirational clergy. The families shared their experiences in therapist-facilitated support groups, listened to Rabbi Elya Brudny, Rosh Yeshiva of the Mir, and enjoyed meals and social activities.

Pelcovitz, who has been the event's psychologist in residence since it began 25 years ago, opened the conference. He spoke to parents about helping their families cope with illness and adversity.

“The retreat is an intensely inspiring experience,” Pelcovitz said. “Many of the families were confronting intense challenges, many raising more than one child with conditions such as blindness, spina bifida and cerebral palsy. Yet the mood of the retreat was dominated by hope, gratitude and optimism. It was a privilege to learn from the participants.”