As we all slowly emerge from over a year of lockdown, this important topic of building strength and resilience is relevant to us all. We are honoured to welcome a panel of distinguished speakers who will generously share their professional expertise and personal experiences of coping through life-changing transitions. We all face moments in our lives that stop us in our tracks but it’s how we react and find a way through, that defines us.
On the panel we have leading psychotherapist Julia Samuel with 30 years’ experience in the subject of change culminating in her most recent book, This Too Shall Pass: Stories of Change, Crisis and Hopeful Beginnings. We will hear deeply personal stories from two inspiring individuals, Yaser Martini and Charlotte Fischer, who have shown incredible strength through adversity. Yaser founded Team Margot Foundation in the wake of his baby daughter’s death in 2014 from a rare form of blood cancer; Charlotte opted for a preventative mastectomy. The panel will be moderated by Rabbi Miriam Berger, who is part of a new charity Wellspring, a centre of Wellbeing. The Wellspring project aims to help and guide people through transitions such as those experienced by Yaser and Charlotte who may need to be held on that journey.
About the Speakers
Rabbi Miriam Berger, Finchley Reform Synagogue
Rabbi Miriam Berger was ordained in 2006 and has been Rabbi of Finchley Reform Synagogue for the last 15 years. Her pastoral work with the community has led her to found a new Charity called the Wellspring Project. It endeavours to open a centre of wellbeing with the ritual of mikveh at its heart, enabling people to use the physical act to mark transitional moments.
Julia Samuel MBE, Msc, MBACP (Snr Accredited) UKCP Registered Psychotherapist
Julia Samuel is a leading UK psychotherapist. At St Mary’s Hospital Paddington, she established the post of psychotherapist for Paediatrics, where her role for 25 years involved seeing families who have children or babies who die, and where she trained and supported the staff.
In 1994 she worked to help launch and establish The Child Bereavement UK and as the The Founder Patron was involved in many aspects of the charity’s work, having a key role in fundraising, strategy and training. She has stepped back from active involvement now.
In 2016 Julia was awarded an MBE in recognition of her services to bereaved children and in 2017 Middlesex University awarded her an Honorary Doctorate.
In 2017 Julia published Grief Works which was a Sunday Times bestseller in the UK and has been published in 17 countries. In March 2020 she published This Too Shall Pass: stories of Change Crisis and Hopeful Beginnings and is also a Sunday Times bestseller. She also has a private practice where she sees families and individuals for many different issues.
Yaser leads the charity, Team Margot Foundation which was set up in memory of his daughter, Margot and to honour her legacy. Team Margot’s mission is to help save and improve lives by educating, inspiring and motivating people, especially from ethnically diverse communities, to register as blood, organ, stem cell and bone marrow donors and to provide a range of support to families caring for child cancer patients.
Yaser qualified as a chartered surveyor in 1994 and his first career was with leisure & hospitality property specialists, Fleurets. Today, he runs a small family office, is co-founder of food business Miso Tasty and is the manager of eco designer, social enterpriser & award-winning BBC TV presenter, Jay Blades.
Yaser is married to Vicki and is father to four boys. He was a regular O+ blood donor (until his heart disease diagnosis) and is a registered organ, stem cell and bone marrow donor.
Charlotte Fischer grew up in south east London and read history and politics at Oxford. She currently works as a part of the Senior Management Team at Citizens UK, overseeing work to support Jewish communities to be involved in justice and the national co-ordination of making misogyny a hate crime, which has resulted in hate crime against women being recorded in almost 1/3 of constabularies in the UK.
She studied Arabic in Damascus and then worked in political mediation in Geneva before changing track to work in conflict history in Cyprus, Spain, Northern Ireland and South Africa. A dual national, she spent two years in South Africa, co-authoring a book on the history of South African education and as the executive director of the South African Religious Action Centre, where she organised to take on a ban put on Jewish women singing. In 2014 she won the Annemarie Schimmel Award at the Muslim News Awards for her work with synagogues and the Somali Bravanese Welfare Association after their building was burnt down in an arson attack, and in 2015 she was ranked in the Jewish News ’40 Jews under 40′. With Martha Jephcott, she was awarded an ‘Ideas and Pioneers’ Paul Hamlyn Award in 2019 for feminist organising, and their joint organisation, Love & Power, was longlisted for a UN Women award in 2020.
DATE: 5th May 2021
VENUE: Zoom (link to follow once registered)