Let me introduce myself. I know that some of you may be interested in my credentials: my education and background, my degrees and areas of expertise. So we'll start with that...

"Rabbi Shimmy Trencher, LCSW-C, a Jewish educator and social worker who has spent over two decades working with Jewish children and teens in a variety of settings, currently serves as the Principal of the Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy Upper School in Stamford, Connecticut. Additionally, he is the founder of and advisor to Heart, Mind & Soul, an organization that develops and runs positive youth development programs for Jewish teens and adults. He holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from University of Connecticut with a certification in mental health and substance abuse in social work practice. Rabbi Trencher previously served as Dean of Students at Hebrew High School of New England (now part of New England Jewish Academy); Dean of Students, Associate Principal, and Principal of the Rabbi Moshe H. Levinson Upper School at Berman Hebrew Academy; and Assistant Director of New England (now Northeast) Region NCSY. Rabbi Trencher is also a certified parenting coach and instructor of Redirecting Children's Behavior, a positive parenting course developed by International Network of Children and Families. He has also published a number of articles and lectures on topics of personal growth within Judaism and parenting approaches and techniques."

PhotoOf course, you may also be interested in finding out a bit more about who I am as a person. That is not to say that education and experience aren't important--of course they are. After all, you wouldn't bring your car to an mechanic who learned his trade earlier in the week by watching a two-hour video on the subject, and I certainly hope you wouldn't seek therapy or counsel from someone who lacks experience in that area either. But education and experience are only part of the picture.

You see, I believe that it is compassion and the human connection that makes all the difference. It is not only what we know and what we do... It's the how and the why.

I left the computer industry and now work with people instead of machines because I see around me a lack of clarity about who we are and what we are meant to be. Each of us is here--on this planet, at this very moment--for a reason, a purpose. On Yom Kippur, we recite in our prayers, "Elokei, ad shelo notzarti, eini k'dai," most often translated as, "My G-d, before I was created, I was unworthy." Rav Avraham Yitzchok HaCohen Kook, however, looks deeper and understands this to mean, "Until now, I was not created because it was not yet appropriate, it was not yet the right time for me to be created. If I had been created at a different time, a different generation, I would not be able to fulfill the special role that is uniquely mine in this world." But what happens? The prayer continues, "V'achshav Shenotzarti, K'eilu Lo Notzarti," "now that I've been created, it's as if I haven't been…" We allow our mistakes and our shortcomings to prevent us from realizing our missions, our roles, our true magnificence as part of G-d's plan.

For me, the "why" of what I do is simple: In my counseling, speaking, and coaching, my goal is to approach life's issues from a position of strength, from a place of belief in the unique contributions of each of us and the powerful talents and energies that each of us bring to the world. I envision a world where we love ourselves and each other for the purpose of fulfilling our missions and bringing G-dliness, love, understanding, compassion, and peace into the world. And this, of course, relates directly to all of our relationships and dealings: within our families, communities, and ultimately between man and G-d.