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New York - Brooklyn Group Steps In To Aid Fatherless Boys

Published on: December 24, 2014 10:15 AM
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Rabbi Lisauer at the Inaugural dinner for the volunteers of Yeoded Mar. 13, 2014Rabbi Lisauer at the Inaugural dinner for the volunteers of Yeoded Mar. 13, 2014

New York - A relatively new Brooklyn organization founded to help fatherless children is introducing itself to the public in a dual effort to raise funds and reach an even greater number of children in need.

Yeoded began informally just over a year ago when Rabbi Lazer Lisauer, who involved with many young boys in yeshivos realized that there was a need for someone to step in and help boys without fathers.

“Rabbi Lisauer has been tutoring in yeshivos for the past twelve years,” Aryeh Abramowitz of Yeoded told VIN News.  “He was a shtickel expert on chinuch and over the years he saw all types of cases and realized that boys who don’t have fathers simply need someone to learn with.  In a lot of families, once the boys get past a certain age, their mothers just can’t help them anymore with their learning.”

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Rabbi Lisauer began to informally pair up fatherless boys with tutors and as word spread he found himself suddenly overwhelmed by requests for his services.  Yeoded slowly evolved out of Rabbi Lisauer’s efforts and in addition to setting up tutors, Rabbi Lisauer began offering other services, including a chavrusa program designed for boys ages five to fifteen, a shul program so that boys would have someone watching out for them during davening, and a family mentoring program to help entire families deal with their loss by addressing issues, including sibling rivalry.

“This wasn’t a case where three people sat around and decided that this was going to be the next big thing,” said Abramowitz. “Unfortunately the need is unbelievably big and just one year in we are already up to 75 kids and that is not even close to the number of boys that need help.”

Yeoded evaluates all applicants to determine their needs and to clarify what kind of academic and emotional support is required, coordinating services with mothers, rabbeim and menahalim.  Currently the organization has 30 tutors, with all volunteers meticulously screened to ensure the boys’ safety.  Abramowitz said that Yeoded plans to start paying mentors for their services to ensure that they stay on with the organization, noting that for children who have suffered the loss a parent, consistency is of paramount importance.

Feedback from the public has been extremely enthusiastic, according to Abramowitz.

“”We started hearing from people who were raised without fathers and they tell us how hard things were for them,” said Abramowitz. “Someone who became a tutor told us that he grew up without a father and every Sunday when he would bring a note saying that his mother farhered him, the rebbi, who wasn’t aware that he didn’t have a father, would make fun of him.  People who grew up like this tell us they are so happy that something like this exists.”

Yeoded began within Borough Park’s Chasidic community but as word has spread, they have begun serving boys in other communities including Flatbush and Crown Heights.  Currently, the organization is only serving fatherless boys, but they hope to expand and also include services for girls raised in single parent families in the future.

Yeoded’s tutors come from all walks of life.

“We have those who are full day rabbeim, magidei shiurim in yeshivos and people who are big in the world of chinuch who just want to give their time,” said Abramowitz.  “We also have simpler people who just want to volunteer to learn with the kids.  We had one guy, a regular working guy who isn’t in the chinuch world but has a feeling for children, who has only girls.  He takes three boys from the same family to Avos U’Banim every week.”

While there are those fatherless boys who go to shul with a neighbor or an uncle, others are simply left to their own devices.

“In one case I was talking to a widowed mother and I asked her who her 12 year old son goes to shul with,” recalled Abramowitz. “She told me that he has no one to go with, so he just doesn’t go to shul.”

Representatives of Our Place, which deals with troubled teens, say they welcome Yeoded’s efforts.

“The three types of kids that go off the derech are primarily those who have gone through death, divorce or molestation,” said Rabbi Chaim Glancz, director of Our Place.  “When a kid goes through something that rocks their world like losing a parent, they are traumatized and go looking for happiness. Often they try to fill the void in their lives with pleasure and inevitably find themselves getting in trouble.  By guiding these kids who have suffered a major loss, and helping through this difficult period in their lives, Yeoded is playing a major part in preventing them from one day ending up on the streets.”

