Week of Wisdom, Wellness

Week of Wisdom, Wellness

by Jared Sichel, Staff Writer

Gale Trachtenberg was dealing with some discomfort in her hip and shoulder as she walked into a free group exercise at Century City Physical Therapy.

Afterward? Not so much.

“I was feeling some pain in my lower shoulder blade, and I don’t feel that right now,” Trachtenberg said after the 90-minute Feldenkrais class, which uses gentle movement and directed attention to improve movement and enhance human functioning. “It was pretty amazing.”

Perhaps even more surprising: The class was part of a wide-ranging conference called “Jewish Wisdom and Wellness: A Week of Learning,” organized by the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) and Cedars-Sinai.

The April 23 Feldenkrais class, “Awareness Through Movement,” was one of more than 60 classes, workshops and lectures featured during the April 21-27 conference, which drew more than 2,500 people, according to Jonathan Schreiber, Cedars-Sinai’s director of community engagement.

The week kicked off with a panel moderated by Rob Eshman, publisher and editor-in-chief of the Jewish Journal, featuring four local rabbis discussing Judaism and health crises.


Participants in an Awareness Through Movement class perform an exercise. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor