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New York - Rabbi Therapist: Today's Yeshiva System Is A Recipe To Create Kids At-Risk

Published on: November 15, 2010 10:59 AM
By: VIN News by Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch,
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New York - Recently there has been much discussion about the pervasive problem of Jewish teens that are at risk. These are the kids you see hanging around street corners, getting into to trouble and dropping out of our yeshivah system.

Unfortunately what may have been a unique occurrence just twenty years ago is becoming a common scenario whether you are yeshivish or chassidish.

Today, there isn’t a person who doesn’t know someone who as at risk, be it their own child, a cousin, or a kid that lives on their block.

As a marriage and family therapist that has spent over 10 years responding to at-risk issues through parenting classes, counseling, and running mentoring programs, I have several thoughts about this issue.

In my book “At Risk – Never Beyond Reach ” I tell the story of a boy named Moshe who had been kicked out of three schools before his parents brought him to me for therapy. Desperate, exhausted, and on the edge of despair, his parents asked me for a “magic pill” for Moshe’s at -risk behavior. I thought deeply about their dilemma and offered the following response: “The magic pill for at-risk behavior is building a relationship with your child. Independent of what you are going through and how far he has gone astray, you need to go the extra mile to make sure they know you care and you will always be in their life.”

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To state the point more clearly, I told these parents about a simple formula I created that states I=QR, where Impact (I) is directly proportional to the Quality of Relationship (QR) you develop with your child. The more relationship, the greater impact you will have in their life.

Unfortunately, the message Moshe’s parents got from our yeshivas, is quite different. I think it reads like this: T+C=HR, where Tuition + Conformity = High Revenue. Unfortunately children who don’t conform, or parents who can’t pay full tuition, will be the first korbonos of a yeshiva system that places money and obedience before the needs of parents and their children.

In general our yeshiva system has become too elitist and too inflexible to meet the needs of a growing percentage of Jewish children.

Let me be perfectly clear: most yeshivas today only want to accept kids who are known as APKs or Auto Pilot Kids. They expect that children will be able to sit in large classrooms (25-30 per class) listening to one Rebbe, chap the gemarah after one lecture, and rely little on the teacher for their personal, intellectual, or emotional needs.

The truth is that a large and growing percentage of our children don’t fit this mold. Many require individual attention, smaller classrooms, lessons and homework sheets suited to their needs, and a Rebbe that cares more about them than their marks. Many of our children need personalized attention, visually-based instruction (like slides or power point presentations), and Rebbes that are able to complement and bond with children who don’t necessarily fit the mold. Our yeshivas mistakenly offer an education that doesn’t reflect the dictum “Chanoch leNoar lifee Darcho” - to educate a child according to their way; rather, they maintain its “lifee Darcheinu” meaning “it’s our way or the highway.” So a significant proportion of Jewish children are rejected and find themselves out of the schools they need and onto the streets.

Unlike 50 years ago when the street was still safe and the fabric of society was strong, our children – especially those at risk - quickly become sucked into a virtual shturem of popular culture that exists on billboards, storefronts, on cell phones, and in our homes via the Internet.

Who is to blame?

I would find it difficult if not disingenuous to blame our children for their problems. It would be akin to blaming a baby for having colic or a accusing a first grader of not being able to read when they have been diagnosed with dyslexia. The bottom line is that since our yeshivas are unable to respond to the individual needs of their students, they have pushed out countless numbers of neshamos – and families – into despair because they don’t fit into their system.

I believe that we have failed our youth and not the other way around. Unfortunately, teenagers often don’t see the link between their actions today and the consequences tomorrow. They have the mindset that they are indestructible and immune to the problems that others experience. Worse, some of these teens who are removed from our yeshiva system will experiment with alcohol or drugs and stop, or continue to use occasionally. Others will develop a dependency and will end up causing significant harm to themselves, their families, and Jewish society.
 
As their situation spirals downhill, many of these rejected teenagers are diagnosed with clinical depression. If left untreated or ignored, it can be a devastating illness for the teen and their family. If allowed to continue, depression can lead to attempts at suicide.  These teens also find themselves without social supports, adequate nurturing from parents, and the ability to function in school settings.

