Public Seminar: Social Media and Mental Health – an Abrahamic perspective (now with audio)

Audio from this event is now available!

Abi Buchhalter (Jewish) – download, or listen here:

Kitty McKinley (Christian) – download, or listen here:

Rafat Najm (Muslim) – download, or listen here:

The Wellington Abrahamic Council is pleased to invite you to an event which explores religious perspectives on dealing with the mental health implications of social media.

WhenWednesday 28 September, 7pm
WhereSalvation Army Newtown Centre
4 Normanby St, Newtown
SpeakersAbi Buchhalter – Youth Counsellor (Jewish)
Kitty McKinley – Founder, Challenge 2000 (Christian)
Rafat Najm – Chaplain, AUT Mosque (Muslim)

Free event, all welcome, no RSVP necessary. If you are able, please bring a can or two of food which will reach people in need via DCM.

What is so much time on devices doing to our young people?

Research from America has worrying implications for New Zealand parents. It shows that since 2010, adolescents have been spending more and more time on their devices. It is believed this may account for significant increases in depression and suicide that we are seeing in our young people, especially girls.

In contrast, the research shows that youngsters who spend more time on non-screen activities are less likely to have mental health issues.

Come to this seminar to hear approaches this problem from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim speakers.

How do we prepare our youngsters for an increasingly digital world? What skills could we give them to make their use of tech a positive experience? How do we help them deal with the negative stuff? And what can our religions offer?

There will be a Q&A session, tea and biscuits, and plenty of time for discussion. We look forward to seeing you there!

You can help us with publicity by inviting your friends to come along to this event with you or downloading our attractive flyer, printing it out, and posting it in your place of worship.

For more information, contact Dave Moskovitz,, 027 220 2202

51 seconds for Christchurch on 15 April

Jews, Christians, and Muslims will be falling silent for 51 seconds at 1:40pm on 15 April to remember the Christchurch mosque attacks of 2019. National and local commemorations for the attacks were cancelled last month due to COVID-19, and this is a chance for people to remember the attacks in their own way.

“With the whole country in lockdown, it’s more important now than ever to act together, and pause briefly in silence to think about how we can make our society more inclusive,” says Dave Moskovitz, the Jewish Co-Chair of the Wellington Abrahamic Council of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. “We’re asking people in each household to take less than a minute out of their day on 15 April to think: what can I do, what can our community do, and what can New Zealand do to stop hatred in our thoughts, words, and actions?”

Christian Co-chair Father Ron Bennett adds, “We’re a month late for the 15 March anniversary. It’s sad that commemorations were cancelled last month, but we couldn’t let this important event in New Zealand history go unmarked. We’re asking people to take 51 seconds – that’s one second for each life lost in the attacks – to build a more compassionate society. COVID-19 might slow us down, but it can’t stop us. Better late than never.”

Islamic Women’s Council of NZ Coordinator Anjum Rahman says that it is not Muslim practice to commemorate the deaths of specific people as death is a transition from one stage of life to another. “These attacks had a strong impact on our wider society. Many of us feel less safe now than we did before the attacks, and every person in our country has the basic human right to not fear for their lives, no matter what their religious beliefs are, nor how they might identify as a person. Celebrating difference and valuing others is the best way to counter hate.”

So on 15 April, take 51 seconds to remember the Christchurch mosque shootings, and join Jews, Christains, and Muslims around the country to think about how we’ve changed, and what we can do to make our society more inclusive. Please share this, and invite your friends to our Facebook Event.