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Wurzweiler Alumna Shares Experience of Hosting "Ethics in Social Work" Workshop by Professor Emeritus Dr. Norman Linzer

To bring in 2014 Social Work Month, JCC of Greater Coney Island hosts an Interactive Ethics seminar with Professor Emeritus Norman Linzer, PhD, at the Jewish Community Relations Council in NYC

Dr. Norman Linzer leads workshop Dr. Norman Linzer (center) leads workshop

As a proud Wurzeiler School of Social Work Alumna, and now working for Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island (JCCGCI), where I am Director of the  Connect2 program for Holocaust Survivors, as well as the Educational Coordinator for the agency,  I was beyond honored to host one of my favorite graduate school professor’s, Dr. Norman Linzer at an interactive workshop on “Professional Ethics in Social Work,” which was held on Friday, February 28th at the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.

In attendance at the workshop were JCCGCI and COJO interns as well as social service staff members from JCCGCI and Met Council, along with faculty of different schools of social work. The event was graciously sponsored by the founders and benefactors of the internship programs, Dina and Jonathan Leader.

Dr. Norman Linzer leads workshop Dr. Norman Linzer (right) leads workshop

Personally, I was truly disappointed to miss Dr. Linzer’s retirement party last year, but was thrilled to have him lecture and teach my interns and colleagues.

To accurately convey my enthusiasm to the group, I explained, “Dr. Linzer has taught so many social work students the values and principles behind our work, namely social work ethics. To me, this is the heart of social work and what drives our work and practice. Perhaps that is the reason why Dr. Linzer was among so many students’ favorite professors, because he gave us the heart of our practice.”

Michael S. Miller, Executive Vice President &CEO of JCRC also gave a heartfelt thanks to Dr. Linzer for teaching his late mother years back, who was a Wurzweiler alum and social worker in a hospital psychiatric ward working with Viet Naam Veterans.

The interactive seminar kept the students and participants on their toes, since select participants were asked to prepare their ethical cases and “dilemmas” ahead of time and then were asked to “work through” the cases along with the help and feedback of the group until we were able to reach proper ethical resolutions.

Dr. Norman Linzer and Elisheva Lock Dr. Norman Linzer and Elisheva Lock

It was the same intellectual stimulation and integrity of the subject at hand, namely the ethics, as well as the presenter Dr. Linzer that I remember from my classroom in Wurzweiler that kept everyone involved in the workshop. One of my students approached me at the end after we came to our ethical “resolution” in the session and said, “Now it actually all makes sense. I mean I have been learning Ethics this semester, but this really helped put it all together.”

 As Mr. Leader, master-of - ceremonies at the workshop professed  “that although I have been fortunate to attend the best schools that money can buy, I have never sat through a  lecture in Yale, or a seminar in Harvard Business as good as this one.” Furthermore, he explained that not only had Dr. Linzer been his mentor in social work and other arenas during his years of teaching at Wurzweiler in the late 1990s, but also that Dr. Linzer really taught him what it was to be a “mentch.”

I believe this is quite a strong parallel to the message announced by National Association of Social Worker’s for “social work month 2014”, which is “All People Matter.” Meaning, that social workers across the globe believe that all people have dignity and deserve respect.

These pivotal ethical values, among others are what I learned from Dr. Linzer, and I am very grateful that my students and colleagues had the opportunity to learn from him as well.

Dr. Linzer donates all the proceeds from the lectures he offers to non-profits to his scholarship fund Wurzweiler has established in Linzer’s honor, the Diane and Norman Linzer Endowed Scholarship.

Submitted by:
Elisheva Lock, MPA, LMSW

Director, Connect2: Friendly Visiting for Holocaust Survivors

Educational Coordinator

Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island

--A Community-Based Organization With A Citywide Scope --

Social Services for Nazi Victims have been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and the Leader Family Fund