“Making marriage work is hard work and worth it.”
-Participant in last year’s OU Marriage Enrichment retreat
The Orthodox Union will present its sixth “Positive Jewish Marriage Retreat” at the Woodcliff Lake Hilton in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, the weekend of July 15-17, Shabbat Parshat Pinchas.
The Orthodox Union’s Department of Community Services | Jewish Community Programs has been organizing Marriage Enrichment retreats for couples of all ages to strengthen and enhance good marriages, within the context of Torah and Halacha.
The weekend is part of the OU’s ongoing efforts to address timely and relevant issues for strengthening Orthodox Jewish families, including “Positive Jewish Parenting,” in addition to “Positive Jewish Marriage” programs. Orthodox mental health professionals specializing in marriage enrichment will be present at the retreat and will lead workshops to offer practical ideas for marriages.
Workshop topics include, “Make Your Good Marriage a GREAT Marriage;” “The Art of Conflict Resolution and Compromise;” “Unity in Decision Making;” “Enriching The Relationship;” “Enhancing Communication Skills;” “Intimacy in Marriage;” “Improving Team Parenting;” and “Strengthening Bonds,” among others.
Scott Chudonoff, M.D., M.S., FACOG will once again return for this year’s retreat. Joining him on the veteran all-star team of mental health professionals will be Alex Bailey, Ph.D.; Rabbi Mordechai Glick, Ph.D.; Nina Glick, Ph.D.; Tobias Jungreis, Marital Counselor; Rachel Pill, LCSW; and Marcy Schaffer, Ph.D.; and Sylvan Schaffer, Ph.D. New faculty include David Pelcovitz, Ph.D.; Lauren Roth, LSW; and Josh Kohl, Certified PAIRS Marital Instructor.
A couple from last year’s weekend declared, “Rather than just going through daily motions, this retreat opened up the lines of communications to allow us to discuss real issues and address them, as opposed to just overlooking them or dismissing them as unimportant to the success of our marriage.”
Frank Buchweitz, OU National Director of Community Services and Special Projects, and creator of the Marriage Enrichment Weekend declared, “The most successful marriages are ones in which both partners continually work to nurture their relationship. A fulfilling marriage allows couples to grow with each other, not apart, communicate in a positive manner, and successfully resolve differences as they arise. It should be noted that couples who serve as role models in a happy loving marriage represent one of the best gifts that can be given to children.”
He continued, “The retreat aims to enhance the marriage relationship by focusing on the positive aspects of marriage, highlighting characteristics found in happy couples. Participants will be provided with opportunities to interact with each other through group discussion and activities led by a faculty of mental health professionals with a specialization in marriage.”
Noted a participant from last summer, “This retreat was extremely well organized, enjoyable, a time to just bond and communicate and devote to each other.” “Informative, relevant, uplifting and pleasant; a most enjoyable experience,” responded another.
Once again, as with last year’s retreat, workshops and programs will implement major components of the OU’s landmark online Aleinu Marriage Satisfaction Survey, which addressed areas of successful marriages, as well as common stressors of Orthodox Jewish marriages. The results of the study are available on the OU website, www.oucommunity.org .
Another couple noted, “We especially appreciated that topics provided a platform for us to discuss some of the little, seemingly unimportant but nagging issues that are part of day-in and day-out living.”
It should be noted that a number of older couples have sponsored participation by their young married children to learn and develop important skills for making their marriages start off on the right foot.
A general consensus from last year’s retreat indicated there was plenty of time to be with one’s spouse and to enjoy meeting the other couples. Also, that the positive environment was conducive for happy couples to improve themselves and their marriages.
The weekend will feature marriage enrichment skills workshops, gourmet meals from New Star Caterers, excellent Hilton Hotel accommodations, including accessibility to a full-service spa, as well as with separate pool hours.
The cost of Friday-Sunday has been held at $350 per person, double occupancy – the same cost as last summer.
For more information and to register, visit www.oucommunity.org or call 212.613.8188.
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