When teens break away from their families and schools they also find more opportunities to become involved in socially unacceptable activities. Peers have tremendous influence among their fellow teens and a youth’s behavior is often dictated by whether their peer group is involved in drugs, inappropriate relationships and other forms of antisocial behavior.

The more of these factors that are present in a teen’s life, the more likely it is that he or she will become involved in problem behavior. And the more likely they will eventually find themselves in dysfunctional relationships and difficult marriages.

The challenge our yeshivas are facing is to provide nourishing environments so that all of our children – whether they are Auto Pilot Kids or not - can be hopeful regarding their futures. Prevention programs must be developed with young children before they become involved in antisocial groups and leave our precious traditions and community for the outside world.

There are steps that our yeshivas can take to remedy the situation. In my work with teens and with help from the experts, I have found that a teen’s life can undergo a turnaround. A famous American general, statesman and popular public speaker, made a C in high school and later went on to achieve his undergraduate and master’s degrees. A frum principle in a public school in the Bronx took his low achieving school from the bottom to the top in district test scores. A teen with a C average and a 14 on her ACT test graduated from college and has a lucrative career.

These examples show that underachieving children can make a significant contribution to our school and communities. If they do not receive help to help themselves, they could be stuck in a corner in life. Let us get them out of that corner and into our yeshivas and on to a successful life of Torah and Mitzvos.

In order to change the situation, I propose a 12 point plan to transform our yeshivas and include parents as active participants in their child’s future:

For schools

1. School principals or Rosh Yeshivas need to communicate their love and acceptance for all their students. They can request the highest levels of standards for their institutions, but when facing children who are not achieving their potential, they need to reach out to them with unconditional love and acceptance. Then, they should take each child’s case as their own and seek out more information about why they are falling behind.

2. Teachers need to receive a little sensitivity/awareness about how to relate to teens that don’t conform. Many would also benefit from learning relationships skills on how to offer their difficult students space to be themselves, and a classroom where they can feel comfortable. They need to take extra care with at-risk kids and treat them as they would treat their own children if they were struggling in school or at home. Often, just a few minutes of warm relationship-focused talk with a teacher can instill a sense of hope, dignity and improve self-esteem.

3. Schools need to create a second track where students who find gemarah difficult can study other practical subjects where they can learn important life skills that will lead towards employment and opportunity. Such programs include technical skills, graphic arts, business and computer skills. When students find satisfaction in learning they will be more interested in maintaining their connection to their schools, families, and communities.

4. Tutoring programs - Academic weaknesses should be identified before they turn into problems and more personalized tutoring experienced must be organized. Many who receive effective tutoring early on can show significant improvement in a relatively short amount of time.

5. Monitor and learn of any at risk issues early on such as depression, ADHD, or family issues and get help, if needed, for the teens at risk.

6. Instill confidence along with loving discipline.  Give deserved praise only, without showering teens with praise. Make teens take responsibility for own actions and discipline wisely but not so harshly that children feel rejected and abandoned by the system.

7. Each yeshivah needs to appoint a Rebbe who is trained as a pseudo professional by senior Mechanchim and psychologists to know how to identify and intervene with at-risk issues.

8. When the situation seems unsolvable, school administrators need to request that teens and their parents work with trusted and capable psychologists or marriage and family therapists to help them work through their issues, improve communication, and find ways to improve their relationship, and increase attachment, love and bonding.

9. Parents of children who are at risk must be invited by schools to attend parenting classes by qualified Rabbeeim and psychologists who are able to spot negative patterns of interaction and intervene when necessary.

For Parents

10. Monitor video and computer time. Make a joint decision about time for homework and other activities. If the teens at risk participate in the decision, a better feeling about choices should result.

11. Know the teen’s friends. If the underachiever hangs out with others who think getting good grades is not “cool,” talk with the teen about success, pointing out that being different is a challenge worth undertaking.

