Professional Background

When I was about eight years old, I returned home from school to find my mother sitting in the living room speaking in Yiddish to a woman I’d never seen before.

My mother explained to me that the visitor had been her neighbor in my mother’s village in Poland and that she had just arrived from Europe.

In Yiddish, my mother said to her old friend, “And this is my daughter.”

The woman looked at me for a few moments, silently. Her face then opened up into the largest, most joyful smile I’d ever seen. As she reached out to hug me, I saw the number tattooed on her arm. I already knew what that number meant. Our visitor had been in and survived a Nazi concentration camp.

“How can she have such a smile having lived through that?” I found myself asking. I couldn’t imagine how it was possible to ever be happy again having lived through such unimaginable hell and yet, here was proof that it was possible—this unforgettably beautiful smile of this survivor.

Another thought arose: I wanted to know how a person can be so joyful and happy in spite of having endured and witnessed such horrific suffering.

I believe that afternoon was the beginning of my inquiry into the nature of happiness and the healing of suffering, my own and others. I believe I have been a seeker all my life, looking for philosophical, therapeutic and spiritual truths that can help us to lead lives of meaning and fulfillment.

I look forward to hearing your stories too.


• BA, Dance/Dance Therapy, University of California, Los Angeles
• MSW, University of California, Los Angeles

post graduate training

• Institute for Jewish Spirituality
• FORP: Focusing-Oriented Relational Psychotherapy
• Barre Center for Buddhist Studies
• The Focusing Institute
• Institute for Child, Adolescent and Family Studies, NYC