REAL Upcoming Events

November 20, 2019: Screenagers
Throughout the year: REEL Movie Night
December 18, 2019: Ayelet Waldman
March 24: Dr. Laura Kastner

REAL and Brandeis Marin present Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER
Wednesday, Nov 20 | Pizza and salad at 6pm, movie at 6:30pm | Rodef Sholom

Follow physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston’s journey as she explores teens’ screen habits and discovers how parents, educators, and teens themselves can overcome mental health challenges and learn to navigate life’s ups and downs with self-acceptance and open mindedness. For parents with kids of all ages and for kids 10 and up. This event is free. RSVP here.


REEL Movie Night is a monthly film and discussion series featuring a curated list of movies that deal with the topics of mental health and mental illness. Enjoy a film in a supportive social environment and stay for a conversation afterward.

Tuesday, January 21 | 6:00 pm | Rodef Sholom Library Crazywise Traditional wisdom of indigenous cultures often contradicts modern views about a mental health crisis. This documentary asks “What if a psychological crisis has the potential to be a positive transformative experience, instead of a “broken brain?”

Tuesday, March 17 | 6:00 pm | Rodef Sholom Library Silver Linings Playbook Bipolar disorder caused Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) to lose both his wife and job. He meets Tiffany, (Jennifer Lawrence), who struggles with depression and behaviors suggesting borderline personality disorder.

Tuesday, May 12 | 6:00 pm | Rodef Sholom Library The Perks of Being a Wallflower A coming-of-age story about socially awkward Charlie (Logan Lerman) who starts high school isolated and anxious. He becomes friends with two seniors, including Sam (Emma Watson). Triggers: suicide, molestation.

Post-show conversations will be facilitated by long-time Rodef Sholom congregant and father Mark Solomons. Mark has been a part of the REAL Mental Health Initiative from the start, lending his passion and expertise to the mission of reducing stigma and isolation of mental illness and addiction in our community. Mark works as a Family Partner for Community Action Marin, based in the Crisis Stabilization Unit at Marin Health. Pizza, popcorn and non-alcoholic beverages provided. Free and open to the public. RSVP to Joanne Forman, REAL Mental Health Program Coordinator, at [email protected].


Wednesday, December 18 | 7 pm | Rodef Sholom Sanctuary
Ayelet Waldman discusses A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life.
RSVP here

When a small vial arrives in her mailbox from “Lewis Carroll,” Ayelet Waldman is at a low point. Her mood storms have become intolerably severe; she has tried nearly every medication possible; her husband and children are suffering with her. So she opens the vial, places two drops on her tongue, and joins the ranks of an underground but increasingly vocal group of scientists and civilians successfully using therapeutic microdoses of LSD. As Waldman charts her experience over the course of a month–bursts of productivity, sleepless nights, a newfound sense of equanimity–she also explores the history and mythology of LSD, the cutting-edge research into the drug, and the byzantine policies that control it. Drawing on her experience as a federal public defender and the mother of teenagers, as well as her research into the therapeutic value of psychedelics, Waldman has produced a book that is as entertaining as it is eye-opening.

AYELET WALDMAN is the author of the novels Love and Treasure, Red Hook RoadLove and Other Impossible Pursuits, and Daughter's Keeper, as well as of the essay collection Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace. With her husband Michael Chabon, she edited Kingdoms of Olive and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation. Her most recent book is A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life. She is the co-editor of the forthcoming Fight of the Century, a collection of essays celebrating the 100th anniversary of the American Civil Liberties Union. Ayelet lives in Berkeley with her husband and children. 

Wednesday, March 24, 7:00 pm
Dr. Laura Kastner speaks on Making the Pivot from Stressing Out to Coping: Enhancing resilience, coping and problem-solving
RSVP here.

Children and adolescents today are stressed by pressures to excel academically, stay connected to social media, and become stellar candidates for college admission. “Stressing out” has become the new normal. The prevalence of depression, overwhelming stress and youth suicide have increased, without a clear understanding of the reasons. Raising kids has always been challenging, but the uptick in ambient stress for children and families has become palpable.

Parents struggle with how to support high but realistic expectations for their children, while also providing a calm and nurturing home environment. Caring adults may show empathy to stressed-out kids, but finessing the shift from validating feelings to encouraging coping can be difficult. Talking about stress can both amplify and relieve perceived stress, so understanding the neuroscience of anxiety and worry is essential.

In this lecture, Dr. Kastner will focus on how both parents and their children can benefit from developing skills for stress reduction, problem-solving and reasoned perspective-taking. Emotional and social competence has always been a huge contributor to adult success, and parents play a powerful role in influencing the key ingredients of self-awareness and self-management. With the complicated lives we lead these days, mental health has become a hot commodity and coping a superpower!

Dr. Kastner, Ph.D. received her doctorate in Psychology from University of Virginia. Currently a clinical professor in both the departments of psychology and at the University of Washington, Dr. Kastner has also taught in pediatrics, adolescent medicine, and the medical school. The topics of her academic publications include adolescent sexuality, chronic illness, eating disorders, adolescent development, behavioral pediatrics and medical education. Dr. Kastner is a frequent speaker at conferences, workshops and forums on adolescent development and family relationships. She is an author of five books written for parents on child development and parenting, including “Getting to Calm: Cool-headed strategies for parenting tweens and teens” and “Wise-Minded Parenting: 7 Essential for raising successful tweens and teens”.