Friday, March 11, 2011

A Word from the Director: 3/11/2011

This past week was very busy. Last night we had a Rav here from Eretz Yisroel who has a program very similar to ours. It was interesting to see that many of the situations and challenges are very similar with our teens and young adults. Baruch Hashem there are many fine institutions in the community that work with teens that come from secular homes. Our niche is working with teens that come from orthodox homes and that somewhere along the line have become disenchanted with their environment. There are many reasons why that would happen. Often there may be a family situation or crisis which changes the homeostasis of that individual; often what may have been the norm yesterday now comes into doubt. For the most part, I believe that many of our students feel that there is something different about them, that they do not fit the mold, and that they have failed to reach the expectations of their family and even community. One of our goals at Aish Tamid is to work with each individual and to build a program for him based on where he is at this moment. It is our job to create a realistic expectation for the student.

Every person without exception has the ability to be successful. Unfortunately, we are not born with a handbook and for some it takes longer to figure out what our strengths are. This past week I had the opportunity to meet with Rabbi Yonah Landau. The purpose was to discuss the creation of a work project for our group of boys that could be their own. I have many kids here who have talents and I am constantly looking for community projects for three reasons. The first reason is many of the boys are generally bored and this keeps them busy; second, it makes them feel productive by helping others; third, when they are put to the challenge with new projects they find strengths they never realized they had. For many, conventional school does not work, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t learn a vocation or a trade which they can feel good about. We have been successful in creating a safe place where kids are comfortable with mentors - an educational component, with the spiritual component, and of course the fun component - and our gym will hopefully open soon. I just feel that learning a vocation is the next step for many of our kids.

Again, anyone who would like to volunteer with this project should be in touch with me.

Have a wonderful Shabbos!

Rabbi Gavriel Hershoff

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