12. Love, listen, and motivate - Parents need to spend quality time with their underachieving teens at risk. Getting the teen to talk with parents and listening attentively, can open many doors. Learn what motivates the teen, and show that your love is constant. Give hugs.

I firmly believe that through adopting these key steps and engaging principals, Rosh Yeshivas, community leaders, and parents in a meaningful discussion, we can change the deteriorating situation and possibly save a generation of teens who can become productive members of our community. We need to communicate to our children that they are never “beyond reach.” Changing our yeshiva system is a good place to start.

Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, MA, is a marriage and family therapist and maintains a private practice in Brooklyn. He is the author of “At Risk - Never Beyond Reach”. To receive a free copy or to make an appointment call 646 428 4723, email: rabbischonbuch@yahoo.com  or visit www.JewishMarriageSupport.com  



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Read Comments (110)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Nov 15, 2010 at 11:02 AM shimonyehuda Says:

if we have solutions why are they not being implemented? this has been going on for more then twenty years i think we have had these problems for at least 50 years

2

 Nov 15, 2010 at 11:11 AM kollelfaker Says:

first of all which came first the chicken or the egg in my dealings with many of these young men i have found them as has a rebbe in a major yeshiva to be highly intelligent what needs to be found is why they are turned off in my sons case it was a rebbe that chose serveral 8th graders and made fools of them belittleing them and psychologically attacking them by rthe time i found out the damage was done if not for a rosh haYeshiva of an old time school that took him under his wing showing him love and tolerance we would have had a major problem

lets stop going to the problem for answers its time we started checking our yeshivas and seeing how they are destroying our youth
my son learnt in israel and will graduate medical school shortly

3

 Nov 15, 2010 at 11:17 AM fiftyseven Says:

moshiach would be the only magic solution! Anyone who thinks otherwise (even if ur a therapist) is living in dream land!

4

 Nov 15, 2010 at 11:20 AM Yossi Says:

Dear Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch :You have the right recepies for a perfect schooling system but unfortunate the yeshivas can NOT afford to implement those ideas without getting paid the fair tuition to hire the BEST melamdim and teachers..Our society is so over burdened with bills and cost of living that we simply can not afford to pay what it really cost to run a perfect system....Parents are struggling to put food on the table and saving every penny for tuition but cant afford even a private tutor to help out with their childrens problems....We face a major catastrophe in the Olem Hatorah and we need REAL Gedole Hador and Tzadikim who can address and fix those problems...

5

 Nov 15, 2010 at 11:22 AM AuthenticSatmar Says:

A school is a business. This is their system, and it works for the majority. If your child is an exception it's the parents responsibility to find a working solution. It is not the responsibility of the school to develop custom education plans for each child. Today most schools are quite accommodating to some extent and allow some flexibility. To overturn the process because of a few is not fair to the majority.
Additionally much of what is being suggested costs alot of money. As it is most tuitions do not cover the true cost of a child's education.
Today a parent has many choices as to where to educate their child. If a child has special needs he must be placed in an appropriate institution. Demanding that every school accommodate them is like walking into Kosher Delight and demanding a slice of pizza.

6

 Nov 15, 2010 at 11:23 AM Anonymous Says:

The worst thing for a child is to have a teacher that hates them. People that hate children should not be allowed into a classroom.

7

 Nov 15, 2010 at 11:27 AM Unbelievable Says:

Well written and said. I hope this will one day be implemented.

8

 Nov 15, 2010 at 11:31 AM Anonymous Says:

This man is spot on. The problems will only continue to grow unless steps are taken immediately to remedy this. Firstly, there are too many yeshivot and many of them are far too small to be able to employ sufficient and qualified staff. If many of these schools would amalgamate, the cost reductions would allow for the hiring of psychological support staff. Next, not all children are cut out for yeshivah life. Offering other subjects would allow these students to remain in the correct environment while preparing themselves for jobs, trade schools and universities. It is far more preferable to have your child learning graphic arts or whatever in a yeshivah than in a public or secular private school. Unfortunately, many parents are of the opinion that their child is well able to function in a yeshivah when it is patently obvious that they cannot. Combine this with Rosh Yeshivot who don't want the small schools to close because they will lose their positions of power. Something must change or an entire generation is at risk - some of these kids will be so far off the derech that the parents will pray for them to attend a reform temple because it is far better than the path they chose.

