Rabbi Schmerling

Rabbi Sholom Schmerling is the spiritual leader of the Chabad of Venice and North Port.

This fall, Rabbi Sholom Schmerling of Chabad of Venice will offer “Worrier to Warrior,” a new six-session course by the acclaimed Rohr Jewish Learning Institute, to help people deal with life challenges by accepting themselves and finding meaning in adversity.

Beginning at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 18 (morning class) and at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19 (evening class) participants in the course will take on life’s challenges by examining factors that prevent people from achieving a more positive outlook—guilt, shame, and fear of inauthenticity—in light of the notion that a purposeful life provides the key to well-being.

“Everyone faces challenges in life, whether physical, professional, familial, social or otherwise,” Rabbi Schmerling said. “How we deal with these issues is crucial for our ability to achieve lasting satisfaction in life. By finding meaning in personal troubles—seeing them as opportunities—we come to accept ourselves and are emboldened in finding the path forward.”

Rabbi Schmerling will be the local instructor for the course.

“Worrier to Warrior” combines positive psychology with Jewish wisdom to explore questions such as: “Is there a meaning to life that makes even our difficulties meaningful? Am I just what happens to me or do I have a deeper core? How can I get off the ‘Hedonic Treadmill,’ the sense that even life’s successes ring hollow?”

“All too often people are thrown off their path in life by hardships that sink them into negative emotions or anxiety,” said Rabbi Naftali Silberberg of JLI’s Brooklyn, New York headquarters. “In this course, we learn to face our challenges by understanding our lives in a deeper context.”

Professor Steven M. Southwick of the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine has endorsed the course.

“It is well-known that positive emotions rest at the heart of overall well-being and happiness. But how to effectively enhance positive emotion remains challenging. ‘Worrier to Warrior’ approaches this challenge from an insightful perspective grounded in contemporary psychology and Jewish literature. …this is an exciting and very impressive course unlike any I have seen.”

“Worrier to Warrior” is accredited in Florida for mental health professionals seeking to fulfill their continuing education requirements.

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.

Interested students may call 941-493-2770 or visit chabadofvenice.com/jli for registration and for other course-related information.

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