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Guest Speaker: Benjamin Rappaport

Host: Kristin Keffeler, MSM, Principal, Illumination 360, PPI Dean of Family Sustainability & Empowerment

Description:  Covid19 has changed the world as we know it, creating waves of trauma on multiple levels that have impacted millions of people. This includes the fear and worries about one’s own health and that of loved ones, the challenges of children at home and working from home, interpersonal difficulties exacerbated by time with others without breaks, isolation, and psychological distress in many forms.

While many people have heard of PTSD, few people are aware of the much more common phenomena of PTG, posttraumatic growth. What PTG means is that Covid19 offers unique opportunities for growth, connection, and development, because of its hardships and the way we can choose to respond to them.

Through being aware of the elements that contribute to PTG and having practical strategies to implement them personally and professionally, it is possible to make this time one of unprecedented growth. How to do this will be the focus of our conversation.

Introduction to Our Guest Speaker

Arriving at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, at 18 years old, with a blond ponytail and a surfboard, I never imagined that a dozen years later I would be teaching applied Talmudic analysis in Jerusalem. Six years later, I realized that I had built an impressive upper body, in intellectual terms, but did so at the cost of having a puny lower body, in emotional terms. I knew that I needed help, so decided to go back to school and became a psychotherapist, specializing in trauma. After two years of training and another two in private practice, I was thoroughly traumatized and needed a break.

Gratefully, the Universe sent me an opportunity to begin traveling from Israel to the U.S. to help mature yeshiva students figure out what they should do after they leave yeshiva. This led to an 8 year stretch of working with about 800 clients, one-on-one, helping them figure out how to translate their strengths, talents, and interests into pathways to achieve financial and personal wellbeing.

Along the way, I started also working for a financial technology company helping executives manage their people and processes in ways that work better for the cultural and financial health of the organization. This led to working with other innovative businesses. Currently, I split my time between working in Israel and the U.S., being a husband, father, consultant, and coach, and advising people struggling to find their path, start-up founders, and nonprofit leaders.

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