9

 Nov 15, 2010 at 11:35 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
AuthenticSatmar Says:

A school is a business. This is their system, and it works for the majority. If your child is an exception it's the parents responsibility to find a working solution. It is not the responsibility of the school to develop custom education plans for each child. Today most schools are quite accommodating to some extent and allow some flexibility. To overturn the process because of a few is not fair to the majority.
Additionally much of what is being suggested costs alot of money. As it is most tuitions do not cover the true cost of a child's education.
Today a parent has many choices as to where to educate their child. If a child has special needs he must be placed in an appropriate institution. Demanding that every school accommodate them is like walking into Kosher Delight and demanding a slice of pizza.

"It is not the responsibility of the school to develop custom education plans for each child"

Of course it is. Take your head out of the sand. Parents are not qualified educators - this is the school's responsibility.

10

 Nov 15, 2010 at 11:37 AM Cohen Says:

I'm not worried. Yeshivas don't know how to follow recipes anyway

11

 Nov 15, 2010 at 11:39 AM Anonymous Says:

In retrospect, I often wonder why we took out a second mortgage, sold our home to pay for tuition, when we could have home schooled our children. That way they didn't have to be bullied by the children of the "executives" and "teachers", who in reality knew less and behaved in ways unsuitable to our Derech eretz and "education."Excellent article.

12

 Nov 15, 2010 at 11:45 AM mikeetg Says:

The reason for the lack of implementation of these ideas is simple.
No $$$$$ for the proper training and resources.

And the schools and poor teachers who work their guts out for little pay and no training then get blamed for the mess.

13

 Nov 15, 2010 at 11:51 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

This man is spot on. The problems will only continue to grow unless steps are taken immediately to remedy this. Firstly, there are too many yeshivot and many of them are far too small to be able to employ sufficient and qualified staff. If many of these schools would amalgamate, the cost reductions would allow for the hiring of psychological support staff. Next, not all children are cut out for yeshivah life. Offering other subjects would allow these students to remain in the correct environment while preparing themselves for jobs, trade schools and universities. It is far more preferable to have your child learning graphic arts or whatever in a yeshivah than in a public or secular private school. Unfortunately, many parents are of the opinion that their child is well able to function in a yeshivah when it is patently obvious that they cannot. Combine this with Rosh Yeshivot who don't want the small schools to close because they will lose their positions of power. Something must change or an entire generation is at risk - some of these kids will be so far off the derech that the parents will pray for them to attend a reform temple because it is far better than the path they chose.

So what exactly do you want? Yeshivos with 10 classes for each grade, each class having 30 kids? The reason that there are so many small yeshivos, is because parents want their kid to have individualized attention, from the rebbi/teacher/principal. When I was growing up, I remember that's all adults were talking about, having a small yeshiva for their kid to grow in

14

 Nov 15, 2010 at 11:52 AM Anonymous Says:

This is to the principal in monsey who became a self proclaimed doctor and said to 30 kids you can not come back next year unless you are on meds, some kids were lucky enough to only "need" therapy, even though a professional licensed therapist said no. He did one thing by this, he lost kids from his cheder who some today are in modern yeshivas because no one else would accept them because of the stigma this "menahel" put on them. I don't think he can say yudeini lo shufchi as hadom hazeh.

This is also to the yeshivas who don't accept a bochur because he is not up to par, who's par, your's or hashem's?

There is one yeshiva in monsey which currently has boys in their yeshiva who if not they would be on the streets kol hakovod to them.

