Ben is an Israel-based activist who works to integrate LGBT diversity training into religious Orthodox education, mental health, and community institutions. From 2015-2017 he served as senior board member of Shoval: Education and Tolerance, the only organization that offers LGBT training for religious education and is approved by the Ministry of Education in Israel. He also helped found Shoval’s “Making Space” project, an annual celebration of Pesach Sheni marked by tens of parlor meetings between LGBT dialogue facilitators and religious communities. Now, Ben focuses on developing recommended training practices for mental health professionals who encounter LGBT patients with a religious background. He disseminates his work at numerous universities and religious mental health clinics both domestically and internationally, focusing on loss and reconstruction in the “coming out” process. As an activist, Ben has served on boards and advisory committees regarding the harmful role of conversion therapy for religious youth. As a researcher, he studies the intersection of religion and LGBT identity, disseminating his findings through academic articles, chaired symposia, and conferences. Ben is continually looking for new ways to expand the conversation on the mental health of Jewish LGBT youth, and is excited to gain insight from his ROI colleagues regarding how to do so. Ben is a native of Teaneck, New Jersey, currently living in Jerusalem, and a registered psychologist with the Ministry of Health. He is currently researching towards his PhD in clinical psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, on the topic of reward and punishment processing in mood disorders.
Find out more at his personal website.