Friday, March 26, 2010

Rachel's Kippots

In a previous post we talked about WSSW students who had started their own websites. Faith Herring, a second year student who participated in our New Orleans Seminar, brought this lovely and unusual web site to our attention.

Kippot by Rachel

Rachel is Rachel Hindel, a second year student in the block program. On her web-site you can order kippot, often called yarmulke, the skull cap traditionally worn at all times by observant Jewish men. Rachel hand crochets these to order, in a variety of patterns and beautiful colored yarns.

I asked Rachel how she had come to start her business, and this is her response:
My grandmother taught me how to crochet when I was young, but it wasn't until I moved to Israel for my gap year that I learned how to make kippot. We were sitting on Kibbutz and I thought it would be great idea to make kippot for my friends. It was only 6 years later that I thought about selling my work. It takes about 7-10 hours to make a kippah and I now I can share my creativity and hard work with everyone.

I will be entering my third summer in the block program at WSSW. I knew I wanted to be in a welcoming and positive learning environment and because I am such a hands on person I chose the block program to be able to truly experience working in the field. I love social work because it allows me to help others. I know everyone feels some form of satisfaction when people are appreciative of their help and efforts, which is also why I love to make kippot. I hope you enjoy looking through my website!

Rachel Hindel

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dr. Gary Stein Gives Paper at Palliatrive Care Con, Unveils New WSSW Elective

Palliative care–-providing support to clients and families facing life-limiting and chronic illness--is one of the fastest growing new specialties for social workers, particularly in hospitals and hospices. To advance practice, research, education, and policy in this field, the Social Work Hospice and Palliative Care Network sponsored a one-day pre-conference on March 3, 2010 at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine in Boston.

Gary L. Stein, JD, MSW, associate professor at WSSW, directed the program with Grace Christ, a professor from the Columbia University School of Social Work.

The conference program included national social work leaders from academia and hospital-based practices. Panels addressed cutting-edge research and innovative practices. Dr. Stein presented a paper on the evolution of palliative care training in MSW and interprofessional education. He discussed a model palliative care course elective he is developing for WSSW’s new Gerontology Certificate Program. Interested students can contact Dr. Stein at

Thursday, March 11, 2010

WSSW Students: What's on Their Minds?

One of the things I love about teaching at WSSW is the diversity of our students: not just that they are black or white, Latino or Chinese, Chasid or Catholic, but also the variety of interests and attitudes. Here are a blog and a website written and maintained by WSSW students that couldn't be more different.

The first, "by Aaron Steinberg" discusses some serious matters in contemporary Judaism such as the Torah's views on homosexuality, reflections on last years General Assembly and reflections on leadership inspired by the Purim story.

The second, a website written and maintained by Rachel Kristol, is devoted to happy news about animals (no sad news, please!). Links provide access to articles about speed dating for bunny rabbits, a dog that was recovered 600 miles from home, and sweaters for chickens! A more serious theme runs beneath the funny stuff: that pets are an effective way of reducing stress in human beings, as well as a source of comfort and companionship.

If you've heard about other blogs and websites by WSSW students, let me know and I'll feature them here on "What's New."



Friday, March 5, 2010

Still More About The New Orleans Trip

Late breaking news! Marc T. Raco was awarded the prestigious Bronze "Telly Award" for his creative editing of the video of our January 2010 student service project!

Marc T. Raco, office manager, tech guy and part time video editor, made a superb montage out of the video footage Dr. Fast shot during the New Orleans Seminar: Katrina: Five Years Later. The footage was originally assembled as an introduction for a Lunch and Learn that was presented on February 17th. Now, through the magic of YouTube, we can share it with the world:

See a slide show of the trip here.