CBI Men’s Club forum to focus on mental illness

fern-siegelSAN DIEGO (Press Release)–The Men’s Club of Beth Israel will present Fern Siegel as its featured speaker at the Nov. 18 Dinner Forum. Siegel’s presentation will focus on the subject of mental illness in the Jewish community, including her personal experience of living with a daughter diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Mental illness affects one in four adults, and the Jewish community is far from immune. The fact that mental illness is often shrouded in secrecy, misunderstanding and fear creates tremendous barriers to treatment, care and compassion for both the individual and their loved ones. Siegel has long been a champion in the effort to change this, and in particular in the development of housing for Jewish adults with mental illness. Along with other passionate family members, professionals and community leaders she recently founded Chesed Home, home of loving kindness, a project of Hope Village. She currently serves as president of the Hope Village Board.

Fern is a past president of Jewish Family Service (JFS) and Temple Emanu-El. For many years she has co-chaired the behavioral health committee of JFS which provides resources for coping and living with mental illness and seeks to eliminate the stigma by increasing community awareness.

She also serves on the board of the Special Needs Trust Foundation, which provides private support to families of persons with disabilities. She participates in the Residential Care Committee, a collaboration of not for profit and government agencies addressing housing needs for mentally ill individuals.

Fern is a graduate of Northwestern University with a BA in business administration, and is a certified public accountant (retired).

Attendees will also learn what Beth Israel is doing to address mental illness in the synagogue community and how they can become involved, or receive support.

This event doubles as Beth israel’s annual Jewish Family Service “Embrace a Family” program, which provides holiday gifts to families in need.  The buffet dinner and speaker program are free for those who bring new, unused unwrapped toys and/or gifts, grocery scrip or gift certificates (per attendee) valued at $15 or higher. For those who choose not to bring gifts, all funds collected ($15 with an RSVP, $18 without) for the event will be donated to Jewish Family Service.

One may RSVP via http://cbisd.org/event/mcforum-nov-2015/ or 858-900-2598, or [email protected].

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Preceding provided by The Men’s Club of Beth Israel

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