15

 Nov 15, 2010 at 11:54 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

This man is spot on. The problems will only continue to grow unless steps are taken immediately to remedy this. Firstly, there are too many yeshivot and many of them are far too small to be able to employ sufficient and qualified staff. If many of these schools would amalgamate, the cost reductions would allow for the hiring of psychological support staff. Next, not all children are cut out for yeshivah life. Offering other subjects would allow these students to remain in the correct environment while preparing themselves for jobs, trade schools and universities. It is far more preferable to have your child learning graphic arts or whatever in a yeshivah than in a public or secular private school. Unfortunately, many parents are of the opinion that their child is well able to function in a yeshivah when it is patently obvious that they cannot. Combine this with Rosh Yeshivot who don't want the small schools to close because they will lose their positions of power. Something must change or an entire generation is at risk - some of these kids will be so far off the derech that the parents will pray for them to attend a reform temple because it is far better than the path they chose.

I don't know where you live, but most jewish neighborhoods have organizations which supply psychological support and if not it is covered through insurance.

17

 Nov 15, 2010 at 12:08 PM getitright Says:

while i didnt read each word of the article only a quick perusal, i do want to let the author know that Daas Torah agrees with him.

when theRosh yeshiva of TYP Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky was asked the same question, his short response was " keep close with the children be involved with them, then you will have no problems, none of the at risk saga pertains to children who are close with their parents"

as a parent struggling with a minor issue i have discovered the reality of the authors "l'fi Darcheinu" attitude found in schools. my way or the highway.

one point i may add is that their "inflexibility" is due to a componnent of pride. they want top tier status and the glory of being top.

being anything but the best hurts their reputation and can cause serious irrepaiable damage.

rarely is it the "childs" best interest that is guiding/determining their ultimate decision regarding a childs future.

hence the concept of "Mechanchim" being "Mechanech" our children as in "chanoch L'annar" is forgotten.

it is time to bring out the best roll out the talent and allow a new generation of "mechanchim" to take over.

for the sakeof our children and sake of our nations future.

18

 Nov 15, 2010 at 12:09 PM scmaness Says:

it also helps if the children are checked for health problems,anyone actually,trace minerals are valuable for the mind to work well,l can't stress this enought,including fish oil,anyone interested in the holistic nutritionist that l used,can email me scmaness@gmail.com

19

 Nov 15, 2010 at 12:14 PM SandmanNY Says:

As long as the yeshiva system focuses on making every student into a talmid chacham and the next gadol hador (which only a tiny handful can qualify for) - and as long as the yeshiva system makes sitting in yeshiva the lifelong career focus, we will have worsening problems like this. Where are the next frum carpenters, accountants, biologists, surgeons, and chefs coming from? Why so little vocational training? If I were a kid in today's yeshiva system, I would be beyond m'yuash.

20

 Nov 15, 2010 at 12:26 PM Anonymous Says:

If all the Yeshivos would call these kids - KIDS WITH HOPE - then their attitude would be different towards these kids and much more would be accomplished.
Also the Rebbis, Teachers and Principals should be trained to recognize an issue (not a problem) with these kids early enough, whether the parents agree or not, they could be helped and with Hashem's help and HOPE they'll turn out fine.

21

 Nov 15, 2010 at 12:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Except for a few minor details, this author is absolutely correct. As a professional in the field, I would sign my name to this as an endorsement. However, I have learned that allowing my name to be connected to anything that sounds like placing any responsibility to "chinuch", noting that they are doing anything wrong, is dangerous. I have been publicly accused and mocked for insinuating that yeshivos bear any responsibility for the current situation. Hence, I remain anonymous. I will distribute responsibility to more than yeshivos, but they will get their portion, as noted quite proficiently by Rabbi Schonbuch.

The dream of reforming our educational system is still fantasy. However, there are yeshivos that are starting on a different footing, gaining popularity slowly. I pray that these new mosdos will succeed and serve as a model that will catch on - to benefit Klal Yisrael and save the priceless neshamos that have been abandoned and ending up in the streets.

22

 Nov 15, 2010 at 12:45 PM Raphael Kaufman Says:

All yeshivas say they want "mitzuyanim", the best of the best bachurim. What yeshivas really want are bachurim with average (for Ashkenazi Jews) intelligence who can sit quietly in shiur, follow the rebbi's discourse inside and can parrot it back in a bechina. As long as they don't as really penetrating questions, wear the uniform and behave and, by the way, whose parents can pay full tuition, they're in. The kids at the ends of the bell curve don't fare so well. Those at the lower end are undesireable because they require more resources, I.E. money, to be brought along and the ones at the high end are undesireable because they are more apt to challenge and undermine the authority of the rebbis and the hanhalah by asking difficult questions.

