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New York - Our Kids In Our Community Need Our Support

Published on: May 5, 2010 10:55 AM
By: VIN News BY: SONY PERLMAN MSW
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New York - Two weeks ago, I buried my brother. After a lifetime of struggling and pain, his body could not contain his soul anymore. His soul was not thinking of my heart when it left, it paid no attention to the pain I would have to endure from a broken heart. My love couldn’t save him.

Let me tell you our story. The first thing you should know is that he wasn’t really my brother, well, at least we didn’t share the same parents. What makes someone a brother? Is it only blood? How many broken families have we seen, where brothers can’t even be in the same room as each other? Is that really a brother, or is brotherhood a much deeper thing? I think that being a brother must be earned. I think that being a brother means that you love someone unconditionally, you are there for them in the good times and the bad. You can give them advice and still love them when they don’t take it. You believe in them even when everyone else has given up. If this is what a brother is, then he was very much my brother.

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How did I become so close to someone who is not related to me? Simple, I have hundreds of people whom I feel this close to. Maybe not as close as I was with him but almost. This is my story.

I run a drop-in center for boys in Brooklyn, N.Y. called, “Our Place”. A drop-in center is a place where teenagers can hang out in a safe environment. They can choose to just hang out and get a hot meal or they could get help. Most of the guys that come down are struggling with some real terrible life situations. Most people view these kids in a very negative light. I have heard all of the name calling, names like, Bums, Drug Addicts, Criminals, Delinquents and many more. These are words that help us to distance ourselves from a very harsh reality. We put labels on these kids because it makes it easy for us to push them aside, to avoid dealing with this terrible problem in our community.

Watch below YouTube clip about Our Place a Brooklyn, NY org. helping frum runaway kids.

Well, I think that there is a problem in our community, but it is not that our children are misbehaving. It is not even that they are going off the derech. That has been occurring since there existed a Jewish Nation. If you look through our history, the most consistent phenomenon you will find, is that there were always young people misbehaving and many, many of them went off the derech. The problem is that our community, that has more kind and generous people of any community in the world, a community that has built hospitals, clinics and charity organizations for any possible cause, this community that I am so proud to call myself a member of, this community, can label their own children and cast them aside. We have so many Kiruv yeshivas and organizations. We are working so hard to bring people back to Hashem. Look back four or five generations in any one of these Jew’s families that we are bringing back and you will always find a man with a beard and yarmulka and a woman with a tichel. What happened to their kids? How did we lose them? I’ll tell you how. We were afraid. We were scared that one rotten apple will ruin the barrel. So if someone was misbehaving, we just let them go. Well, if you go back five generations and take ten boys and ten girls that went off, their descendants could fill the biggest Kiruv yeshiva we have.

In Our Place, we don’t have ten boys and ten girls. We have hundreds a year. As of July first this year, we have had 556 boys come to our center. This number does not include the additional hundreds of boys and girls that have come to our other two programs (Our Place Girls and the Living Room). If you add in the hundreds of phone calls that the staff and I have taken, from people who never come to any of the programs, we have well over a thousand suffering souls a year. Although Our Place is the largest center of its kind in the Jewish community, we are dealing primarily with people from the Flatbush area. What about the kids in Boro Park, Crown Heights, Williamsburg? What about the Jewish communities in Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles and the staggering number of kids that are suffering in Israel? How can we look away?

I remember asking a very wealthy and generous man if he could help us with our work. He responded that he was well aware of how bad the situation was, but he felt that it was a waste of money to deal with these kids when they are already in their teens and twenties because that’s already too late. He informed me that he was putting his money into early intervention because maybe we can prevent this before it gets too bad. I found myself agreeing with him from a business point of view. In business, there is a concept called “acceptable loss”. This means that in order to improve the whole, you may have to snip off some of the loose ends. When I left his office, I felt so ashamed that I was able to see that logic and maybe even partially agree with it. I thought, “This is not business, these are G-d’s children, these are our children. Can there possibly be an acceptable loss when it comes to Jewish children? Can we just cut someone out of our family because they have become inconvenient? “ My other thought was, “Isn’t what we are doing when we are helping these kids, early intervention? Are we not preventing generations of Jews that will have no connection with Hashem or the Jewish community? Are we not preventing the dysfunctional families that these young people might eventually have, if they don’t get help with their emotional issues now? Most importantly, are we not preventing the deaths of so many of our little brothers and sisters that will never have a chance to raise Jewish families of their own?”

As I sit here in anguish over the loss of my brother, I think about all of my other brothers that are suffering. Who will save our children? Who will save the Jewish people?
Every morning, in “Modeh Ani”, we thank Hashem for returning our souls to our bodies. We end by thanking Him for believing in us (“Rabah Emunosecha”). We are saying that Hashem returns our souls as an act of faith. He says, “I am giving you this soul because I believe that you can do something with it today.” If Hashem has hope in every single Jew, what gives us the right to give up hope in “some” Jews? What better way to convince Hashem to bring the geulah than to show him that we will never give up on even one of his children.

Sony Perlman MSW is the director of OUR PLACE NY , a drop-in-center for kids from the frum community. He has over a decade of experience working with kids at risk. He also has a private practice. If you would like to contact him call OUR PLACE 718-692-4058 or email him directly at sonyperlman@gmail.com .

Editors note: The above article is not a paid advertisement, nor an endorsement of OUR Place , it simply highlights the tremendous amount of Kids at Risk in our Frum community,  and one of the many organizations in New York that are trying to help. If you know of any other Organizations helping troubled teens, please email us and will feature them.



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Read Comments (83)  —  Post Yours »

1

 May 05, 2010 at 11:37 AM Shmuela Says:

Moshe Binik is Tzaddik

2

 May 05, 2010 at 11:28 AM wow Says:

wow. kudos to those involved with this program!

