Conference Brings Together Diverse Religious Leaders for Training

June 29, 2002

Source: Newsday

On June 29, 2002 Newsday reported on an interfaith conference in New York City designed to help religious leaders "sustain their post-9/11 ministry." The conference was attended by "approximately 800 priests, pastors, imams, rabbis and other spiritual leaders from the metropolitan area... 'Leaders of faith communities are the first line (of defense) in mental health,' said Rabbi Stephen Roberts, president of the National Association of Jewish Chaplains, who chaired the daylong conference sponsored by the American Red Cross last month in Manhattan... 'We want clergy to walk away with practical skills,' Roberts said, "'to understand the impact of 9/11 and to help their communities in the years ahead'...

The demands can be great. More often than not, conference organizers said, people turn first to their houses of worship for help in understanding tragedy." The event featured workshops and focus groups on helping communities and congregants using counselling and support efforts in the wake of tragic events.