Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Big Data, Big Solutions

Eytan Kobre

The Jewish community has gotten used to relying on anecdotal evidence and conjecture when it comes to pressing mental health issues like depression, OCD, and anxiety. But that’s not good enough, says Dr. Yitzchak Schechter, so he’s built an institution utilizing big data to dispel the myths.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Everyone knows that religious people are at higher risk for obsessive-compulsive disorder.   Everyone knows that a great majority of kids-at-risk were abused.   Everyone knows that chassidishe people are more loath than others to seek help for mental health issues.   But what if what everyone knows… is wrong?   If Dr. Yitzchak Schechter, director of the Center for Applied Psychology (CAPs) mental health clinic at Monsey’s Bikur Cholim, has one message to convey to the frum community, it’s that to accurately answer questions like these, a little humility and a lot of data can go a long way. He’s determined to move the most important questions facing Torah-observant individuals, families, and communities — issues like how to stem the rising tide of divorce, what underlies the phenomenon of alienated frum Jews, and, if there is a shidduch crisis, what are the solutions — out of the realm of “Shabbos table talk” based on conjecture and spotty data, and instead expose them to the bright spotlight of rigorous statistical and analytical research, so that the community can make informed decisions and solve the problems it faces. To that end, he has created the ARCC Institute, which stands for Applied Research and Community Collaboration. The institute’s impact on both communal decision-making and the lives of real people is already being felt, one research study at a time.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you