Monday, July 12, 2010

Psychiatrist Appointment

I had an appointment with a psychiatrist at the McClendon Center this afternoon.  Benjamin Bregman, M.D.  There's a Dr. Bregman listed on George Washington University's webpage who earned both his B.A. and M.D. from Brown University.  Dr. Bregman told me his suspicion that I may have Asperger's Syndrome. 

My next appointment at the McClendon Center is August 25, 2010 (Leonard Bernstein's birthday).  But I will be seeing a different doctor.

I found a website that discusses Ben Bregman at Brown University and his participation in Jews in the Woods (JitW).  I wonder if this is the same Ben Bregman?

JitW sprung up out of a group of folks from Harvard, Wesleyan, Brown, Dartmouth, and Yale in 1997. Most of the folks at that first shabbaton knew many of the other folks through Bronfman and/or Nesiya. The shabbaton invovled people trekking to central Mass, some in ridiculous vehicles, like the rainbow-colored, “fruity jews” labeled van from Yale. One candle-related fire later, shabbat arrived and it was amazing. Word spread and many more people arrived for the second shabbaton. Over the next few years there were struggles with how to share the experience while maintaining its intimacy and intensity. Most of the original JitW-niks graduated from college in 2001, and the informal group disbanded. The folks went on to start many neat minyanim elsewhere, but JitW took a hiatus.

Several years later some folks who had been at the pre-hiatus gatherings decided that they ought to return. The fifth gathering was organized by Ben Bregman and Joe Gindi. It was small and intimate but included many of the folks who helped with the rebirth including Yona Gorelick, Ari Johnson, Zach Teutsch, Lev Nelson, and Rachel Stone. Ari and Zach stepped up to organize the sixth JitW and then the seventh and eighth. In that time some important changes occurred. JitW began to be organized in a more egalitarian, transparent way, primarily using a yahoogroup listserve. The process also included the inclusion of pluralism as a key buy in. The three-part davening space, or meshlitzah, was introduced as were a variety of compromises designed to make the space increasingly inclusive. This was not always successful, and there will always be more inclusivity to aspire towards, but innovations developed for these JitWs were significant. The gatherings became once a semester and grew from a few dozen persons to several dozen and ultimately more like a dozen dozen. Word spread. Many neat projects sprung up. Info about some of them is available at Press about the JitW community.

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