Abramowitz hope to attract both more applicants and more tutors as word of Yeoded continues to spread.

“We are not here to be a nice organization,” said Abramowitz.  “We are here to help for helping and whenever we speak to anyone, we ask them to let us know if they know of anyone who needs our services.  We are here to help the kids who need our assistance and we will do whatever we can to help them.”

Online: www.yeoded.org.



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Read Comments (19)  —  Post Yours »

5

 Dec 24, 2014 at 10:59 AM grandpajoe Says:

You can always say NO! - granted there are hundreds and hundreds of charities - you may or may not give - but the main point of this charity is that it is trying to help young men who have no father - my feeling is that there should be a similar one for the ones who lost a Mother.

8

 Dec 24, 2014 at 11:20 AM Anonymous Says:

Eli,

Pray that your kids should C"V never need this "Moyssed"

Guess what... Some families unfortunately Don't have Family Dinner Time, Or Shabbos or Yom Tov Dinner Time because these precious children have no father...

What a bitter life you live...

11

 Dec 24, 2014 at 11:38 AM Anonymous Says:

Wow this article brought tears to my eyes & your coment #1 let the tears flow like the niagra falls!
My brother was niftar few years ago leaving behind 5 young boys. These men in this org are doing a great job out there! Keep it up! Amazing

12

 Dec 24, 2014 at 11:41 AM BubbyK Says:

What a wonderful idea! Thanks for publicizing. But, can you please put in the contact information for this organization?

13

 Dec 24, 2014 at 11:43 AM Eli - you need help! Says:

Someone want to help kids who need help. How can you be so cynical?

14

 Dec 24, 2014 at 11:52 AM ja Says:

Reply to #12  
BubbyK Says:

What a wonderful idea! Thanks for publicizing. But, can you please put in the contact information for this organization?

Maybe u didn't read every word in the article, there's a website all the way n the bottom

15

 Dec 24, 2014 at 12:04 PM Anonymous Says:

Me thinks that this organization, as needed as it is, will have a negative impact on the Klal. Not because they are not fulfilling a desperate need, and doing a great mitzvah. One of the nearly universal problems of these "orphans" is that our "system" ignores them. They are low priority for admission into our yeshivos. This involves the lack of funds for tuition, and the fact that such children will increase the workload somewhat for the yeshiva that needs to replace some of the fatherly responsibilities. Add that these kids may have issues, which most yeshivos would prefer to avoid, and shift the burden to the mother and extended family. These kids, who already lack the presence of a father, now have rejection to add to their woes.

I have great fears that yeshivos will view this organization as the safety net that provides them the permission to concentrate their resources on others, to the loss and detriment of the less fortunate. That's what some may consider my pessimism for the day. Except that I think I'm a realist.

16

 Dec 24, 2014 at 12:23 PM Anonymous Says:

Nebech there is such a need for a worthy organization such as this. How many of these boys are fatherless, due their fathers DESERTING these poor souls, or are the products of NASTY divorces.

17

 Dec 24, 2014 at 12:27 PM out of town Says:

for someone to start an organization like this is a Tzadik. this can only change a child's life for the better. no child should ever know of the pain of losing a father. Hashem yishmor. just wish he would have picked a different name for the organization instead of Yeo dead.

18

 Dec 24, 2014 at 12:43 PM BubbyK Says:

to # 15:
No cause for pessimism. If anything, this organization will bring a heightened awareness to the schools, and more, not less, resources will be given to these innocent children; children who through no fault of their own, have had their worlds destroyed!

Do you worry that Hatzoloh will be used as a safety net, and people will not take care of their health knowing that Hatzoloh can help them? Do people not lock their doors at night because Shmira can always be counted on?

to #14. Thanks - I did read to the end, but missed the contact info.

19

 Dec 24, 2014 at 01:33 PM ohdear Says:

Reply to #5  
grandpajoe Says:

You can always say NO! - granted there are hundreds and hundreds of charities - you may or may not give - but the main point of this charity is that it is trying to help young men who have no father - my feeling is that there should be a similar one for the ones who lost a Mother.