Please note that the terms "off the derech" and "at risk" are not interchangeable. "At risk" refers to antisocial, self-destructive and criminal behavior such as alcohol or drug addiction, petty crime and relations with the opposite sex. When a teen rejects all or part of his parent's or yeshiva's mesorah he does not automatically become at risk.

23

 Nov 15, 2010 at 12:40 PM AuthenticSatmar Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

"It is not the responsibility of the school to develop custom education plans for each child"

Of course it is. Take your head out of the sand. Parents are not qualified educators - this is the school's responsibility.

Parents don't pay enough tuition for that. If the schools were to charge 60,000 per child then maybe. As it stands now, we have developed a system that works for most of the children. The rest is the parent's responsibility. The school needs to notify a parent that their child is not doing well, but if the child needs a special program, its the parents problem, not the school.

24

 Nov 15, 2010 at 12:54 PM DavidMoshe Says:

The whole yeshiva system is a disaster and should be scrapped in favor of solid public educations with a few hours a week of Judaic instruction elsewhere. We build yeshivas not to educate students, but to indoctrinate them, and to crank out automatons who will be considered successful precisely to the extent that their thought patterns never deviate from the hashkofo of the particular yeshiva. Orthodoxy is destroying its own intellectual traditions in favor of groupthink and conformity. In such a system, creative thinkers and children who ask serious questions will practically be shoved "off the derech." In the end, that's probably the nicest thing the system can do for them.

25

 Nov 15, 2010 at 12:55 PM Anonymous Says:

its time to retire the rebeim that are 50 years of age + i find that they have no pations for kids that need that extra push its either u listen to me or get your self a tutor

26

 Nov 15, 2010 at 12:59 PM mythoughts Says:

Reply to #5  
AuthenticSatmar Says:

A school is a business. This is their system, and it works for the majority. If your child is an exception it's the parents responsibility to find a working solution. It is not the responsibility of the school to develop custom education plans for each child. Today most schools are quite accommodating to some extent and allow some flexibility. To overturn the process because of a few is not fair to the majority.
Additionally much of what is being suggested costs alot of money. As it is most tuitions do not cover the true cost of a child's education.
Today a parent has many choices as to where to educate their child. If a child has special needs he must be placed in an appropriate institution. Demanding that every school accommodate them is like walking into Kosher Delight and demanding a slice of pizza.

Most of what you wrote is correct with one major exception. It doesn't cost any money for a rebbe to show some love and compassion to ALL students. Children aren't like a slice of pizza they have feelings and respond accordingly. If they aren't able to conform to the yeshiva's standards but are shown a smile and some direction instead of a scowl they are less apt to throw away the whole yiddishkeit package later in life. If rebbeim aren't able to do this, they should stay in kollel and stay away from chinuch. I'm not saying anything new here its just common sense.

27

 Nov 15, 2010 at 01:03 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #22  
Raphael Kaufman Says:

All yeshivas say they want "mitzuyanim", the best of the best bachurim. What yeshivas really want are bachurim with average (for Ashkenazi Jews) intelligence who can sit quietly in shiur, follow the rebbi's discourse inside and can parrot it back in a bechina. As long as they don't as really penetrating questions, wear the uniform and behave and, by the way, whose parents can pay full tuition, they're in. The kids at the ends of the bell curve don't fare so well. Those at the lower end are undesireable because they require more resources, I.E. money, to be brought along and the ones at the high end are undesireable because they are more apt to challenge and undermine the authority of the rebbis and the hanhalah by asking difficult questions.

