David Mandel
Chief Executive Officer, OHEL Children's Home and Family Services

Trials and Triumphs

To many, “trials and triumphs” may denote the story of an athlete training for a lifelong event an Olympian’s journey to a gold medal.

This is in contrast to every day individuals in our community who quietly struggle and heroically overcome many obstacles in their lives – without fan-fair, television appearances or recognition.

Whether having experienced domestic violence or divorce, being born with a developmental disability or faced a psychiatric illness, the individuals in OHEL’s groundbreaking new video “Trials and Triumphs” serve as role models to us all.

Why is this video groundbreaking?

We believe this is the first time that such brave individuals have gone on camera to share their stories in a most personal way.

Whether Chani who works and dates – and has bipolar disorder, Albie who thrives in an OHEL residence – and who has a developmental disability, Pesach, now a successful musician who effectively manages schizophrenia, Linda – who battled through a difficult divorce or Elisheva who faced acute domestic violence, these individuals have all found an innate strength and positive message in moving forward in life..

Their trying circumstances shared in so public a way, demonstrates not only the incredible courage of the individuals themselves,
but also the welcoming and growing sea of change in community acknowledgment, understanding and sensitivity to such challenges in life.

Very importantly we realize that when these experiences are shared, rather than being shunned or concealed, that they enrich us all
as a community and as individuals – as we all face different adversities of our own, and can draw life lessons of our own, from the resilience of others.

About the Author
David Mandel is CEO of Ohel Children's Home and Family Services. For more than 50 years, Ohel has provided a safe haven for those suffering in the community. Ohel cares for more than 17,000 individuals in the New York metropolitan area and across all communities offering a broad range of mental health services including outpatient counseling, trauma, anxiety, eldercare, respite and housing.