Friday, May 20, 2011

A Word from the Director: 5/20/2011

Aish Tamid will be open this Saturday night for a special Drop-In Center event. We will all be meeting at the building at 9:30 PM and visiting Rabbi Wolf for his Lag B’Omer Meron experience soon afterwards. Many of the boys are unfamiliar with this unique celebration. I hope that it will be a fun and inspirational evening for all!

This week I attended a lecture given by Mrs. Rochel Wise from Philadelphia. I invited parents to join as well. Mrs. Wise is a parenting coach who lectures around the country, focusing on discussing parents’ relationships with teenagers. She bases her principles on what she calls ‘Choice Theory’, emphasizing the importance of relationships. The two important factors that I picked up from her were as follows: First, many parents have issues with their teenagers because the transition from child to teenager poses many new challenges. Parents often feel that they lose control during this period of the child’s growth. Up until now, the parents have made all the decisions. From here on, the teenager now begins to make his or her own decisions, and this is often where a number of conflicts begin to arise. Since we cannot make decisions for them forever, our goal as parents is to teach them how to make healthy decisions. My second takeaway from Mrs. Wise’s lecture was that often times, the conflicts between parents and their teenagers stem from the parents taking offense to the child’s decisions and behaviors. A parent may perceive this as a personal attack, but if they stay calm, they will realize that it is not a personal attack at all. Knowing this, it will enable them to maintain a healthier and more positive relationship with their children.

We are in the exciting process of creating a girls’ program to address their unique issues and needs. The girls’ program will differ from Aish Tamid’s Drop-In Center for the boys, and will held at a different location. We have recently hired a frum therapist and we will keep you updated as the program develops. If you have any questions or know any teen girls that need mentoring or help, please call the office at 323-634-0505.

We started a learning program this week with Rabbi Zvi Boyarsky from The Aleph Institute. Rabbi Boyarsky is teaching a course in fundamental Judaism, based on a curriculum that was specifically created for teens. Hopefully it will deepen their appreciation for their homeland, national history, and Jewish identity.

We would like to thank Ron Luberman, an exercise trainer who has volunteered his time to help out at the gym. He has a tremendous amount of experience and the boys look to him for instruction.

Taking Responsibility for Our Actions:

Teens often feel invincible and infallible. As parents, we have to teach our children that they have to be responsible for their behavior, and that there will always be consequences for their actions. In the news this past week, we have learned of leaders and public figures who have acted immorally and seemingly gotten away with it… at least for a while. We must learn that we are accountable in all aspects – in our relationships, taking tests at school, dealing with money, etc. Unfortunately, we do not have to look too far to find examples of people whose lives and careers have been destroyed because of bad decisions and impulsive behavior. I believe the message is an important one for teens, as they grow up thinking they are invincible.

I’d like to share a portion of a letter that we received from a parent on the East Coast:
“We really appreciate your involvement during the latest ordeal. Being so far away, it was a comfort for us knowing you were there, helping and guiding us. Your advice was very much appreciated and valuable.”
It gives me a good feeling to know that Aish Tamid is truly making a difference.

Have a good Shabbos,

Rabbi Gavriel Hershoff

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