3

 May 05, 2010 at 11:23 AM Anonymous Says:

To be honest, every organization is a big help, but to change a community we need a person chutzpah! So thank to rabbi Rosenberg.

4

 May 05, 2010 at 11:21 AM Anonymous Says:

Dear VIN please continue to give coverage to this issue. I so want to write more, but I can't seem to find the words, as my child is amoung the hundreds. - a distraught father.

5

 May 05, 2010 at 11:49 AM ohy vay Says:

Nu?!?
We all know the problems, its been issue #1 in Aguda, Torah mesorah, OU and many others for about 12 years now. What's the chiddush? What's the course of action? Unless you have been living in outer (or inner) space we all know of the suffering this problem has brought on families. Who doesn’t know a family effected by these chinuch issues? We all anguish, at least we should, but anguish alone is not enough. Neither is the blame game.
What we need is direction, guidance and solutions. And we need lots of diffrent solutions because it is really lots of different problems. Its the challange of our times, lets hope we have the siyata dishmaya to address it correctly!!!

6

 May 05, 2010 at 11:51 AM moshe der g Says:

to the editor

geat article
thanks for publishing and as you write on the bottom people shoud send you more to publish

and to all of us whwen we encounter these boys and girls let us not judge them let us just love them, show them we care

and we need more "iruv keroivim" bringing the close closer

7

 May 05, 2010 at 11:52 AM Anonymous Says:

And he wears nice ties.

8

 May 05, 2010 at 11:55 AM Anonymous Says:

It was a well written aritcle. I think it's a beautiful thing he talked of the deceased as his brother. However, if older blood brothers would take their younger blood brothers under their wings we would have many less kids at risk in our community. The problem is often they don't.

9

 May 05, 2010 at 11:58 AM The Truth Says:

This is an amazing organization and it should be rolled out to all communities. Nowadays all kids are "At Risk" but these kids have past the at risk stage and are now in risk/troubled. Please can everyone stop calling only these kids 'At Risk' and realize that it is ALL our kids that are At Risk, (of ... you fill in the gap) and all need kiruv.

10

 May 05, 2010 at 12:02 PM Anonymous Says:

Sony and the rest of the wonderful staff at Our Place, Our Place Girls and the Living Room are AMAZING and WONDERFUL!! I know that in the zechus of all the wonderful things they have done and continue to do for our youth, they will continue to be blessed in everything that they set out to do!
To the boys and girls that go to Our Place, Our Place Girls, and the Living Room - May each day continue to give you strength and the knowledge that situations can and will change for the better!!

11

 May 05, 2010 at 12:03 PM Tuvi Says:

Moshe Binik is true adam Gadol and Tzaddik

12

 May 05, 2010 at 12:06 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

To be honest, every organization is a big help, but to change a community we need a person chutzpah! So thank to rabbi Rosenberg.

You are so right! And I also thank Rabbi Rosenberg, he says it like it is.

13

 May 05, 2010 at 12:16 PM Anonymous Says:

how dare you even mention nuchem rosenbergs name together with these tzadikim they are tzadikin and he is at best a very disturbed man

14

 May 05, 2010 at 12:17 PM Anonymous Says:

I have mentored ONE such lost soul, today with a beautiful family. It is heart wretching to see these yidishe kids suffer. This tzedokeh is VERY important. Not always is it the parents fault that their kids C"V loose their way ,and you can never know,, and knowing that you are giving to such a cause might grant you and your kids the much needed zechusim ,I believe it is like an insurance policy- think about it! And to know that there is such an organization that does this holy work with mesiras nefesh mamesh , is heart warming.

15

 May 05, 2010 at 12:29 PM Anonymous Says:

"our community, that has more kind and generous people of any community in the world, a community that has built hospitals, clinics and charity organizations for any possible cause"
Everything 'charitable' you do, is for you and your community ONLY....so, you're community is FAR from the most kind and generous people of any community in the world.

16

 May 05, 2010 at 12:23 PM Anonymous Says:

i just spoke to my 20 year old neighbor and he told me that 7 of his friends passed away due to drug problems, and his family is very bal batish ,it can happen to anyone rahmonah litzlon just like cancer does ,its our problem ,if we are not able or willing to do anything about it ,at least we should give our outmost support to the people who do our work

17

 May 05, 2010 at 12:26 PM Anonymous Says:

is there a palce like this in Lakewood?

20

 May 05, 2010 at 12:29 PM me Says:

I think the last section of the video says it all, when asked where they would be if OurPlace would not exist, one girl answered, "Probably dead." Honest, and to the point. Instead of spending money on the latest segulahs and "tzedakahs" spend it on your own local children.

21

 May 05, 2010 at 12:30 PM Anonymous Says:

a thousand a year?? thats less than 3 people every day

22

 May 05, 2010 at 12:43 PM Anonymous Says:

As kid who goes to our place I jus want to say that our place does so much for us weather its just a meal or a place to chill or a rabbi to talk to they've changed many of our lives and we shud support them with everything

23

 May 05, 2010 at 12:59 PM Drugcommish in L.A. Says:

I've been to see "Our Place" many years ago. I arrived late in the evening to see beautiful Yiddish children (teens) shooting pool, playing Fusball, talking to others, learning, eating a hot meal, etc. instead of 'just hanging out' looking for trouble or taking drugs, or causing some sort of problem, or just doing nothing. Our Place is an amazing place where former addicts and 'displaced' teens and young adults who have "returned" to a "normal" lyfestyle work with younger teens who 'know better' or who thought they knew better and are now in trouble with the law, with family or with drugs and themselves. These tiyere neshomos need love and care and someone to relate to. Our Place offers them comfort and direction.

