Segments in this Video

In the Moment of Tragedy Washington DC (02:12)


Michael Shochet preaches at Temple Radef Shalom and volunteers as Chaplain Coordinator for the Fairfax County Police Department. The cantor describes working at the Pentagon after September 11th. Chaplains are the presence of God in moments of crisis.

Trauma-Informed Ministry of Presence (02:24)

Schochet explains how his duties as a cantor and as a chaplain are similar. He tries to bring compassion and faith into everything he does. People who witness a shooting are indirectly traumatized.

Immediate and Long-Term Effects of Trauma (01:57)

Schochet believes he experienced PTSD from watching his partner get shot on duty. Music connects the cantor to his faith. Police chaplains help people in need after they experience trauma.

Providing a Ministry of Presence (01:11)

Schochet provides sacred support for those experiencing trauma. The chaplain police vehicle helps bring a sense of holiness to chaotic moments.

Personal Impact of Trauma (02:22)

Schochet describes how his personal trauma made him more resilient and hypervigilant. The cantor explains how listening to a police officer plead for his life re-traumatized him.

Compassion and Support From Those Who've Experienced Trauma (01:09)

Communal tragedies allow those who suffered previously to be used as a resource, supporting others.

Re-Traumatization (01:50)

Crebbin discusses the impact of the Parkland shooting and how he needed to obtain information to minister to his congregation. Ministers can help sort through inaccuracies.

Challenges in Sustaining Leadership After Trauma (01:19)

Schochet wonders how many police officers that were on the job during the school shooting in Newtown still work there. Studies show that many clergy members leave after a critical incident.

Self-Awareness and Self-Care (02:46)

Introverts rejuvenate by taking time by themselves. Schochet looks forward to singing in mass on Friday or Saturdays because it restores him; music is healing. Clergy members need to be more careful about dropping everything to help others.

Trusting in the Rituals of Faith (02:09)

Schochet describes the history of the Jewish People. When he performs rituals, he connects himself with previous generations. The shadow comes after the tragedy.

Does Theology Really Help (02:20)

Faith leaders can nurture a congregation's spirit when trauma occurs. Schochet wonders if a personal theology helps one through tragedy. The clergy can use sacred texts, time, and silence to acknowledge grief.

Credits: Faith Leaders as First and Second Responders (00:54)

Credits: Faith Leaders as First and Second Responders

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Faith Leaders as First and Second Responders

Part of the Series : Healing the Healers
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Cantor Michael Shochet is a Senior Clergy at Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, VA. Before he was ordained, he was a police officer in Baltimore where he experienced the trauma of having his partner shot in front of him. Today, in addition to serving his congregation, he also leads the Police Chaplain unit for Fairfax County, VA. He has been on call during such traumas as the Pentagon terror attack on 9/11, the Washington Sniper shootings, and many local incidents of gun violence and terror attacks. Cantor Shochet and Reverend Crebbin discuss the similarities between police and faith leaders as responders to tragedy; the importance of self-care for faith leaders in the aftermath of trauma; the possibility of being re-traumatized when similar events occur, like the Parkland shooting; and the uses of sacred rituals and theology in the midst of such events.

Length: 24 minutes

Item#: BVL193078

Copyright date: ©2019

Closed Captioned

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