Israeli psychotherapist visiting for Yom HaZikaron | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Israeli psychotherapist visiting for Yom HaZikaron  

The work of psychotherapists and other mental health counselors has seen rising importance in recent years, especially since the attacks of Oct. 7, 2023.  

On May 13, Israeli Eitan Spiegel, who performs such services, will visit Milwaukee to discuss his work as part of the annual commemoration of Yom HaZikaron. The day serves as Israel’s national day of remembrance.  

Spiegel is based in Kfar Tavor, in the Galilee region, which is Milwaukee’s partnership region in Israel. Spiegel, the founder of a psychotherapy center, is also an Israeli Defense Forces reserve officer who serves in the army’s mental health department. As you might imagine, he’s had much to do in the last six months.  

“I’m a clinical psychologist,” said Spiegel, a married father of three. “For the last ten years, I’ve been doing private practice. My area of interest is [with] very young children with their parents, and elderly people… what I specialize in, among the regular things that psychologists do… I have a lot of experience in treating PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).”  

At times, Spiegel will treat soldiers just hours after they experience traumatic events.  

“We are treating them there because that’s the way we are helping them to reduce the chances of developing PTSD,” he said. “I see them in the field and in the clinic.”  

Spiegel was invited to Wisconsin in part due to the partnership region relationship, according to Noa Gerassi, the Milwaukee community shlicha with the Milwaukee Jewish Federation. It will mark Spiegel’s first visit to the U.S.  

“Every year, we bring a different speaker for Yom Ha’Zikaron,” Gerassi said. “And this year, we felt that one of the main issues that the community is interested to hear about is mental health and resilience in Israel right now. This is why we chose to invite Eitan, and we all want to better understand what’s going on in Israel right now and how we as individuals can help ourselves in this situation.”  

Spiegel will deliver the keynote address. He said he will share his experiences “as an Israeli and a psychologist, and as a psychologist in the army.” He’s also happy to answer questions from the community. His itinerary will also include a visit with Jewish Family Services and talks at synagogues and elsewhere. 

“I’m coming to speak. I’m coming to listen. I’m coming to understand,” he added. “I’m very interested about Judaism in America… I’m coming as a visitor and also as a learner.”  

He said that he will share “anecdotes from the things I’ve done the past half year.”  

The event is set for May 13 at 6:45 p.m. at the Daniel M. Soref Community Hall at the Harry & Rose Samson Family JCC in Whitefish Bay. Bobbi Rector and Tehila Cohen are co-chairs of the event.  

For security purposes, RSVPs are required at 

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What: Yom HaZikaron – Israel’s day of remembrance
When: Monday, May 13, 6:45 p.m.
Where: Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center, Whitefish Bay – Daniel M. Soref Community Hall
For security purposes, RSVP is required at