I remember talking to a kid in his early 20's who returned from a life of drugs and crime. (usually one causes the other) He was one of the counselor's. He could have been a good looking kid but his previous lifestyle had him pierce himself, shave his head bald and put tatoos all over. Feh. I couldn't look at him until someone yelled out "Maariv, Maariv" and he walked to the front of the room and in a loud voice blueted out "Burchee es Hasem Hamevoiroch".

24

 May 05, 2010 at 12:47 PM Anonymous Says:

just a question with all the awarness on this issue since the jewish observer first went public about it hace we stemmed the tide or perhaps the problem is only getting worse?
are we taking the right aproach is it better not to go public with it and not give kids a fallback plan to be labled at risk and free from any responsabilities.

25

 May 05, 2010 at 12:49 PM Anonymous Says:

All the organizations have addressed and spoken about this problem. To bad that is all they have done. Pat themselves on the back and feel they have done something because they have discussed the problem . But when it comes to actions not one of them is to be seen. This is basically the only organizations that has actively done something and greatly accomplishes saving lives.

26

 May 05, 2010 at 12:56 PM BinderDundat Says:

I have what I think my be a start. The mesivtas have to follow the old principle of "Chanoch Lenaar Al Pi Darko". All of the mesivtas are in competition to see who can shove more gemara down the throats of the kids. Those few that can, kudos. The rest, the yeshivas dont really give a damn about. When will our rosh yeshivas accept the fact that not everyone is cut out to be the next Reb Moshe? My guess is never.
Secular education? forget it! Chas vesholem our kids should have knowledge. Better to be illiterate in yiddish, english, loshon kodesh, etc.

27

 May 05, 2010 at 01:04 PM Paskunyak Says:

Reply to #17  
Anonymous Says:

is there a palce like this in Lakewood?

YES. It's called BMG.

28

 May 05, 2010 at 01:07 PM Thank You R' Chaim Glantz Says:

A special thank you to the man that never gave up on Our Place and never misses a night.

R' Chaim Glantz is the person who runs our place nightly no matter what may not hes always there for boys.

Every night for the past 6-8 years R' Chaim has had a presence in our place a man who never gave up on the boys and b'h has brought many of them back into the fold of yiddishkiet

thank you R'Chaim Glantz

29

 May 05, 2010 at 01:09 PM Joey Says:

If Our Place would've existed 13 years ago when I left my life would not be the living hell it was

30

 May 05, 2010 at 01:26 PM YANKEL Says:

Sony Pearlman does a phenomenal job with these kids. I recognized one of the volunteers in the video who lives in a suburb but comes in to volunteer because Our Place saved his brother in law.

31

 May 05, 2010 at 01:26 PM Anonymous Says:

Kudos to the writer, Sony Perlman. Unlike the previous article, he did not bash other good causes to make his point. It is people like him that make a difference.

Sony is like an attending in the emergency room. He saves countless lives each and every day, and when all his best efforts fail, the loss is crushing.

We need to examine the causes of the illnesses. What are the triggering factors? Our world is complex, so the answers are not simple. However, I think that we must re-evaluate how our Yeshivos our run and the price that this takes on kids who cannot keep up for a variety of reasons.

It is time, as a previous poster mentioned to have Chanoch Lanaar Al Pi Darko, and for the community to stop stigmatizing kids who either have no sitz fleish or lack the intellectual fortitude to keep up. Until this happens, I am afraid we will see an increase of this, not a diminution of it, Rachmono Litzlan.

32

 May 05, 2010 at 01:43 PM LeP Says:

a brother saying thank you for your great work. Thank you Sony!

33

 May 05, 2010 at 01:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #27  
Paskunyak Says:

YES. It's called BMG.

Hahaha...

Actually there is a place called Minyan Shelanu which does an amazing job with the boys there. I am not sure if there is something for girls too.

34

 May 05, 2010 at 01:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #28  
Thank You R' Chaim Glantz Says:

A special thank you to the man that never gave up on Our Place and never misses a night.

R' Chaim Glantz is the person who runs our place nightly no matter what may not hes always there for boys.

Every night for the past 6-8 years R' Chaim has had a presence in our place a man who never gave up on the boys and b'h has brought many of them back into the fold of yiddishkiet

thank you R'Chaim Glantz

I believe his name is Chaim Gantz.

35

 May 05, 2010 at 01:52 PM change is needed Says:

Thank you "Our Place" for all that you do. I do want to express my
opinion about what an underlying cause may be to the fallout of our youth.
Today the communities and schools demand a certain kind of Bochur.
White shirt, Black hat, only going to Kolel after marriage, intense learning
with expectations of only excellent students. If a Bochur thinks out of the
box, wears a colored shirt...can't sit 14 hours a day learning....he's considered
a "bum" or an "outcast" and Och un Vey on the family. The Gedolim
and Rosh Yeshivas have to revamp their expectations. When I grew up
we lived in neighborhoods of Frum Yidden of all factions. Men wore grey &
brown suits & hats...these men were as frum as can be and many came from Rabbonisher families. no pressure. Alot of the ehrliche bochurim went on to become businessmen while still finding time to learn each day. Today, there's pressure on a boy on the way he's dressed (what colors), if he's the TOP boy in learning, and Oh! Chas V'sholom he should even think about going into business and becoming the "Zevulon" to support our mosdos. There are many talented boys out there. Please give them the forum to express their individuality.

36

 May 05, 2010 at 01:59 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
Anonymous Says:

"our community, that has more kind and generous people of any community in the world, a community that has built hospitals, clinics and charity organizations for any possible cause"
Everything 'charitable' you do, is for you and your community ONLY....so, you're community is FAR from the most kind and generous people of any community in the world.

because we give to our own community and people who we has something in common with makes us not generous? someone from texas who gives charity to a fellow texan is less generous than a texan who gives the same amount to a new yorker? illogical. goyishe kup.

