Angel Shoutout: Yeshiva University

This week’s Angel Shoutout goes to the entire Social Work department at Yeshiva University.  As some of you may know, I recently had the chance to sit down for an interview at their student radio station. After the interview, I took some time to really get familiar with the school’s humanitarian efforts. It is safe to say that I was very impressed to find out so many wonderful charities working under this university.

One particular bit of news really resonated with me: Yeshiva University is actively incorporating anti-bullying efforts into the curriculum. Here is what I found:

In an effort to better educate its students about the dangers of bullying, and how to fight them, Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work has gained the exclusive screening rights to “Bullycam: The Video Diary of Kelly Wilson“, a film depicting the relentless bullying of a high school teen from the perspective of the victim.

“ ‘Bullycam’ is a fine film that brings to life the terror and pain that bullying can cause an individual,” said Dr. Carmen Ortiz Hendricks, the Dorothy and David Schachne Dean of Wurzweiler.

Wurzweiler initially held an advance screening of the film, which won Best Narrative Feature at the Metropolitan Film Festival, NYC Independent Film Festival, the Buffalo/Niagara Film Festival, as well as the Thin Line Award at the Thin Line Film Festival, before its premiere in 2011. It elicited such a strong reaction then and in the months that followed that Wurzweiler decided to revisit it as a potentially critical component of the social work curriculum, focusing on its unique ability to help students better understand the many forms bullying often takes among children and teens today and empathize with the emotions and motivations of victims after witnessing a firsthand account.

“The sad truth about bullying is that it’s fundamentally a part of going to school,” said the filmmaker, Brian Sizensky. “As a social worker it’s important to be able to recognize and deal with bullying as it occurs, because young people depend upon you to help them navigate these potentially traumatic experiences to become healthy and functioning adults. Incorporating bullying education into these curricula will help future social workers become more perceptive to this issue over the course of their careers.”

“Social workers can encounter bullying in its many forms at different times in their careers. This film helps us empathize with the victim of bullying and experience the traits of the bully. It should help us all be more effective social workers in understanding bullying situations that we may confront in our everyday work with clients.” said Hendricks.

Wurzweiler will have the exclusive screening rights to “Bullycam” for two months and the remainder of 2014 non-exclusively.

According to Fast: “We’re hoping that school social workers can get more courteous behavior out of adolescents and maybe also advocate good laws that can curb this kind of speech. On the other hand, it is still technically free speech, and as soon as you start to legislate that, you run the risk of limiting those freedoms and government criticism. So there are enormous problems here, which makes it great for teaching—these issues push people to think and to admit that there need to be answers.”

To learn more about Yeshiva University and all of their charitable efforts, please visit:

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