2011 Conference
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Doreen Seidler-Feller

Doreen received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in Clinical Psychology in 1980. She has practiced individual and couples therapy and been associated with the Human Sexuality Training Program at UCLA and for many years has taught residents in Psychiatry a sequence in Human Sexuality and Sex Therapy. In 2007, she began training residents in OB/GYN in Female Sexuality in Psychological and Therapeutic Perspective. Her clinical practice specializes in populations including Orthodox Jews and people with illness-related disabilities. She is a member of the APA the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists.

Relationships and Sexuality Consumerist Culture

Creating a Contemporary Sexual Ethic

Identity & Responsibility

How do we reconcile needs for eroticism, intimacy, independence, and dependence? And how can these psychological needs be fulfilled in consumerist environments skeptical about long term relationships? This workshop will consider dilemmas for young adults as they negotiate meaningful relationships. We will also consider conflicts for middle-aged and older men and women. We will explore the teachings of contemporary psychology alongside the Jewish ethical tradition regarding intimate relationships for couples of any age.

Sexual Repression and Obsession

The Case of Kitzur Shulhan Arukh

Chaim Seidler-Feller, Doreen Seidler-Feller

Identity & Responsibility, Text & Thought

Although the Jewish tradition is generally open-minded regarding sexual behavior within marriage, certain repressive ideas have gained currency over the centuries and have determined sexual attitudes within elements of the Orthodox community. The claim of this workshop is that the Kitzur Shulhan Arukh, a popular 19th century halakhic work read broadly by Yeshiva High School students, is largely responsible for the dissemination of these ideas, We will read the texts, explore the origins of these teachings and discuss the psychological impact of these prohibitions and inhibitions.

Tensions Between Erotic and Intimate Needs

Keeping Erotic Elements Alive in the Long Term

Identity & Responsibility

Each of us faces the internal contradictions of the erotic in long term relationships. How do we define each impulse and its requisites? Maladies in marriage arise from either poor understanding or poor management of this essential paradox. In this session, we will consider the solutions raised by the Jewish tradition and ask ourselves what Orthodoxy has to teach us. Similarly, we will ask what secular wisdom can contribute to our sex and relationship educations.

Shaping a New Jewish Sexual Ethic

Chaim Seidler-Feller, Doreen Seidler-Feller

Identity & Responsibility

Classical Jewish teachings regarding sexuality (homosexuality, pre-marital sex …) generate increasing individual conflicts and social consequences that demand our attention. So long as these tensions are not addressed, community members are confronted with a choice between all of the restrictions of the tradition on the one hand and the permissive orientation of contemporary culture on the other. This seminar intends to step into that breach by proposing a contemporary sexual ethic.

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