37

 May 05, 2010 at 02:00 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

It was a well written aritcle. I think it's a beautiful thing he talked of the deceased as his brother. However, if older blood brothers would take their younger blood brothers under their wings we would have many less kids at risk in our community. The problem is often they don't.

Yes but sometimes its the problem that kids are following in their big brothers footsteps that drags them off the derech.
We must accept these children for who they are before we can help them.

38

 May 05, 2010 at 02:01 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #27  
Paskunyak Says:

YES. It's called BMG.

THAT response is part of the problem!

39

 May 05, 2010 at 02:08 PM TT Says:

Reply to #27  
Paskunyak Says:

YES. It's called BMG.

I seriously hope that you are being sarcastic and don't actually think that. Its because of places like BMG that there are so many problems in our communities nowadays. Yeshivos & communities like to try to emulate BMG, getting rid of any education for a life of siting learning, with no structure to support itself and the people who go there for actually living in a real world with real world problems and influences.

40

 May 05, 2010 at 02:24 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #34  
Anonymous Says:

I believe his name is Chaim Gantz.

No, his name is Caim Glancz and let's give credit to Bikur Cholim of Boro Park under whose auspices Our Place is.

41

 May 05, 2010 at 02:32 PM joe shmoe Says:

Reply to #26  
BinderDundat Says:

I have what I think my be a start. The mesivtas have to follow the old principle of "Chanoch Lenaar Al Pi Darko". All of the mesivtas are in competition to see who can shove more gemara down the throats of the kids. Those few that can, kudos. The rest, the yeshivas dont really give a damn about. When will our rosh yeshivas accept the fact that not everyone is cut out to be the next Reb Moshe? My guess is never.
Secular education? forget it! Chas vesholem our kids should have knowledge. Better to be illiterate in yiddish, english, loshon kodesh, etc.

My opinion is that everybody is capable of learning! the question is does he find it interesting? is the magid shiur a good magid shiur that has training on how to control a class? did the magid shiur ever pass a test of simply knowing how to deliver an "interesting" shiur? or is he just somebody that couldn't find another decent job and ended up sitting and hitting our dear kids taking away their self confidence. Look back at your own teachers, which one did control the class, which one did give an interesting class, etc. all that without the medications for adhd. etc. which since its inception, has given a free pass to all the uncapable magid shiur job holders to blame the kid rather than themselves.

42

 May 05, 2010 at 02:45 PM anonymous Says:

I have teenagers at home and have made it my mission to keep them home even though we don't always agree on what is acceptable or not - when it comes to religion. The thing that keeps me going is working with a wonderful therapist that has helped me communicate with my children in a respectful way that when a tough issue comes up we can talk about it with out fighting. I have recently heard that some parents don't allow their kids to come over to my house cause it is a "hang out". At first I was really hurt because I am always home when my kids bring their friends over and have made the rules of what is or isn't acceptable to everyone so that it is a safe environment, but when I thought it over I realized that those are the parents that are busy fighting with their children instead of listening. We all have questions growing up and if their is not outlet for that the children feel suffocated. I feel bad for those parents that are busy fighting their children to fit the mold instead of embracing them.....I haven't made any compromises when it comes to religion and now my children are embracing it & understand why they are doing what they do.

43

 May 05, 2010 at 03:08 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #42  
anonymous Says:

I have teenagers at home and have made it my mission to keep them home even though we don't always agree on what is acceptable or not - when it comes to religion. The thing that keeps me going is working with a wonderful therapist that has helped me communicate with my children in a respectful way that when a tough issue comes up we can talk about it with out fighting. I have recently heard that some parents don't allow their kids to come over to my house cause it is a "hang out". At first I was really hurt because I am always home when my kids bring their friends over and have made the rules of what is or isn't acceptable to everyone so that it is a safe environment, but when I thought it over I realized that those are the parents that are busy fighting with their children instead of listening. We all have questions growing up and if their is not outlet for that the children feel suffocated. I feel bad for those parents that are busy fighting their children to fit the mold instead of embracing them.....I haven't made any compromises when it comes to religion and now my children are embracing it & understand why they are doing what they do.

So true. Basic communication skills is sorely missing today - both in Schools & at homes. Open dialog is healthy and should not be stifled of pushed under the carpet with "You can do that so don't mention it" attitude.

44

 May 05, 2010 at 03:27 PM Anonymous Says:

Go down to our place and you will feel the irresistable urge to make a difference and help out. Be it volunteering or donating.

45

 May 05, 2010 at 03:27 PM Naomi Yarimi Says:

Keep up the good work! thanks for caring so deeply

46

 May 05, 2010 at 03:44 PM lol Says:

Reply to #38  
Anonymous Says:

THAT response is part of the problem!

NO ITS NOT. tHAT WAS A VERY FUNNY RESPONSE(AND I HAVE GOOD BOYS LEARNING THERE)

47

 May 05, 2010 at 03:44 PM Chev Says:

I am Sony's sister writing from across the world in South Africa and all I can say is that tears fill my eyes, with anguish and with pride..what pain is out there, it is almost unfathomable...what a man you are, Sony, saving neshamas every day..kol hakavod to all of you at Our Place and the Living Room, you are the true emmisaries of Hashem, the heroes of our nation...I am so grateful and so proud..I love you Sony. Chev

48

 May 05, 2010 at 04:04 PM THE REAL McCOY Says:

Reply to #28  
Thank You R' Chaim Glantz Says:

A special thank you to the man that never gave up on Our Place and never misses a night.

