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An Important Lesson: A Letter to Wurzweiler's Israeli Students

Dear Students,

On a day when it was understandably hard for all of us to focus, you did exactly that demonstrating a good deal of maturity and sensitivity throughout the meeting.   The opening discussion about how the security situation impacts on our lives powerfully demonstrated how raw and complex the issues are.  And, your ability to express feelings and to listen to one another was most impressive and very much appreciated.

Miriam and Laura should be applauded for making an outstanding presentation about "Geography and Confidentiality", finding the right amount of balance of sharing information and facilitating discussion.  We are all more keenly aware of how small this global world is and how we need to take that into account when we accept or, don't accept working with clients because of some type of previous connection.

Miriam/Laura - kudos on a job well done!

Marva and I were also very appreciative of the way you engaged with Rachel Ackerman, our guest speaker who spoke on the topic of supervision.  You raised salient concerns/dilemmas/questions which helped form the basis of Rachel's talk.  Learning how to take these potential areas of conflict with your field instructors and converting them into opportunities for conversation by sharing/risking your feelings, we believe, is an invaluable lesson.

Rachel also beautifully connected the concept of parallel process within the context of supervision, another important social work skill that can enhance the therapeutic process between client and social worker. 

None of today's accomplishments could have taken place without the steadfastness that you all demonstrated by staying the course despite the tragic events of the day.  When Nisi announced that she needed to leave for the funeral and Rachel decided that this was the appropriate time to end,  I believe we all learned the importance of sharing feelings and claiming ownership in 'real time.'

This is an important lesson to 'own' in your social work education -  I can only hope we can continue this process - but under very different circumstances.

Marva and I thank you all for staying together today.

Erev Tov,


Meir Charash, MSW

Coordinator of Israel Block Program

Wurzweiler School of Social Work


Dr. Ronnie Glassman, Director of Field Education, sent this response:

To All of our Wurzweiler people,

First, let me express our condolences to you all for this terrible and tragic loss.  I hope you know we are with you in spirit.

Knowing that you were together at this seminar is important to us here.  Social work will guide the students through, and for us who have been around a long time, we can attest to that.  I am reminded of our horrible day in New York on September 11, which was the second day of field work for all MSW students in our city.  So many students and supervisors, and agency executives bonded together on that day to help our vulnerable clients, to maintain community together, to help each other, and to dialogue.

Know that what you did today by being together and considering the tragedy through your social work lens of heart and mind will be forever with you.

I regret you all have to go through this.  It has been hard to watch over here.

Fond wishes,

Ronnie Glassman, DSW, LCSW-R

Director of Field Instruction

Wurzweiler School of Social Work