There is one. The name eludes me now, but they have shabbatonim, and many different projects going on. For those concerned about how the children lost their parents.... it truthfully doesn't matter. Loss is loss, and although there are people that do horrible things(like abandoning their children) it doesn't take away from our responsibility to help.

21

 Dec 24, 2014 at 02:10 PM Great Idea Says:

This is a wonderful cause they should be supported by the community. Another successful option would be if the yeshivas would have the older beis medrash boys spend one or two night Seder's with the boys. This will offer the boy the help he may need as well as some comrodery within the school. (it worked for me 30 years ago).

22

 Dec 24, 2014 at 04:04 PM TexasJew Says:

Excellent idea.
Every school should also hire a full time counselor to help for other situations.

23

 Dec 24, 2014 at 04:21 PM vareme hartz Says:

Kudos to Rabbi Lissauer for being a father to our fatherless children....this is one cause I will bl"n support. My heart always cries for those bigger boys who miss out on basic events due to sensitive situations.
May Hashem repay Rabbi Lissauer and his team with Many Many healthy years and lots of Nachas and Success and to all this who support this organization.

24

 Dec 24, 2014 at 04:41 PM Super Nice! Says:

See Rambam Hilchos De'os Perek 6, Halocho 10: Chayov Odom L'hizo'her B'y'somim (and similar)... V'lo Yin'hog Bo'hen Ehlo Minhog Kovod... Interestingly, this is TODAY'S Shiur of Rambam.

25

 Dec 24, 2014 at 07:12 PM reply to #16 Says:

Please comment with sensitivity. Unfortunately many dear children are fatherless not due to nasty divorces but due to their dear father's succumbing to terrible illnesses, which sadly is very prevalent today. We must do all we can to have our dear neighbor's yesomim in mind and help out whenever possible.

26

 Dec 24, 2014 at 07:33 PM out of town Says:

Reply to #22  
TexasJew Says:

Excellent idea.
Every school should also hire a full time counselor to help for other situations.

Agree 100 percent. The modern orthodox schools usually have a full-time counselor/professional to talk to about any issues. The frumies can make fun of them from today till tomorrow but in reality they have their stuff together. I have children in both yeshiva and a m/o school.

27

 Dec 24, 2014 at 07:41 PM Anonymous Says:

This article made me very emotional.
Ppl who actually see and actually do is so amazing.
What a relief for a mother.
I once went to a shiva the father passed away and left 7 young orphans. The Elmanah kept saying who will learn with my son's who will take them to shul.it's been a few years now. Bh we now have a organization . Thank you for sharing the article. Much hatzlocha.

28

 Dec 25, 2014 at 11:08 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
Anonymous Says:

Me thinks that this organization, as needed as it is, will have a negative impact on the Klal. Not because they are not fulfilling a desperate need, and doing a great mitzvah. One of the nearly universal problems of these "orphans" is that our "system" ignores them. They are low priority for admission into our yeshivos. This involves the lack of funds for tuition, and the fact that such children will increase the workload somewhat for the yeshiva that needs to replace some of the fatherly responsibilities. Add that these kids may have issues, which most yeshivos would prefer to avoid, and shift the burden to the mother and extended family. These kids, who already lack the presence of a father, now have rejection to add to their woes.

I have great fears that yeshivos will view this organization as the safety net that provides them the permission to concentrate their resources on others, to the loss and detriment of the less fortunate. That's what some may consider my pessimism for the day. Except that I think I'm a realist.

Actually I can't speak for all communities but I'll speak for my own community. As many know in Lakewood there is a school crisis due to the exponential birth of new babaies on a yearly basis.. When it is time to register your kids, if they ar not accepted into any school there is a vaad in charge of placing children. That vaad tells parents straight out don't expect to get into established schools. The established schools save slots for the vaad. But the vaad only uses it for Yosmim and children from divorced families who need it most. So I respectfully disagree wth your statement

29

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