Please note that the terms "off the derech" and "at risk" are not interchangeable. "At risk" refers to antisocial, self-destructive and criminal behavior such as alcohol or drug addiction, petty crime and relations with the opposite sex. When a teen rejects all or part of his parent's or yeshiva's mesorah he does not automatically become at risk.

umm.... helloooo!!!! of course someone who pays full tuition has more of a right to be there!! who do you think pays the teachers/staff to keep the school running!?

28

 Nov 15, 2010 at 01:14 PM rachzag Says:

the rabbi is right but it goes alot farther
the problem with the system is that people think just because they sat in yeshiva all their lives and know a tosfot they know how to be a rebbe
the problem is that the rebbes dont know any "jewdism" to give over besides all the rest of the teaching skills.10 to 15 years ago there was a concept of emuna pashuta but now a days with technology and the outside world people need reasons for what they r doing and the rebbaim dont know the answers themselves
their is more to being a jew then gemorrah. you have for starters chumush and rashi and all the commentarys on the side
this is pshat remez drush hashkafa.....
their lies the answers
ive been teaching at risk students for 10 yrs now
this only a piece of my mind










'

29

 Nov 15, 2010 at 01:16 PM Pool Resources Says:

Reply to #14  
Anonymous Says:

This is to the principal in monsey who became a self proclaimed doctor and said to 30 kids you can not come back next year unless you are on meds, some kids were lucky enough to only "need" therapy, even though a professional licensed therapist said no. He did one thing by this, he lost kids from his cheder who some today are in modern yeshivas because no one else would accept them because of the stigma this "menahel" put on them. I don't think he can say yudeini lo shufchi as hadom hazeh.

This is also to the yeshivas who don't accept a bochur because he is not up to par, who's par, your's or hashem's?

There is one yeshiva in monsey which currently has boys in their yeshiva who if not they would be on the streets kol hakovod to them.

Children that don't fit the mold perfectly should be guided in ways to increase their self esteem an given more pupose rather than building on their failures (academic and behavioral) until they are ultimately tossed out of the system. If you take the Boro Park Y for example, and have children from all yeshivas that need less classroom time, but more physical activities attend swimming or other recreational sports for part of the day, along with computer classes, woodworking, music, art and the like, it may actually help motivate them once they are back in the yeshiva classroom. Now everything is Ussur. It should be an encouraged viable option. There shouldn't be a class system, but rather we should build a society with Yisachars and Zevuluns, each appreciating the contribution of each other.

30

 Nov 15, 2010 at 01:18 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #23  
AuthenticSatmar Says:

Parents don't pay enough tuition for that. If the schools were to charge 60,000 per child then maybe. As it stands now, we have developed a system that works for most of the children. The rest is the parent's responsibility. The school needs to notify a parent that their child is not doing well, but if the child needs a special program, its the parents problem, not the school.

There is a point that yeshivos lack the funding to implement many of the "special" or "extra" services we demand. But this is not a black and white issue. There is much that any yeshiva can do, and save quite a few neshamos in the process. The issue is that most yeshivos don't want to do these things. The very concept of change is distasteful to many in chinuch. It is viewed as a departure from mesorah. This is more than commonplace. There was a booklet distributed in shuls across the community a few years ago (a reissue from a few decades previous) in which it proclaimed that there can never be anything implemented in yeshivos that could be traced to anything that involves formal secular education. It insinuated that the many frum mental health professionals are so corrupted from their outside influences that the mainstream chinuch community should not seek their advice, not to understand a case nor to intervene. This booklet carried a star studded list of signatures and haskomos. Basically, do not modify anything, regardless of the fact that our yeshivos, our communities, our environment, and our talmidim are different. Don't use your key to start your car. Crank it!

31

 Nov 15, 2010 at 01:44 PM FFB-Teaneck Says:

How do you define 'at risk youth' are they the ones who are good kids but not interested in larning/yidishkeit or are they the bad ones who are on the streets causing trouble/doing drugs??

32

 Nov 15, 2010 at 01:49 PM POSHITER YID Says:

Maybe there should be a vaad composed of Baalei Batim and Rabonim that have a little common sense to give guide lines and hadrucho to every Yeshiva. We have hashgocho on bheimes and chickens. Why not have hashgocho on Mosdos. We may as well watch what is done financially with money gotten from the government and parents. This could be a start.

