Rabbi Jay Yaacov Schwartz, LMSW, popular community rabbi, teacher, and experienced family and individual therapist, is scheduled to visit the New York area the week of December 7 to promote the Ramat Bet Shemesh community and several important community initiatives that his organization, Mosdot Kanfe Shemesh, is involved with in Israel.
In fall 2013, Rabbi Schwartz was designated as the rav for a newly emerging neighborhood called Emerald Gardens–Emerald Heights in the Mishkafayim section of Ramat Bet Shemesh Aleph. This prestigious area, incorporating both stunningly beautiful villas and luxurious apartment complexes, is slated for completion in 2016–17. Rabbi Schwartz has traveled to many communities in the U.S. and England, including London, NY, Chicago, L.A., and South Florida, to promote the project and the Ramat Bet Shemesh community.
Rabbi Schwartz, prior to making aliyah with his family in August 2012, served as the communal rav at Young Israel of Oceanside and Congregation Ohav Shalom of New York City, and as rabbi and consultant to the department of medical affairs for South Nassau Community Hospital and Metropolitan Jewish Health System in Brooklyn.
In Israel, Rabbi Schwartz has become a popular Torah teacher and therapist. He has been appointed as the director of Project SPARC at Neve Yerushalayim, a program that integrates Jewish spiritual values into clinical, educational, and chaplaincy settings. Rabbi Schwartz was invited as one of two Israeli representatives to the 4th European Conference on Religion, Spirituality, and Health, which took place in Malta in May 2014. He presented a workshop addressing “The Integration of Jewish Religion and Spirituality into Clinical Health Care Practice.”
During the Gaza War this past summer, Rabbi Schwartz, in conjunction with his Project SPARC students, arranged a community-wide Bet Shemesh initiative to visit with the soldiers and families that were wounded in Operation Protective Edge. This initiative was widely publicized in the Israeli secular media as well as religious papers, including Hamodia. This campaign, funded by the Landes family of Riverdale, NY, provided personal items and gifts to the soldiers and families and was attended by a number of visitors from Rabbi Schwartz’s previous community of residence, Lawrence.
The Jewish Wellness Family Center of Ramat Bet Shemesh, a project of Mosdot Kanfe Shemesh, provides intensive counseling and support to families of olim whose marriages are in crisis, as well as to single parents and those who have survived trauma and abuse. In addition, Kanfe Shemesh, under the guidance of Rabbi Schwartz’s multitalented wife, Chani, has created a number of afterschool programming initiatives to enrich Anglo olim children, who need mentoring, support, and positive role-modeling. These activities include basketball, summer and vacation camps, and creative art and music workshops.
Rabbi Schwartz will be available for private meetings and consultations with couples, individuals, or families, especially those who would like to bring the light and wisdom of EretzYisrael into their personal lives and futures. He will be speaking at various locations in the Five Towns, Manhattan, and Queens. To schedule a meeting, class, or lecture, please contact his office at 516-568-5765, or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.