BZBI, where you learn

Jewish Thought and Psychoanalysis

This lecture series is devoted to the interface between Jewish and Psychoanalytic thinking. Psychoanalysis, established by Austrian-Jewish neurologist Sigmund Freud, studies the effects of the unconscious mind on behavior and mental health. By examining psychoanalysis through the lens of Jewish thinking, and vice-versa, these lectures can aid in enriching the discussion of psychology and Jewish history and culture.

Organized by Dr. Harvey Schwartz, the series was inspired by the prevalence of Jewish thinkers in the field of psychoanalysis. In his words,

We all know that psychotherapists and psychoanalysts tend to be Jewish in proportions far in excess of our percentage of the population. What is the reason for this? Is there a “Jewish way of thinking” that lends itself to being interested in how people’s inner lives function? Is helping individuals grow into greater maturity and resourcefulness an expression of TikkunOlam? Is the psychological study of the mind a “Jewish Science?”

BZBI is proud to be a part of exploring this connection by hosting these lectures.

Psychoanalysis in Israel: Trauma, Anti-Semitism, and Victimization

Monday, May 6 at 7:00 PM. With Dr. Eran Rolnick, noted psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, and historian.

Few chapters in the history of psychoanalysis are as densely packed with transcultural, ideological, and moral issues as the coming of psychoanalysis to Jewish Palestine – a geopolitical space which bears some of the deepest scars of twentieth-century European, and in particular Jewish, history. This talk will bring into focus several points of entry of psychoanalysis into Hebrew culture. In what way has the story of psychoanalysis coming to Israel echoed Jewish experience during the first half of the last Century? To what extent has the Israeli experience during the second half of the twentieth century influenced the way Israeli analysts listen to their patients today? Are there any particular insights for contemporary psychotherapeutic discourse that could be gained from the history of psychoanalysis in Israel?

Join us for our Sixth Annual Jewish Thought & Psychoanalysis Lecture as we welcome Dr. Eran J. Rolnik from Tel-Aviv. He is a noted psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, and historian. He will share with us his unique perspective on the development of psychoanalytic discourse in Israel.

For more information and to register for the lecture, click here.

Past Lectures

Psychoanalysis in Israel: Trauma, Anti-Semitism, and Victimization, Dr, Eran Rolnik

BZBI Lecture 5/6/2019 EDIT from Lafayette Hill Studios on Vimeo.

A Talmudist and a Psychoanalyst Walk Into a Bar…, Dr. Ruth Calderon

Unconscious Communication, Psychoanalysis and the Religious Experience, Dr. Marsha Hewitt


Freud, Moses and the Holocaust, Professor Eli Zaretsky


Forgiveness in Judaism and Psychoanalysis, Stephen Frosh


The Jewish Body Image and Psychoanalysis, Professor Sander Gilman

For more information about the series and past and future lectures, please refer to Dr. Schwartz’s website.