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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home




MARCH 22, 2018

Utilizing All of His Gifts to Help Others


By Raphael Poch

B A LT I M O R E J E W I S H H O M E . C O M


vi Steinherz is the National Clinical Director of the Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit at United Hatzalah and is also in charge of all internal emotional and psychological wellbeing of the unit’s responders. In addition to that, he is responsible for all of the educational material, instruction, and syllabuses for the unit. It is also his task to debrief all psychotrauma unit responders following an incident. If that wasn’t enough, Steinherz is also a volunteer advanced EMT and ambucycle driver with United Hatzalah. He has his own therapy practice, a family, and still manages to spend free time playing football and practicing martial arts. So how does one man come to fit all this into his busy schedule? Easy, he’s from the Five Towns. Steinherz originally grew up in Hewlett/Woodmere and is the son of two physicians, both of whom valued giving back to the community as a priority.

“My father and mother are both physicians who changed the world,” said Steinherz. “My father is a Holocaust survivor and escaped the Germans with his mother three times. He came to the United States and became a doctor who specializes in child oncology. At some point, he decided that he was going to change the world, and through his work, he ended up raising the survival rate of children who suffer from leukemia by almost 50% via medical protocols that he developed.” Steinherz spoke equally highly of his mother. “My mother was born and raised in the United States and met my father in school. She became a pediatric cardiologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and was equally devoted to medicine and caring for others. So that is the world in which I grew up – a world that revolved around the philosophy that G-d puts each of us in this world and gives us certain strengths and it is our responsibility to use those strengths.”

Steinherz added, “My parents always told me that you need to ask the question, if you have strengths, then how will you use them to help others. My parents took their strengths, and in addition to being doctors, they began Camp Simcha, a day camp for kids with cancer in addition to the Chai Lifeline.” For those who are unfamiliar Chai Lifeline, it is a year-round project that supports Camp Simcha and provides year-round support for the kids who attend the camp. “As a young child, I was always expected to be a doctor and be a surgeon,” Steinherz said. “When I was little I thought I would be a cardiologist and work with my mom. But at the age of ten I was really into contact sports, so my interest changed to becoming an orthopedic surgeon. To begin that journey, I became a volunteer EMT with the Bergen Ambulance Department. I started emergency medical training at age 12 and became an EMT at 17. In between, I worked as

a lifeguard. Before I graduated high school I was already volunteering on an ambulance in the Catskills with the local Hatzolah there.” Steinherz continued, “I went to early admissions pre-med furthering my plans to be an orthopedic surgeon. During my studies, I took a year off to come learn in yeshiva in Israel. While I was in yeshiva everything began to change. I learned that there was so much more to taking care of a person than taking care of the physical and my strengths may lie in helping people in other ways. I learned that the word ‘ability’ is the root of responsibility and that the more abilities you have the more responsibilities you take on. “I stayed in yeshiva and eventually became a rabbi. I had realized that I didn’t want to spend ten years being totally focused on becoming a surgeon. I switched my degree to educational psychology and received smicha three times. I also received a

Baltimore Jewish Home - 3-22-18  

Baltimore Jewish Home - 3-22-18

Baltimore Jewish Home - 3-22-18  

Baltimore Jewish Home - 3-22-18