Baruch was born in 1960 in New Haven, Connecticut. Baruch’s father was a Psychologist born in Romania, who immigrated as a young child, and his mother a second generation American who grew up in New York City and became a civil rights activist and curator of fine art. Growing up in New Haven in the 1960s exposed Baruch to politics at an early age. Between the anti-war movement and the Black Panthers, Baruch was around activists starting at age 8, which helped inform his own political views.
Baruch moved to Vermont in 1974 to attend Shaker Mountain School, a free school modeled after Summerhill in the UK. After graduating from Shaker Mountain in 1976 Baruch lived in Northern California for a year working in a health food store. During that year he experienced a compression fracture in his neck while bodysurfing in Hawaii. That injury led Baruch to begin the study of anatomy, physiology, and various diagnostic and healing modalities, in order to deal with the chronic pain from the neck injury. He returned to Vermont in autumn of 1977 to attend Goddard College in Plainfield. Baruch graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Education in December of 1980. At this point Baruch was practicing Massage and Shiatsu, which he had learned in California. In 1981 Baruch began his training in psychology, earning his Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from Antioch New England in 1984.
Baruch practiced Psychotherapy, Massage Therapy, and Body Oriented Psychotherapy for 25 years in Burlington, Vermont. He taught at various local colleges; psychology, massage, human sexuality. During that time Baruch participated in community and political activities ranging from anti-nuclear activism, to peace activism, working with local teenagers in drug and alcohol abuse prevention, date rape & sexual assault prevention, and HIV support. In 2000 Baruch started working as a part-time DJ at WNCS in Montpelier, Vermont.
In 2004 Baruch’s mother, who had been living on a Caribbean island, met a violent death. This murder propelled Baruch to make major changes in his life. He sold his house, closed his practice, and hit the road with his dog and cat in a pop-up camper on the back of a pickup truck. He spent five months driving and camping in Canada, travelling east to west, and then returned to the United States just in time for hurricanes Katrina and Rita to hit the gulf coast. Baruch went to New Orleans and volunteered as a counselor at the Common Ground Health Clinic for six months. The next few years were spent doing Permaculture in California, and traveling and teaching in Europe and Israel; meditation tools, developing personal ritual, and group ritual for community.
Baruch returned to Vermont in 2009. During this period he started Paradigms. In 2013 Baruch moved to Central Oregon and then on to the San Francisco Bay area to help start a group home for people with traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and addiction. That project had an expiration date, and Baruch moved back to Central Oregon in 2015. In 2021 Baruch moved to northern New Mexico where he continues to work on a variety of projects including Paradigms and the new show Talk with the Counselor.
If you, or someone you know or are aware of is doing something that you think should be on Paradigms, please let Baruch know!
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I returned to Vermont in early 2009 after having been on a trek for four years around North America and Europe, and Israel. One of the first things I did when I returned to Vermont was to visit my friend Eric Koval at his new radio station WBKM. Eric and I had worked together at WNCS in Montpelier. Eric introduced me to his partner Tony Gallucci and their brand new internet station WBKM. They immediately asked me if I would like to do a show on the station. I said yes.
I had enjoyed being a DJ at WNCS but I wanted to do something other than play music and ads and talk a little. I wanted to do a show that was musical and entertaining, but also offered substantial food for thought. I asked myself what I would like to listen to. I know it is easy for me to be adversely affected by all the negativity in the media, and if that is true for me it must be true for others. What about a show that focuses on what’s working? What about making a radio show that inspires and encourages people as well as bringing them great music? I knew that my experience as a therapist would come in handy doing interviews. I also have a great music library. I came up with the line “Visions of a viable future for life on earth including humans.” That has since evolved into “Inspired inspiring people; exploring visions of a viable future for life on earth including humans.”
The idea was to do a live show with live guests in the WBKM studio in Burlington. My previous work in radio had been in live radio so I didn’t consider any other options. Living in Vermont, however, one has to contend with winter. I lived 30 miles from the radio station and was unwilling to risk my life on icy roads so I started pre-recording some episodes; recording interviews and editing them, and combining them with the recorded music. It soon became apparent to me that I could create a meaningful listening experience by going with the pre-recorded format, and improving the production values of the show. I could call anyone anywhere in the world and record the interview, edit for length and make it listenable and interesting. I also found that a lot of people will talk with you if you ask. I wanted to improve the production values so the show would sound really good. I sought instruction in audio engineering from my friend Dennis, who showed me how to use a digital audio workstation, and I learned to edit, mix and master. The show started out as 90 minute episodes. In 2013 I changed it to an hour. Now it’s time to bring Paradigms to a larger audience.
Paradigms was inspired by the recognition that humans need to know that there are things that are working. We need to know that there are possibilities. We thrive when we interact with each other in the context of making things better. We are inspired by ideas, and by each other, and by problems to solve. We are often at our best when things are at there worst. Right now in the world we face major challenges, and there are inspired inspiring people addressing those challenges. We can all be those people.
Why the Earth and the spiral? The Earth is our home, so that seems pretty self explanatory. The spiral comes from an ancient ruin on the island of Crete, and represents the endless cycle of regeneration.
Paradigms exists solely for the purpose of offering mental, emotional, spiritual nourishment. We’ve succeeded if you come away from listening, feeling inspired. The challenges humanity faces, all of our own making, can bring out the best in us if we so choose, and that’s what’s needed now. As individuals and collectively, our talents and skills and our willingness to do what’s needed may carry us through to a peaceful sustainable world.
In service to our mission Paradigms is looking to expand the circle of radio stations that airs the program. If you know of a radio station you think is a good fit for Paradigms, please let us know!