Cult Observer Archives

The Cult Observer

November 1986

Jonestown Memorial Awards to New York Educator, Counselor

Cult Observer Report

November 21, 1986

Two New Yorkers were recipients yesterday of the Jonestown Memorial Award, given each year in memory of victims of the murder/suicides in Guyana of more than 900 People’s Temple followers of Rev. Jim Jones.

Honored at the Church Center of the United Nations by the New York/New Jersey affiliate of the Cult Awareness Network for their work in alerting the public to the dangers of destructive cults, and assisting the victims, were Dr. Philip D. Abramowitz, Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council’s Task Force on Missionaries and Cults, and Arnold Markowitz, C.S.W., Director of the Cult Hotline and Clinic of the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services.

Remarks made by the presenters at the award ceremony, New York writer Marcia Rudin and social worker William Goldberg – both of whom are well known nationally for their own work in the field – emphasized that both honorees more than deserved the recognition that was finally being accorded them.

Dr. Abramowitz, who was appointed to head the JCRC Task Force almost five years ago, during a time of particularly heavy cult activity in the New York City area, has developed and implemented educational programs for young people, adults, and professionals that have become permanent parts of the organized response to the continuing problem posed by cults to individuals and families in the vast metropolitan area. Dr. Abramowitz also took a leading role in the creation of the New York Interfaith Coalition of Concern About Cults, a broad-based cooperative endeavor involving major religious denominations that has magnified greatly the work of the JCRC and other local service agencies.

Arnold Markowitz founded the JBRFCS hotline and clinic and has led his agency’s effort to devise and deliver effective counseling and therapy to individuals and families – non-Jewish as well as Jewish – trying to deal with the devastating psychological and social problems often caused by cult involvement. Mr. Markowitz has also written articles on counseling in the cult area and on the nature and causes of child abuse in cultic settings.

In accepting the Jonestown Memorial Award, both recipients gave special thanks to their colleagues and agencies. Dr. Abramowitz also referred especially to his parents, who attended the ceremony, while Mr. Markowitz singled out his wife, also in attendance, for putting up in good spirit with the uncounted intrusions into private family time which the work of a mental health professional so often entails.

The Cult Observer

November 1986

 

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