Just what the doctor ordered: The Healing Power of Jewish Humor
On the heels of the Purim holiday, which commands joy and laughter, Hadassah of Greater Philadelphia will hold its 20th annual Education Day, “No Laughing Matter - The Healing Power of Jewish Humor,” April 17 at Meadowlands Country Club in Blue Bell, PA.
Studies have shown that laughter, just like exercise, can reduce stress, improve tolerance to pain, and alter bodily functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, muscle activity, and stomach acidity. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins and serotonin, the "feel-good hormones" that create feelings of euphoria and happiness.
Panelists for the event are:
· Yisrael Campbell (formerly Christopher Campbell), a Philadelphia-born Israeli comedian
· Emilie Passow, Ph.D., Associate Teaching Professor, Judaic Studies Program; Co-Director, Certificate Program in Humanities, Medical Sciences and Society, Drexel University; visiting lecturer in medical humanities, Thomas Jefferson Medical College
· Joel Schwartz, M.D., speaker and author, The Stress Less Shrink; Chairman Emeritus, Department of Psychiatry, Abington Memorial Hospital
Barbara Goldstein (fondly referred to as “BG”), Deputy Director of Hadassah Offices in Israel, will make a special guest appearance.
“While Hadassah takes its commitment to healing very seriously,” said Roz Holberg, President of Hadassah of Greater Philadelphia, “the organization also has a lighter side, as evidenced by its Medical Clown Program, the first of its kind in Israel, which puts smiles on the faces of its pediatric patients.”
When Hadassah’s Department of Pediatrics adopted an Ethiopian orphanage and introduced an anti-HIV therapy there, the medical clowns were an integral part of the multidisciplinary team. Hadassah’s clowns flew to Thailand in the aftermath of the 2004 Tsunami and to Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake.
See Hadassah’s medical clowns in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30vg8c3zQxo 
The Philadelphia-area event is sponsored to honor the memory of Linda Cohen of the Miriam’s Well Group of Hadassah.
Tickets are $45 per person for Hadassah members and $55 per person for non-members, and include continental breakfast, all activities and materials for the day, and a buffet lunch. Registration deadline is April 2. For registration and more information, contact Elissa Smiley at [email protected]  or 215-732-7100.