R' Chaim Glantz is the person who runs our place nightly no matter what may not hes always there for boys.

Every night for the past 6-8 years R' Chaim has had a presence in our place a man who never gave up on the boys and b'h has brought many of them back into the fold of yiddishkiet

thank you R'Chaim Glantz

chaim has been there for 12 years - since day one.

49

 May 05, 2010 at 04:23 PM Anonymous Says:

stop expelling our kids for no reason at all or even when their is a reason yu are dealing with yiddish neshomos here someone will answer to yudeini lo shufche as hadom hazehl

50

 May 05, 2010 at 04:49 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #36  
Anonymous Says:

because we give to our own community and people who we has something in common with makes us not generous? someone from texas who gives charity to a fellow texan is less generous than a texan who gives the same amount to a new yorker? illogical. goyishe kup.

Being generous with each other exclusevely, and caliming to be the "most generous community (not to mention the kindest) IN THE WORLD is a little bit of a stretch, dont you think?

51

 May 05, 2010 at 05:21 PM JB Says:

Kudos to all the families and participants behind this program and all other programs like it.

Sony is a malach. Sony, Eli and Kivi are the silent soldiers saving our children. I have a family member and more than a couple of friends who have benefited from their chessed.

Sony, thank you for everything you have done for all of us, and most recently, sharing your experiences with the world at large. Now it's time for the rest of us to figure out how we can contribute and participate.

52

 May 05, 2010 at 05:12 PM AH Says:

The author asks:

"What about the kids in Boro Park, Crown Heights, Williamsburg?"

I can't speak to the first and last, but in Crown Heights there is something at least vaguely similar, called ALIYA (Alternative Learning Institute for Young Adults). It too serves as a haven for local "at-risk" young men and women, and the staff there do an amazing job connecting with them.

53

 May 05, 2010 at 05:35 PM OUR PLACE ROCKS!!! Says:

To Sony, Reb Chaim G., ACE,Reb Yankel S., Fogel, Tabi,Reb moshe G., Noah L.,Baruch A., Rafi H., Yossi Y.,Yoni H.,Shea T.,Eli V., Reb Moshe Binick, and all the other staff and volunteers, may god bless you a thousand times over for doing his holy work, and helping his special children. A special THANK YOU to the wives and family's of the above mentioned for their sacrifice and efforts as well.

54

 May 05, 2010 at 05:43 PM Anonymous Says:

The situation is incredibly sad, but frankly, how does "money" help?

55

 May 05, 2010 at 05:54 PM anonymous Says:

wow. if only this place was around when i needed it....

56

 May 05, 2010 at 06:14 PM Anonymous Says:

our place is helpful! I would think monsey is in a great need also for one of these types of programs as well

57

 May 05, 2010 at 06:23 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #50  
Anonymous Says:

Being generous with each other exclusevely, and caliming to be the "most generous community (not to mention the kindest) IN THE WORLD is a little bit of a stretch, dont you think?

what does the exclusivity have to do with the amount of generosity? someone who is a cancer survivor and gives a million dollars to help cancer patients is less generous than someone who gives half a million to help homeless people and half to cancer patients?

58

 May 05, 2010 at 06:44 PM Hoply Says:

Reply to #55  
anonymous Says:

wow. if only this place was around when i needed it....

Well to bad for you ! Now get back on track fast before its to late

59

 May 05, 2010 at 07:03 PM UncleMoishy Says:

Reply to #15  
Anonymous Says:

"our community, that has more kind and generous people of any community in the world, a community that has built hospitals, clinics and charity organizations for any possible cause"
Everything 'charitable' you do, is for you and your community ONLY....so, you're community is FAR from the most kind and generous people of any community in the world.

Let me ask you;what have YOU done charitable for OUR community-ANYTHING???? I somehow doubt it. Why? Because you have nothing to do with us. Your "exclusive" as you write. But let's analyze this. How many Jews rushed to Haiti to help BEFORE the American govt got their act together?? Even CNN,the most critical and biased against Israel stood and reported in admiration and wonder. They watched as Israel had a fully functioning field hospital complete with respirators,a maternity "ward",operating room...while the US was busy sending their ships.Orthodox Jews from around the world gathered in unity to help,physically and financially. Jews barely rested on the Shabbath even to pray since lives(and NOT Jewish ones)were at stake. How about the "Hatzolah" men that risked their lives to save ANYONE on 9/11?? The list goes on and on. Obviously we're a close knit community and with most organizations fully funded by OUR community and since money doesn't grow on trees where do you think the bulk of assistance will go to? Think before you type next time!

60

 May 05, 2010 at 07:10 PM Anonymous Says:

I will tell you from my experience as a parent who knows what to do with kids at risk. First putting all these troubled kids into one location is the wrong approach.We as parents and leaders must divide and conquer. Each kid should have a mentor and not be hanging out with a whjole gang of kids at risk.Each kid encourages the other to take heavier drugs just as criminals in jail get hardened in their ways. All these money program goups are there to collect government funding and do zero for the kids. If you have a kid at riskl,get him a mentor and keep him from bad company.

61

 May 05, 2010 at 07:13 PM Keglivichar Rav Says:

Sony, thanks for saving lives. Keep up the great work you are fighting Hashem's battle

62

 May 05, 2010 at 07:19 PM Anonymous Says:

I think early intervention is until a person reaches 120.

63

 May 05, 2010 at 07:59 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

a thousand a year?? thats less than 3 people every day

whats wrong with you ??? thats three tooooo many ! get real !!!

