By Alan Rosenbaum
“We are bringing down the stigma of mental health by introducing cultural sensitivity,” said Chaim Fachler, Director of International Resource Development at Mayanei HaYeshua Medical Center in Bnei Brak.
Fachler participated in a panel discussion on the subject of “Tikkun Olam meets the Startup Nation” at the Jerusalem Post Conference in New York, moderated by Maayan Hoffman, Head of Conferences for the Jerusalem Post. Other participants in the panel discussion included Shari Dollinger, Co-Executive Director of Christians United for Israel, the largest pro-Israel Christian group in the United States, and philanthropist Craig Newmark, who heads Craig Newmark Philanthropies.
Mayanei HaYeshua Medical Center, explained Fachler, built a unique, seven-story facility for treating mental health issues, which is the first such facility in Israel in the past fifty years. “The center is lowering the stigma of mental health by introducing cultural sensitivity,” said Fachler. “We think that with this holistic approach, more and more people will feel more normal to approach psychologists, psychiatrists and mental health professionals.”
Fachler added that the Health Ministry has recommended the treatment model used at Mayanei HaYeshua for other facilities. He noted that Mayanei HaYeshua is planning on opening a mental health facility in Jerusalem and has created workshops and events for educators to identify the first signs of mental distress among teens.
Shari Dollinger of Christians United for Israel explained that her organization is working to repair the world, which represents more than 11 million Christians who love the Jewish people and are upholding their biblical obligation to bless and uphold the Jews.
She pointed to a recent mission led by her organization that brought millennials with a minimal awareness of the Holocaust to Auschwitz to teach them about the Holocaust, and then took them to visit Ukrainian Jews who were moving to Israel. The Christian millennials then accompanied the Ukrainians on their aliyah flight and learned how they are integrating into Israeli society.
Craig Newmark is repairing the world by fighting disinformation and antisemitism and promoting cybersecurity. Newmark told Hoffman that he had learned the 9th Commandment, which prohibits bearing false witness, while a Hebrew school student sixty years ago. In his view, fighting disinformation and falsehood is the best way to observe that commandment.
Summing up, Fachler said that all of the participants in the panel are fighting ignorance in the world, which can help repair the world. “The more we do to raise awareness of mental health and cultural sensitivity and the fact that there is someone to talk to can go a huge way towards Tikkun Olam.”