Photos: Mendy Toledano
A beautiful evening was hosted by Junior Nshei Chabad of Crown Heights. The evening’s topic ‘State of My Mind’ drew hundreds of women to Lubavitcher Yeshiva.
The evening was to be applauded for many reasons, yet mainly for the open forum it provided for its conversation on mental health. Many people reading this article will have personally had experience with or know someone who is experiencing or has experienced challenges affecting their state of mind. Everyone in attendance was showing their support for greater awareness and nourishing support of mental health.
With bravery and clarity Mrs. Shaina Rosenfeld, successful shlucha, mother, and wife dynamically and authentically shared her story and personal experience with mental health struggles. She explained how difficult it was to feel that she had possibly let her family down in some way for not being everything they would want her to be, and she shared encounters of support she received.
Shaina is now a support for others and has given us an enormous gift by sharing her story and encouraging others to face challenges with dignity and not with shame. Her words echoed the message that we remove the stigma regarding mental health so that those who are suffering and their families can reach out and receive the support they need and deserve in a manner of love and acceptance. She stressed the point of reaching out for help and not to bear the burden alone. Support is crucial and a handout of resources was handed out.
N.S, a woman in her 50’s, walked out feeling validated. “Thank you so much for this evening. It is so important for our community to hear about this. This is the first time this topic is being discussed”, she said tearily.
Let’s not forget to mention the delectable cheese display sponsored by Natural Kosher, yogurt bar and hot drinks that were set up beautifully and in good taste. The annual auction offered items such as fine jewelry, a sheitel care package, and home goods, all things that any woman would have been happy to receive. Special mention was given to all the volunteers who selflessly give their time to help Junior N’Shei become what it has.
What every woman was able to take home was a stronger sense of standing taller and truer no matter her personal challenges or the challenges of those around her. The evening was a reminder that one is truly healthy when they are healthy in Mind, Body, and Soul. As Chassidim, we dedicate our lives to unconditional love and acceptance of every Jew. We put forth every effort to ensure the health of every precious soul and body. The evening inspired that same energy to also ensuring healthy states of mind. Especially and firstly in our own families and community.
CDs of Shaina’s talk will be available for purchase. To be notified of details and to be added to Junior N’shei’s email list, please email [email protected]