Kesher Nafshi Celebrates 12th incredible Weekend of Chizuk at Armon Hotel

Name nearly every challenge, and one will find an organization that offers support and chizuk to those who are struggling. Cancer. Infertility. Health Challenges. Children with special needs or Down Syndrome. Widows and orphans. Divorcees. And so forth.

There is one segment of the population, however, that has been growing steadily in the past few years, but whose needs have mostly been overlooked. This is the sugya of children who are in pain and have left the ‘derech,’ plunging their families, and especially their parents, into a whirlwind of confusion and grief.

Being the parent of a struggling child is one of the most painful challenges, and one of the most isolating as well. There are so many questions, so few answers. Trying to figure out where to turn for help and guidance is like groping in the dark.

For over a decade, Rabbi Gedalia Miller, himself the parent of a struggling child, has been involved in helping parents struggling with this nisayon, providing advice, guidance, connections, and support. Several years ago, he founded Kesher Nafshi, an organization whose goal is to strengthen the bond between parent and child, and create a community of chizuk to help parents deal with this challenging nisayon.

On Shabbos Parshas Mikeitz, the Shabbos just after Chanukah, over 600 parents gathered at the Armon Hotel for the twelfth weekend of chizuk, four days of inspiration with an optional extension from Friday morning to Monday afternoon.

The event was headlined by Reb Shimon and Yocheved Russell from Eretz Yisroel, Directors of Training and Development, and two of the foremost experts in this field for over thirty years. 

World-renowned speakers and presenters included Rav Gershon Schaffell of Chicago, Rav Daniel Kalish of Waterbury, Rabbi Shais Taub, Rav Aron Lopiansky, Rav Yitzchok Schwartz, Rav Moshe Weinberger, Rabbi Dr. Benzion Twerski, Reb Shlomo Usher Tauber, Reb Shloime Ehrlich, Mrs. Devorie Kreiman, Nesanel Nagenblat PhD, Mendi Baron, Sendy Orenstein, Shloime Zimmerman, and so many others.

The weekend was filled with incredible moments of inspiration and chizuk, from the tear-filled mi shebeirach during kriyas haTorah, to the moving kumzits on Friday night; the ‘stump the Rabbi’ session to the heartwarming skit played by Mayer Adler, Velvel Feldman and Meilich Braunstein on Motzei Shabbos.

Yet it wasn’t just the powerful speeches and practical advice, the opportunity to consult with Rabbonim, professionals and those on the front lines. It wasn’t the upbeat atmosphere and wonderful ambience of an Eli Friedman event. It wasn’t even the women’s ‘banana boat’ comedy and lively game show.

It was the opportunity to spend time with kindred souls who ‘get it.’

For four days and three nights, we connected with some of the most loving, compassionate, sensitive and caring parents one could ever find. These include  Rabbonim and Rebbitzins of Shuls, Psychologists and Therapists, secretaries and Teachers, and regular fathers and mothers who are raising children who need us so desperately, who force us to face our deepest doubts and fears.

Most of all, they compel us to keep growing, keep reaching deeper within ourselves to find love, compassion, and understanding.

This coming Parshas Yisro, the weekend of February 1-4, Kesher Nafshi will be hosting its 13th Shabbos of inspiration, called “Yiddish Geredt,” of Yiddish spoken. This weekend, which will be smaller and more personal, is specifically geared for Chasidishe parents whose first language is Yiddish, and who would benefit from hearing from Yiddishe speaking professionals and parents alike.

Come and bask in the glow of a Kesher Nafshi Shabbos, Yiddish geredt. Connect with others, share laughter and tears, and fill your emotional storehouses with strength for the journey ahead.

For more information, call Kesher Nafshi at 718.673.2200 or register at

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