a look at the intersection of halacha, hashkafa, and societal values
Get to Know Me
I'm a certified sexologist (ACS) currently employed as a therapist at Eleni Toumarides LCSW PLLC in Manhattan & Westhampton Beach, NY. I work with adolescents, emerging adults, couples, the LGBT+ population, caretakers and parents of people with special needs, and people from religious backgrounds.
I grew up in a small Orthodox community in Pennsylvania, getting the typical Torah u'Mesorah and Bais Yaakov education. Then I veered off, moving to Yerushalayim for a year, and returning to complete high school at Bruriah. Two years of seminary led to Stern, and then another huge jump sideways. I switched to City College, started working at the OU, and finished my undergraduate degree in Humanities and Sociology at SUNY.
I was fortunate to study for one year at Drisha with Devorah Zlochower, R' Moshe Kahn, Tammy Jacobowitz, and Wendy Amsallem. I've been a rebbetzin for 15 years and have taught all ages at The Hampton Synagogue and Great Neck Synagogue. As the rebbetzin of The Hampton Synagogue, I was in the first cohort of community rebbetzins certified as Kallah Teachers, jointly run by Nishmat, the OU, and the RCA in early 2018. I attend the annual RCA Rebbetzins Yarchei Kallah run jointly with Yeshiva University's Center for the Jewish Future.
I graduated from Yeshiva University's Wurzweiler School of Social Work with a Master's of Social Work and from the therapy track at Widener University's Human Sexuality program with a Master of Education in Human Sexuality. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and doctoral student at Wurzweiler in their Social Welfare Ph.D. program. I completed my generalist placement as a social worker in a rural middle school and high school in Pennsylvania and my advanced placement at JQY, where I stayed on for a sexology practicum. I have completed Level-3 Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy and am training in TF-CBT.
I am currently a Sacks Fellow at YU's Sacks-Herenstein Center. My research project is focused on creating supplemental training for Chosson and Kallah teachers who work with people with a trauma history. I was inducted as a member of the Triota (Iota Iota Iota) National Honor Society for Gender and Women's Studies and am both a member and past vice-president of Gamma Eta Rho, the honor society for Human Sexuality Studies. I received a HRSA grant from DHHS to train in trauma-informed care for adolescents and completed two years as a Dressler Fellow at UJA-Federation. In April 2021 I presented about Experiences of Trauma & Trauma-Informed Care at the Widener 2021 Graduate Student Research Symposium.
My passion is working with the observant Jewish community, anywhere that Judaism and sexuality intersect. Bringing together my background of halachic knowledge with specialized training in the field of sexuality will allow me to best educate and serve my clients.
In March 2019 'The Diagnosis' was published by Grok Nation for World Down Syndrome Day. This collaboration with Chari Pere tells the story of our prenatal journey and subsequent adjustment to parenting a child with Down Syndrome. This new role opened my eyes to the need for sexual education for people with disabilities as well as their loved ones.
“Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength”