With the start of the 2023-24 school year upon us, we are highlighting members of the incoming class of students. Click here to see all of the articles in this series.
Today we’re talking with incoming Chaplaincy student Evey Rosenbloom.
Q1) Where do you live?
I live in Oak Park, California
Q2) How did you first hear of AJRCA?
I was having a conversation with a Rabbi about how I wanted to become something “like a Rabbi,” but to serve people individually, who were going through difficult times and wanted spiritual company and support. She recommended I check out the Chaplaincy program at AJRCA.
Q3) What was it about AJRCA that drew you to enroll here?
For the past two decades, I worked in two fields, both of which I pursued part-time and simultaneously.
As a fashion designer, I created electrical light-up dresses for brides and performance artists that sparkled on the stages of Music Festivals and the MTV Awards. My work was featured in magazines and I worked in costume houses that made garments for major celebrities.
I was also simultaneously on the road to becoming a Social Worker. I had been working in housing projects for the homeless, group homes for at-risk youth, and overseeing patient safety and treatment planning in psychiatric hospitals.
In 2019, after my family was displaced by the Woolsey Fires, I was hit with incurable chronic migraines that presented as daily vertigo. The vertigo was so bad that I spent weeks at a time in bed under blankets in the dark, believing I would live this way forever. This led me down a long winding road towards overcoming depression and anxiety.
I am grateful this led me on a spiritual and meaningful quest to explore ways to shift my perspective and adjust my lifestyle. I drew insights from disciplines like Science of Wellbeing, Holistic Medicine, Mussar, and the teachings of my Zayde, an Auschwitz survivor, as well as the mystical wisdom of the Baal Shem Tov, Rabbi Nachman, and Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. I also drew upon techniques and teachings of spiritual and thought leaders of various cultures and faiths, across time and space.
After learning how to realign my body, mind, heart, and soul, I found joy, meaning, and purpose, and succeeded in taming the vertigo and reclaiming my life. This transformation inspired me to launch a podcast about how we can find joy regardless of our circumstances. I interview people who are homeless, or dying of incurable diseases, or have what most would consider “despairing limitations,” yet they choose to maintain their zest for life. I wanted to provide a roadmap or guidance to help people heal and reconnect with themselves. I have been asked to speak at summits and conferences about overcoming depression and anxiety. I have also been invited to host peer-led support groups about overcoming depression at local hospitals. I am inspired to help serve people on a deeper level than I have been. Instead of lighting up dresses, I want to give people the tools to connect with their inner light – to let in the light of the divine and to reignite the light within their souls. Instead of providing people with treatment plans, I realize for some people there is no cure, but rather ways to comfortably transition beyond the limits of their physical bodies. I am here so that I can learn how to better serve those who want to find peace and rediscover their wholeness, along with any other tools I can provide that would be of comfort. I am grateful and excited to be a student in this Chaplaincy program.
Q5) As you embark on this experience, what are you most excited about?