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Why is Coaching Becoming So Popular In the Torah Community


Source: Hamodia Magazine

By David Ritchie, MBA


Coaching Practiced by Gedolei Yisrael for Generations


The “new” techniques taught by all the best schools of coaching have been in use by Gedolei Yisrael for centuries long before “coaching” was developed. Jews have always consulted Manhigim, seeking guidance in all aspects of their lives. The techniques and skills used by Manhigim include what is referred to in the coaching community as: establishing rapport with empathic understanding; respect and loving care; taking a positive, solution-focused approach to a problem; building on clients’ strengths and previous successes; restoring and rebuilding a client’s sense of competence and confidence. By doing this the coach helps clients discover their true goals and to find within themselves the courage and clarity to take the steps necessary to accomplish their goals.


Torah Obligation to Improve our Middos


Since Jews have an obligation to continually grow in middos, wise individuals sought – and seek — assistance in this process. Often, today, this assistance can take the form of coaching. The coaching process helps individuals evaluate where they are, to clarify their goals, and to find ways to advance and improve their middos. Coaching is used to increase success in all aspects of family life, learning and business.


Mitzvah to be Happy!


We also have a Torah obligation to be happy, for instance — v’simachta b’chagecha. Fulfilling the mitzvah to be happy does not always come naturally or easily. In order to better manage our emotions and our lives, modern coaching techniques offer valuable, useful solutions.


Coaching, a Skill and Profession Easily Learned by a Frum Jew


Frum Jews have a distinct advantage in learning to be a skillful life coach. After all, we have mitzvot such as, v’ahavtah l’rayechah kamochah, and we can learn from living and past role models who exemplify these mitzvot-Gedolei Yisrael, Rebbes, and menahelos. However today we often don’t have the benefit of enough close shimush of our role models. Fortunately, when a Jew is exposed to the science of coaching, the principles are not new or strange. In fact, many of the students of the Refuah Institute are effectively coaching others only a few months into the course.The information students learn fits with what, as Jews, they already know.


Refuah Institute Distance Learning Program, a Great Way to Learn Coaching


Students of the Refuah Institute learn from home with live, fully interactive training, attending classes and practicums by conference calls or video conference. Refuah’s programs are designed for those who have to balance a busy life of mitzvot, parnassah, learning and family. Students who are in Israel can join the classes on campus in Jerusalem. Either way, they enjoy working closely with the Refuah faculty, staff and students.


Why has the Refuah Program Been SoSuccessful?


Refuah Institute is a powerful example of the successful use of modern techniques and technology to teach Torah truth and values. By extracting the kosher aspects of psychology and coaching and translating them back into Torah idioms, the Refuah Institute teaches skills that are extremely effective and that do not contradict the values of Torah Jewry.


The Secret of Refuah’s Success


What makes any organization a success are the people behind the name. Refuah’s faculty integrates the values of Torah and the science of modern coaching techniques into their own lives. The dean and founder of the Refuah Institute is Dr. Joshua Ritchie, MD. In addition to having semichah, Professor Ritchie’s professional experience includes many years as a professor and practitioner of medicine, and of training graduate students in the art and science of coaching, counseling and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Professor Ritchie’s coaching methods are a blend of his secular training and his close association with the Amshinover Rebbe, zt”l. As a ben bayis and shamash to the Rebbe, Professor Ritchie was privileged to spend over a thousand hours observing the methods employed by the Rebbe when counseling individuals in yechidus.


Who are the Refuah Students?


Refuah students possess training or life experience in such areas as education, the rabbinate, shadchanus, kiruv, marriage, parenting, organizational leadership, business and counseling. Graduates of the one-year comprehensive training program receive a Certified Life Coach Diploma from the Refuah Institute and certification as a Professional Coach from the AAPC. Upon graduation, students use their training and credentials to advance their careers in a wide range of organizational and educational settings. Some graduates develop a private coaching practice, usually by telephone from home.


Registration Is in Progress for the Program

If you believe coaching may be your calling, contact the Refuah Institute for more information about this exciting opportunity.

Tel. +1 646-395-9613 (USA) or 972-2-5715112 (Israel). Email:  Website:

Refuah Graduates December 2009

Thank you! This course has been an incredible learning experience and I am very grateful for what I have learned at Refuah.


~ Etty Grunberger AAPC,CMCC

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