Winter, December, 2018
Here in Israel, our team is gearing up for the 3rd International conference on Loss Bereavement and Human Resilience to be held in Eilat, Israel next month January 14-17, 2019. As before, both Hebrew and English language tracks will be available throughout the conference. My role as co-chair of the conference brings me together with colleagues serving on the major committees who are working very hard to make this conference even more successful than its predecessors.
The 2018 -19 academic year is well underway. My second year teaching and being on the faculty of the Max Stern Jezreel Valley Academic College has been an exciting time. Pivoting to teach the undergraduate and graduate students at the college has been challenging and rewarding. Time is at a premium, however, and being at 2 institutions requires travel and scheduling versatility. I continue to serve as Founder and Director of the International Center for the Study of Loss, Bereavement and Human Resilience and Chairman of the Postgraduate Program in Psychotherapy at the University of Haifa. My research and academic work continue as does my clinical work as a psychotherapist. The title of Professor Emeritus has meant fewer meetings, but beyond that, now much has changed for me or for my students and colleagues at Haifa. I am serving as Associate Editor for Death Studies since January, 2018. That has been both a great honor, as well as (Spiderman’s Uncle Ben notwithstanding) something that comes with great responsibility.
For the Hebrew speakers living in Israel, the 7th annual conference on Remembrance Days and Other Days: Who, What, When and Why do we Remembers was held on January 9th 2018 at the University of Haifa’s Observatory floor. The focus was on Losses due to Death and Divorce and the program can be viewed online.
In October of 2017, I was the guest for the Caring for Loss organization in Taipei, Taiwan and gave a 3 hour introduction and a 7 hour workshop to our colleagues there. I was very impressed with the warmth and industriousness of the people, the beauty of the country, and the knowledge of our colleagues. In November, I joined colleagues to lecture at a conference in honor of our friend and colleague Dr. Ruthmaijke Smeding on the occasion of her retiring from aspects of her active work. The location of the conference was in Freising, outside of Munich, Germany and the Conference on Spirituality and Bereavement was most edifying. The Interpersonal Relationship Conference in Fort Collins, Colorado and the Bioethics conference in Jerusalem, Israel were also conferences where I presented as well as learned from my younger and older colleagues.
The spring semester and summer break of the 2016-17 academic year were particularly busy. After the school year, I gave a plenary at the International Bereavement Conference in Lisbon and interacted with colleagues and friends from around the world. Dr. Ruth Malkinson and I gave a full day pre-conference workshop in the area of working with the continuing bonds to the deceased which was well received. I was fortunate to be able to take a summer sabbatical (during their winter) in Argentina and found the country and the people most congenial. In addition to lecturing and writing, I was able to begin to appreciate aspects of the culture, lifestyle and complex and sometimes tragic history of this amazing country.
In the Spring of 2017, I traveled to Portland, Oregon to speak at the Association for Death Education and Counseling and honored the memory of Professor Phyllis Silverman z”l and her contributions in the area of Continuing Bonds. Phyllis was an international consultant for the International Center for the Study of Loss, Bereavement and Human Resilience. The Center hosted the 6th annual Hebrew conference day Remembrance Days and Other Days: Why, What, When and Why do We Remember?: Kenes 22 November Preliminary Announcement in November of 2016. The conference also served as the formal book launch for the Hebrew Language 2016 volume: The Many Faces of Loss and Bereavement: Theory and Therapy authored by myself, Dr. Ruth Malkinson and Prof. Eliezer Witztum.
WELCOME: Welcome to my homepage and to this brief introduction. I am a university professor of clinical psychology as well as an active clinician treating clients. The material on this website is designed to meet the information needs of both professionals and laypersons. The main issues addressed focus on loss and bereavement, ethics in the professions, and psychotherapy and supervision. Educational materials, course syllabi, unpublished student material, and various other materials are accessible as well. The links are to both international as well as Israeli sites.The website here, and the developing website of the International Center for the Study of Loss, Bereavement and Human Resilience, contain information for professionals on loss, bereavement, and intervention.
Towards the end of May, the book The Many Faces of Loss and Bereavement in Israel: Theory and Therapy formally entered the Hebrew language literature on bereavement. Together with my friends and colleagues Ruth Malkinson and Eliezer Witztum, we set out to put together a comprehensive book that added much new material relevant for Israel to our 2012 volume Working with the Bereaved: Multiple Lenses on Loss and Mourning. We will follow its reception over time.
In April of 2016, I was honored to give the Ira Nerken Address at the Association for Death Education and Counseling annual conference. My talk titled The Two-Track Model of Bereavement: A Contemporary Look at Theory, Research and Practice was a welcome challenge to reach a new generation of thanatolgists.
The January 12-14, 2016 International and National Conference on Loss, Bereavement and Human Resilience in Israel and the World was held in Eilat and we were pleased to host over 400 local and foreign attendees. Details available on the website give information on the conference as well as the pre-conference workshop with Prof. Robert Neimeyer (Jan. 11-12). Plenary lectures and award lectures in English were given by Professors and Drs. Amy Chow, Shmuel Mooli Lahad, Ruth Malkinson, Robert Neimeyer, Colin M. Parkes, Simon Shimshon Rubin, & Eliezer Witztum, A special award was given to Professor Phyllis Silverman who was represented by Dr. Gila Silverman who delivered the acceptance speech. Participants had the chance to listen and interact with these leaders in the field as well as ample opportunities to participate in mini-workshops, paper sessions, and group discussions. The mix of professionals from Israel and abroad, as well as the attendance by persons who had experienced bereavement made for a emotionally rewarding experience.
In 2010, the University of Haifa approved the establishment of an International Center for the Study of Loss, Bereavement and Human Resilience with myself as director of the center. I am an active clinician treating clients. The material on this website is designed to meet the information needs of both professionals and laypersons. The main issues addressed focus on loss and bereavement, ethics in the professions, and psychotherapy and supervision. Educational materials, course syllabi, unpublished student material, and various other materials are accessible as well. The links are to both international as well as Israeli sites.The website here, and the developing website of the International Center for the Study of Loss, Bereavement and Human Resilience, contain information for professionals on loss, bereavement, and intervention.
Near and far, we know that resilience characterizes most people. The seasons provide us with inspiration. Winter in many climates can be harsh, but it brings with it the promise of spring and renewal as well. Life and the living find ways to adapt to difficult times and situations. Thus we are reminded of the resilience all around us and within ourselves. Adding the word resilience to the title of the center touches on our reality no less than the fact that all of us will experience the loss of people important to us over the course of our lifetime.
Respect for human life is a value that wisely reminds us of the uniqueness of each person and how important it is for each of us to help translate this value into reality. We can only truly grieve, honor and remember persons whose uniqueness was appreciated by us.
With best wishes,
Simon Shimshon Rubin, Ph.D. – Professor of Clinical Psychology, Director of the International Center for the Study of Loss, Bereavement and Human Resilience, Chairman, Postgraduate Program in Psychotherapy