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Wurzweiler School of Social Work Announces Spring 2012 Conference Series

Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work has announced its 2012 Spring Conference Series. Addressing topics as varied as the composition of North American Jewish family and what professionals can do to combat poverty, the series will convene educators and social work professionals on three Fridays in March and April to immerse themselves in some of the biggest challenges facing Jewish communities.

On Friday, March 23, a Symposium on Poverty and Professionals, titled “From Concern to Action,” will be held at the Yeshiva University Museum, 15 West 16th Street, New York City. Keynote speaker Bob Herbert, a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos and renowned New York Times journalist, will focus on how poverty affects political, economic and social conditions in American society, with follow-up comments delivered by Dr. Robert L. Hawkins, McSilver Assistant Professor in Poverty Studies at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work, and Ruth W. Messinger, president of the American Jewish World Service. A panel exploring the professional response to poverty will feature Dr. Paris R. Baldacci, clinical professor of law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law; Dr. A. Hal Strelnick, chief of the division of community health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine; and Dr. Richard Caputo, professor at Wurzweiler.

The Sixth Annual Joanna M. Mellor Aging Conference will be held on Friday, March 30, at the Jacob Burns Moot Court Room in Cardozo, 55 Fifth Avenue, New York City. Keynote speaker Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, commissioner of the New York City Department for the Aging, will discuss changes in New York City that will impact services and policies affecting older populations. Co-sponsors of the conference include Emblem Health and the Washington Heights-Inwood Council on Aging.

 On Friday, April 20, a half-day conference titled, “The Diversity of the North American Jewish Family: Challenges and Opportunities,” will also be held at Cardozo’s Moot Court. Keynote speaker Dr. Sylvia Barack-Fishman, chair of the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department and Joseph and Esther Foster Professor of Contemporary Jewish Life at Brandeis University, will bring her expertise to a discussion of some of the dynamic changes that have taken place within the Jewish family structure, such as later and smaller families, blended families, and evolving status and gender hierarchies. A panel featuring Rabbi Andy Bachman, senior rabbi at Congregation Beth Elohim; Paul Levine, executive vice-president and chief executive officer at JBFCS; and Rabbi Joy Levitt, will respond to her remarks.

“These conferences represent the diversity within the social work profession and at Wurzweiler,” said Dean Carmen Ortiz Hendricks. “These are cutting-edge topics that professionals and students need to understand. The faculty and administration at Wurzweiler are very excited to bring this range of issues to the forefront with such scholarly speakers and forums.”

For more information about any of these conferences or to register, visit