About Me

Rabbi Sara Berman graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a degree in Women’s Studies. She is an ordained rabbi and board-certified chaplain. She contributed a chapter on illness to Walking with Life, an adult curriculum series published by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies. In addition, Berman completed a chaplaincy residency at UCLA in the Neuropsychiatric Institute, where she later became a patient. Berman’s struggles with depression have inspired her to help end the stigma of mental illness. She presently lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two kids, two dogs, and two cats.

My Book ​

Ben Oni L’Benyamin: From Sorrow to Strength draws from my history of clinical depression and my work as a rabbi in a series of accessible reflections on Jewish traditions through the lens of mental illness. The book explores the holy days of the Jewish calendar along with select stories from the Torah. By drawing parallels between these important elements of Judaism and the devastating effects depression has on its sufferers, the reader can gain a deeper understanding of what it is like to live with this condition. From Sorrow to Strength also includes my own journal entries, advice and commentary from other people with depression, and my daughter’s firsthand experience witnessing my struggle to provide the reader with a complete and sympathetic portrait of this illness. By sharing my reflections on my personal experience with clinical depression, I hope to help end the stigma of mental illness. I am an ordained rabbi and board-certified chaplain. My earlier publications include a chapter on illness in Walking with Life, an adult curriculum series published by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies. I did a chaplaincy residency at UCLA and worked in the Neuropsychiatric Institute as one of my assignments; years later From Sorrow to Strength connects themes of Judaism with the experience of depression by using the Jewish calendar and Torah passages as a guide. This unique yet utterly raw take on a common experience for many Americans could earn it a spot in the self-help, memoir, and religion sections of any bookstore.

I am a Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor and would love to teach Mental Health First Aid to your community.

Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds an understanding of their impact and overviews appropriate supports. This 8-hour course uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis and connect people to the appropriate professional, peer, social and self-help care. The program also teaches common risk factors and warning signs of specific illnesses like anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and schizophrenia.

Mental Health First Aid is included on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP)

Public Speaking

Ending the Stigma
May 13, 2014

Church/ Synagogue Event

My goal is to help end the stigma of mental illness. Invite me to your religious community so I can share my personal journey with depression, as well as ways in which my faith has helped me.
May 13, 2014

Teen Events: Schools and youth groups

My daughter, Miriam, is very open about sharing her story. She will speak with teens and adults, discussing signs to look for, how to help a friend, how to take care of yourself, and how communities can help.
May 13, 2014

D’vrai Torah/ Sermons

Invite me to lead a short sermon during services related to mental health issues. Taken from my book, I will share insight from the Torah.
Have any questions?

rabbisarab@gmail.com

Call us
Address

Sherman Oaks, CA