Reclaim Lost Art of Human Connection Through Class at Chabad Center

Posted Wednesday, Jan 10th, 2018

 With so many of us engaging in almost-constant interactions with smart devices and social media, you have to wonder how that affects our relationships.

That concern drove Esther Schlanger, director of The Chabad Jewish Community Center of Bakersfield, to offer "Communication: Its Art and Soul," a six-session course from the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI). The first session will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 23.
“Jewish wisdom includes many powerful and original insights into the art of communication that are more relevant today than ever,” explained Schlanger of the Chabad Jewish Community Center, the local JLI instructor in Bakersfield. “The goal of this course is to mine these texts and seek out their golden teachings. I believe this can help us reclaim the lost art of deep human connection in spite of our devices.”
“Can you think of a more timely and pervasive issue?” asked Rabbi Zalman Abraham of JLI’s Brooklyn, New York headquarters. “Many people take communication for granted, but it is the very fabric of our society. The goal of the course is simply to make us better parents, better spouses, better co-workers, better friends and better people across the board.”
“In Jewish philosophy, communication is more than just a tool: It is who we are. Humans are defined as communicative beings with a communicative soul, and aligning ourselves with this soul is our raison d’être. In 'Communication: Its Art and Soul,' we contrast Jewish thought with scientific discovery to unearth the essence of communication and how to utilize its powers to better ourselves, our relationships, and all of society,” reads a description of the course on JLI’s website.
The course has received rave reviews from relationship professionals, including Harville Hendrix, founder of IMAGO Relationship Therapy and author of the best-selling book, "Getting the Love You Want." Hendrix refers to the course as “truly artful and soulful — an absolute must.”
“The integration of these two streams of knowledge — the secular/psychological and Jewish tradition — is remarkable,” writes Mona Fishbane, former director of couple training at Chicago Center for Family Health, endorsing the course. “The approach is sophisticated, practical, and sure to be helpful to students.”
Medical and mental health professionals, including social workers and family therapists, can earn continuing education credits for attending "Communication: Its Art and Soul."
Like all JLI programs, this course is designed to appeal to people at all levels of knowledge, including those without any prior experience or background in Jewish learning. All JLI courses are open to the public, and attendees need not be affiliated with a particular synagogue, temple, or other house of worship.
JLI, the adult education branch of Chabad-Lubavitch, offers programs in more than 800 locations in the U.S. and 31 other countries. More than 400,000 students have attended JLI classes since the organization was founded in 1998.
Interested students may call 835-8381 or visit for registration and for other course-related information.
— The Chabad Jewish Community Center of Bakersfield News release

More Stories