JCFS Chicago, No Shame on U and The Chicago Board of Rabbis invite you to observe Mental Health Shabbat on January 19th and 20th 2024, 10 Shevat 5784, Parashat Bo.

Mental Health Shabbat is an opportunity to bring light during the dark winter months, celebrate mental health and well-being, reduce the shame and stigma of mental illness, and offer hope and healing.

Synagogues can participate in Mental Health Shabbat by choosing from a variety of observances, such as:

  • sharing information about mental health and well-being with congregants through your website, newsletter and eblasts
  • including those struggling with mental health challenges in healing prayers and acknowledging those who died by suicide in memorial prayers
  • incorporating mental health and well-being related supplemental prayers and/or readings into services
  • speaking about mental health during the Sermon/D’var Torah and/or inviting a guest speaker to share information or a personal narrative

View our Mental Health Shabbat Resource Guide for links to articles, information, prayers and readings to share with your community on Mental Health Shabbat and throughout the year. If your congregation is not able to observe Mental Health Shabbat on Parashat Bo, we encourage you to select another Shabbat to raise awareness, share information and offer support and comfort to all those in your community who struggle with mental health challenges and to their loved ones.

View the Mental Health Shabbat Resource Guide here

Community Programs
We have three community programs that we are offering in parnetership with No Shame On U in connection with this year's Mental Health Shabbat. Read on for more information:

Virtual Program | Movement to Soothe the Soul
Thursday, January 18, 2024
9:30 - 10:00 am
Cost:  FREE

Join No Shame On U, JCFS Chicago, and Chicago Board of Rabbis along with Beth Lofchie Jacobson, Certified Personal Trainer, and Certified Group Fitness Instructor, for a fitness session aimed at soothing your mind and raising your spirits.

For more information and to register, go HERE!

Virtual Program | Embracing Chaos Through Art
Monday, January 22nd at 12pm CT
12:00 - 12:30 pm
Cost:  FREE

Unlock the power of creativity for mental well-being through the arts with Bari Fleischer, MFA and Doctoral Candidate in DEI, for an interactive art session promoting self-expression as a tool for processing and managing mental health challenges, including depression, anxiety, and general stress. The benefits of engaging in art creation include improved memory, stress relief, boosts in self-esteem, and healing. By creating a platform for education and expression, we can normalize processing these issues while creating beauty through our process.  No art experience is required. Please come prepared with a writing utensil and paper

For more information and to register, go HERE!

Virtual Program | Yoga with a Special Focus on Wellbeing
Tuesday, January 23, 2024
4:00 - 4:30 pm
Cost:  FREE

Take a mental health break and join No Shame On U, JCFS Chicago, and Chicago Board of Rabbis for Yoga with a Special Focus on Well-being.  Open to anyone 13+. No experience or equipment is needed. Facilitated by Mara M. Zimmerman, CYT, CHS 

For more information and to register, go HERE!

Shabbat at Home
In addition to your Mental Health Shabbat observances in your synagogue, we have included suggestions for “Shabbat At Home” for you to share with your congregants to enhance their observances at home.

Planning to observe Mental Health Shabbat? Let us know! We're happy to help and we value your feedback.

For more information and/or assistance as you develop your Mental Health Shabbat plans, please contact Bracha Jakofsky, Mental Health Educator. 


to help

We're Here

to Help.

For assistance or more information, call us at 855.275.5237 or email us at Ask@JCFS.org.