64

 May 05, 2010 at 08:43 PM Anonymous Says:

Thnks for reminding us about this important issue

65

 May 05, 2010 at 08:55 PM Rabbi MSW Says:

Reply to #60  
Anonymous Says:

I will tell you from my experience as a parent who knows what to do with kids at risk. First putting all these troubled kids into one location is the wrong approach.We as parents and leaders must divide and conquer. Each kid should have a mentor and not be hanging out with a whjole gang of kids at risk.Each kid encourages the other to take heavier drugs just as criminals in jail get hardened in their ways. All these money program goups are there to collect government funding and do zero for the kids. If you have a kid at riskl,get him a mentor and keep him from bad company.

Being a parent of an at risk child does not make you an expert. I hope that all of your children are well and contributing members of society, but you are missing the point. These children need acceptance, not of their behavior, but of their intrinsic worth. Being amongst peers helps that.
We cannot ignore the elephant in the room, however. How many of these children have been abused. Statistically the vast majority of teenagers who have substance abuse issues have serious trauma issues. Rabbi Horowitz has stated this many times. Until we approach these children as trauma victims we will accomplish nothing.

66

 May 05, 2010 at 09:20 PM Anonymous Says:

lekovod sony perlman,
wishing you much hatzlacah (and money!) for your holy work! Rabbi Freifeld would be so proud of you!!!!!!!

67

 May 05, 2010 at 09:57 PM serioUs Says:

We lost a pure Neshama. This article should be a zchus for him.

68

 May 05, 2010 at 09:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #60  
Anonymous Says:

I will tell you from my experience as a parent who knows what to do with kids at risk. First putting all these troubled kids into one location is the wrong approach.We as parents and leaders must divide and conquer. Each kid should have a mentor and not be hanging out with a whjole gang of kids at risk.Each kid encourages the other to take heavier drugs just as criminals in jail get hardened in their ways. All these money program goups are there to collect government funding and do zero for the kids. If you have a kid at riskl,get him a mentor and keep him from bad company.

I doubt you think that they do nothing for the kids but it seems like you are angry at them why you are angry at them I don't know

69

 May 05, 2010 at 10:14 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #60  
Anonymous Says:

I will tell you from my experience as a parent who knows what to do with kids at risk. First putting all these troubled kids into one location is the wrong approach.We as parents and leaders must divide and conquer. Each kid should have a mentor and not be hanging out with a whjole gang of kids at risk.Each kid encourages the other to take heavier drugs just as criminals in jail get hardened in their ways. All these money program goups are there to collect government funding and do zero for the kids. If you have a kid at riskl,get him a mentor and keep him from bad company.

I am quite certain that your remarks are based on a detailed study that you have found through your scientific research. The truth is that misery loves company. In the beginning Our Place ran after the kids in the street only to find that the divide and conquer theory wasnt working, as most parents had no control over their kids at that point. Once they opened thier doors and served hot food almost every night of the year (btw I can imagine that rent and food must cost a bundle) they found that they were able to divide and conquer within this magical setting. Your hatzlacha worked for you and your child,but that doesn't work for everyone. Many of these kids are from divorced homes or a home where a parent has died. And then there's the poor victim child who was molested (there you go...finally,someone said the "M" word). These kids feel rejected for whatver reason and don't have who to work with and guide them through their troubles. Our Place is that setting. They have saved MANY lives over the years and unfortunately lost one too many as well. This time it hit home hard. This kid was well known and well loved. Donating to OP will directly help a child... save a life. What a zchus!

70

 May 05, 2010 at 10:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #60  
Anonymous Says:

I will tell you from my experience as a parent who knows what to do with kids at risk. First putting all these troubled kids into one location is the wrong approach.We as parents and leaders must divide and conquer. Each kid should have a mentor and not be hanging out with a whjole gang of kids at risk.Each kid encourages the other to take heavier drugs just as criminals in jail get hardened in their ways. All these money program goups are there to collect government funding and do zero for the kids. If you have a kid at riskl,get him a mentor and keep him from bad company.

As a parent, you are clueless about dealing with at risk kids. You think you may know, but it doesn't substitute professionals focusing their careers dealing with this problem. Where are you going to find individual mentors for every kid? Who has time, ability or willpower? These kids who feel like excommunicated outcasts of their communities do not relate to anyone but their own kind. They feel safe and comforted when they see other peers with similar situations and struggles.

This at risk kids issue is just the tip of the iceberg that is hitting our small world. Our society is different than WWII generation and we live in very challenging times, but the frum world is stuck in last generation and is unwilling and not ready to open its eyes and adapt. Our rabayim are stuck in their old school mentalities hoping and wishing that as long as they force every kid in to a yeshiva learning environment, klal yisroel will be fine. Talking about it is not enough; people have been talking for decades, it's time for step two and three.

71

 May 05, 2010 at 10:50 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #60  
Anonymous Says:

I will tell you from my experience as a parent who knows what to do with kids at risk. First putting all these troubled kids into one location is the wrong approach.We as parents and leaders must divide and conquer. Each kid should have a mentor and not be hanging out with a whjole gang of kids at risk.Each kid encourages the other to take heavier drugs just as criminals in jail get hardened in their ways. All these money program goups are there to collect government funding and do zero for the kids. If you have a kid at riskl,get him a mentor and keep him from bad company.

Our Place offers many services including food, mentoring, one on one therapy, group therapy, a full gym, music room, computer room, a career counselor, job placement, GED lesson, not to mention the full time school they have in the afternoon, trips, a learning program, and many other great services and amenities. These things add and so far are running on volunteer and sponsorship steam. There's a section on their webpage titled "what we do" that goes into detail of others that I didn't even mention, they need money to properly do all of these great things. I gave my massur money to them and would give more if I could.

72

 May 05, 2010 at 11:17 PM what keep we all do Says:

.. A while back I was observing some of the boys interact and I couldn't help but notice how as rebellious they may be or seem to be they have a sort of freindship for eachother that very few in the "standard society" have, maybe because they all understand the feelings of angry or hurt that is in them and the achdus between them should serve as a wakeup call for all us "stuck up" "normal" people. It is also noticeable how allot of these boys and girls seem to want act and do some of the most shocking actions and behaviors which in my view is an invitation for some acceptance and as I have been making it my businees and would like to encourage others from now on is to just say hello with a smile or strike up a conversation and offer some words of encouregment without treating them as a second class citizn but only more like a brother sister or freind, we can all gain tremendous chizuk from some of these youngsters they are all beutiful neshamos often misunderstood and deserve the same respect we would want for ourselves.
Next time you go to that grocery store and you see that 16 year old boy packing your boxes who you know maybe "one of them" give him a smile and maybe even a tip.

May we be zoche to the true geula shleima bekarov

73

 May 05, 2010 at 11:36 PM ex gambler Says:

I think its time we start to address a new disease in our community which is poker games, there are regular yeshiva boys 15 16 17 year olds playing at poker rooms and its kosher because the adults in our community do it to. This is a horrible cancer which effects marriages and ultiamtly the children. Its time we looked at gambling in the same light as infidelity and the adults in our comunity show by example and put a stop to it because even thought you can "control yourself" some of the guys your playing with can't and this is a disaster waiting to happen rachmono litzlon so as we aproach the summer please think twice before you invite freinds for a card game or a ride to ac

74

 May 06, 2010 at 12:25 AM Benzion Says:

Reply to #47  
Chev Says:

I am Sony's sister writing from across the world in South Africa and all I can say is that tears fill my eyes, with anguish and with pride..what pain is out there, it is almost unfathomable...what a man you are, Sony, saving neshamas every day..kol hakavod to all of you at Our Place and the Living Room, you are the true emmisaries of Hashem, the heroes of our nation...I am so grateful and so proud..I love you Sony. Chev

Dear Chev, If you trace it back to it's roots, both Sony and Ace at Arievim in Monsey (which does the same thing) were profoundly influenced by your late husband, Rav Gavriel Klatzko. (That is who camp Gavriel is named for) Thus, the two most effective orginizations that deal with troubled kids are run by a brother and brother - in -law of Rav Gav.
You have a lot to be proud of, for your inspiration and his, continue to light up the world!

75

 May 06, 2010 at 03:47 AM Drugcommish in L.A. Says:

Reply to #73  
ex gambler Says:

I think its time we start to address a new disease in our community which is poker games, there are regular yeshiva boys 15 16 17 year olds playing at poker rooms and its kosher because the adults in our community do it to. This is a horrible cancer which effects marriages and ultiamtly the children. Its time we looked at gambling in the same light as infidelity and the adults in our comunity show by example and put a stop to it because even thought you can "control yourself" some of the guys your playing with can't and this is a disaster waiting to happen rachmono litzlon so as we aproach the summer please think twice before you invite freinds for a card game or a ride to ac

Great advice! Gambling addiction, and that is exactly what it is, an addiction, is harder to treat and control than drugs or alcohol. All gambling should be outlawed! Our kids and adults should know that if they fall into this trap and become addicted to gambling their life is over, finished, kaput! When you become addicted to gambling you lose complete control of your will and many times, of your mind altogether. Gambling will control you! You will either end up as a homeless bum living on the street and eating out of garbage cans or you'll end up in jail. It all starts with a simple game of cards or a horserace or a trip to a casino.........your heart is racing? Go get
professional help! Just remember this: Some dumb gamblers paid for all those nice big casinos & hotels! Use your saichel. Stay away from gambling.

76

 May 06, 2010 at 05:30 AM frustrated Says:

One of the problems is that there is a myriad of baal teshuva organizations including those for russians that have the haskama of every chashuva rabbi with a white beard and that promote their fundraising with flashy advertising, elaborate chinese auctions, raffles, summer camps, excursions, concerts with top performers etc etc etc and the list goes on and on. And thats all nice. BUT WE'RE FORGETTING ABOUT AND NEGLECTING THE CHILDREN THAT ARE FRUM FROM BIRTH. We have to feel more sad for them and their families. We all need to put our talents, energies and moneys into these sweet kids. Because its a lot more heart wrenching to see kids that went to yeshiva/ girls school and had it all, and then fell by the wayside.

77

 May 06, 2010 at 07:57 AM Anonymous Says:

The many askanim and professionals who deal with the kids-at-risk issue are strangely not competitive. I am one of those, and I have only the deepest respect and hakaras hatov to the entire staff at Our Place, beginning with R' Moishe Binik, R' Chaim Glanz, Sony, Ace, and so many others. As in any field of human service, you lose some along the way, but this does not happen by failure or neglect ch"v. The program at OP is extremely costly, and for the earliest years, R' Moishe Binik funded the entire project out of pocket. Only later were there other sources of funding. There are literally hundreds of kids being saved constantly. I am not their fundraiser, but OP as well as many other organizations are saving neshamos every day. Some of these have been recipients of public funding, much of it through tzaddikim such as Dov Hikind and Joe Lazar. A lot of these monies are victims of budget cuts, and these organizations are turning to us, Klal Yisroel, to help them with our generosity. The problem won't go away, but let's save some some souls.

78

 May 06, 2010 at 09:26 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #77  
Anonymous Says:

The many askanim and professionals who deal with the kids-at-risk issue are strangely not competitive. I am one of those, and I have only the deepest respect and hakaras hatov to the entire staff at Our Place, beginning with R' Moishe Binik, R' Chaim Glanz, Sony, Ace, and so many others. As in any field of human service, you lose some along the way, but this does not happen by failure or neglect ch"v. The program at OP is extremely costly, and for the earliest years, R' Moishe Binik funded the entire project out of pocket. Only later were there other sources of funding. There are literally hundreds of kids being saved constantly. I am not their fundraiser, but OP as well as many other organizations are saving neshamos every day. Some of these have been recipients of public funding, much of it through tzaddikim such as Dov Hikind and Joe Lazar. A lot of these monies are victims of budget cuts, and these organizations are turning to us, Klal Yisroel, to help them with our generosity. The problem won't go away, but let's save some some souls.

Thank you for mentioning two great tzaddikim of our generation. Both Dov Hikind and Joel Lazar who without their dedication and caring, as all sectors of Our Place would not exist without them!! These 2 individals have HUGE hearts and b"h the ability to help in whatever way they can. Unfortunately, OP still needs more unding to be able to add more programs. As an example, I hear they recently opened a Yeshiva called Simchas Chaim. The name says it all! This is for kids that would not be in a Yeshiva setting at all. They are given a structured day. It starts off with davenig and learning and then the kids are given GED and other life skills. Therapy is a part of every day which helps them overcome thier issues. Wow! It is run by Yoni Hikind and Yisroel Tabi. Two wonderful gentelman who undertook this great task and are b"h are seeing a lot of hatzlacha. But they seriously need help with funding. They have raised some monies through tuition and privately, but not nearly enough. Most kids inthis yeshiva come from homes where there is tremendous financial situations, which in itself is a reason why the kids have social problems. Please help by donating.

79

 May 06, 2010 at 10:33 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #76  
frustrated Says:

One of the problems is that there is a myriad of baal teshuva organizations including those for russians that have the haskama of every chashuva rabbi with a white beard and that promote their fundraising with flashy advertising, elaborate chinese auctions, raffles, summer camps, excursions, concerts with top performers etc etc etc and the list goes on and on. And thats all nice. BUT WE'RE FORGETTING ABOUT AND NEGLECTING THE CHILDREN THAT ARE FRUM FROM BIRTH. We have to feel more sad for them and their families. We all need to put our talents, energies and moneys into these sweet kids. Because its a lot more heart wrenching to see kids that went to yeshiva/ girls school and had it all, and then fell by the wayside.

I couldn't have said it better.

80

 May 06, 2010 at 11:03 AM michali bacher Says:

sony perlman i am so proud to call you my uncle!!!as a teenager it is so much easier for me to relate to this.you have blown me and my friends away.

i am the proudesty neice!!!!
i only hope when i get to your age i will be even a quater of what you are.
i love you!!!!

81

 May 06, 2010 at 11:04 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #74  
Benzion Says:

Dear Chev, If you trace it back to it's roots, both Sony and Ace at Arievim in Monsey (which does the same thing) were profoundly influenced by your late husband, Rav Gavriel Klatzko. (That is who camp Gavriel is named for) Thus, the two most effective orginizations that deal with troubled kids are run by a brother and brother - in -law of Rav Gav.
You have a lot to be proud of, for your inspiration and his, continue to light up the world!

i agree!!!!

84

 May 06, 2010 at 12:34 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #59  
UncleMoishy Says:

Let me ask you;what have YOU done charitable for OUR community-ANYTHING???? I somehow doubt it. Why? Because you have nothing to do with us. Your "exclusive" as you write. But let's analyze this. How many Jews rushed to Haiti to help BEFORE the American govt got their act together?? Even CNN,the most critical and biased against Israel stood and reported in admiration and wonder. They watched as Israel had a fully functioning field hospital complete with respirators,a maternity "ward",operating room...while the US was busy sending their ships.Orthodox Jews from around the world gathered in unity to help,physically and financially. Jews barely rested on the Shabbath even to pray since lives(and NOT Jewish ones)were at stake. How about the "Hatzolah" men that risked their lives to save ANYONE on 9/11?? The list goes on and on. Obviously we're a close knit community and with most organizations fully funded by OUR community and since money doesn't grow on trees where do you think the bulk of assistance will go to? Think before you type next time!

"where do you think the bulk of assistance will go to? Think before you type next time!"
I know where most of your money comes from....my taxes!! You're exclusive, generous community is known for ONE thing in Monmouth County, NJ.....staying in MANSIONS all summer, driving Luxury cars, yet shoping with welfare stamps, WIC, and food cards. How does that happen??

85

 May 06, 2010 at 04:11 PM Basy Shaked Says:

Sony! I'm so proud of you! everything you said is true and real and important and I couldn't agree more. You said everything I would have said and you are doing an amazing job. who woulda thunk?

86

 May 06, 2010 at 04:38 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #74  
Benzion Says:

Dear Chev, If you trace it back to it's roots, both Sony and Ace at Arievim in Monsey (which does the same thing) were profoundly influenced by your late husband, Rav Gavriel Klatzko. (That is who camp Gavriel is named for) Thus, the two most effective orginizations that deal with troubled kids are run by a brother and brother - in -law of Rav Gav.
You have a lot to be proud of, for your inspiration and his, continue to light up the world!

Benzion, your words touch me deeply. We all continue to be effected and influenced, moved and inspired by Gav who profoundly changed us and this world for the good. Sony and Ace share that passion..
chev

87

 May 10, 2010 at 03:17 PM Menachem Says:

It took me a while to chime in, but better late then never,
Great article Sony, our dear brother Aaron will be missed by many. Five years ago I had the privilege of joining the Our Place team and since then my deep admiration has only grown for the wonderful staff and volunteers mentioned above (and some not even mentioned) that make Our Place a reality. It would be easy to label them tzadikim, but I think most of all we can just call them True Yidden. Their tireless efforts and self sacrifice for those that it would be easier to just ignore should serve as a source of zchus for their famalies and all of Klal Yisroel.

88

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