33

 Nov 15, 2010 at 01:59 PM Your Conscience Says:

Reply to #2  
kollelfaker Says:

first of all which came first the chicken or the egg in my dealings with many of these young men i have found them as has a rebbe in a major yeshiva to be highly intelligent what needs to be found is why they are turned off in my sons case it was a rebbe that chose serveral 8th graders and made fools of them belittleing them and psychologically attacking them by rthe time i found out the damage was done if not for a rosh haYeshiva of an old time school that took him under his wing showing him love and tolerance we would have had a major problem

lets stop going to the problem for answers its time we started checking our yeshivas and seeing how they are destroying our youth
my son learnt in israel and will graduate medical school shortly

I have noticed that you participate quite often on VIN. If you want your comments read carefully, please take a moment to use punctuation - periods especially. It is very difficult to read continuous run on sentences.

34

 Nov 15, 2010 at 02:02 PM sane Says:

In my elementary school and high school, many boys - even the top ones, wore knitted yarmulkas and colored shirts. These same people are today very well adjusted mechanchim and baal habatim. If you want to create robots, open a factory with an assembly line.

35

 Nov 15, 2010 at 02:04 PM Raphael Kaufman Says:

Reply to #29  
Pool Resources Says:

Children that don't fit the mold perfectly should be guided in ways to increase their self esteem an given more pupose rather than building on their failures (academic and behavioral) until they are ultimately tossed out of the system. If you take the Boro Park Y for example, and have children from all yeshivas that need less classroom time, but more physical activities attend swimming or other recreational sports for part of the day, along with computer classes, woodworking, music, art and the like, it may actually help motivate them once they are back in the yeshiva classroom. Now everything is Ussur. It should be an encouraged viable option. There shouldn't be a class system, but rather we should build a society with Yisachars and Zevuluns, each appreciating the contribution of each other.

Statistically speaking, half of the "Children that don't fit the mold perfectly" don't have self esteem problems, nor are they necessarily academic failures. They often "need less classroom time" because they can assimilate a lesson much faster than the rest of the class and are simply bored with the pace of the class. We need to recognize that not all children who don't do well in regular yeshivas aren't substandard but actually superstandard, and I submitt that we lose more gifted kids than we lose those with "learning disabilities". Yeshiva are,generally better able to deal with slower students than with gifted kids because they can get state aid for special programs. G-d help the 13 year old who is smarter than his rebbi and knows it. It takes a very special kind of rebbi to deal with a bachur who the rebbi knows is smarter than he is.

36

 Nov 15, 2010 at 02:08 PM Godol-Hador Says:

Its all about MONEY. If the schools had it, it would be better and they would be able to pay for more and better teachers. If the reform Rabbis YM"S wouldn't oppose vouchers things would be a bit better.
I pay thousands a year (!!) In property taxes For Public schools my children and none of my communities children use.
The answer is only one thing. Funding. Without money nothing will change

37

 Nov 15, 2010 at 02:08 PM Try Waterbury Yeshiva Says:

There is one Yeshiva that implements many of these ideas, and that is the Yeshiva of Waterbury. The menahel of the high school is a true tzaddik who shows the bachurim love and understanding. Two of my sons go there. One was not accepted into a local yeshiva as he did not fit the mold, the other decided to go there because he was tired of being forced to fit a particular mold. They have now brought many friends of theirs there. It is a great yeshiva which all others should emulate.

38

 Nov 15, 2010 at 02:22 PM Anonymous Says:

Liberalize the educational process. Keep the kids learning and reading. Allow the kids to explore learning that may not be scheduled. Push torah learning, discuss current events. Require increased critical thinking. Public education is not the end of Judaism and I am proud that was my experiences. The memories have lasted a lifetime. Perhaps an increase in sciences, mathematics, history (american, european and religious) would be a good thing. Never pass up the opportunity to teach books such as Cry the Beloved Country, Farenheight 451, Of Mice and Men and other 'secular' insturments of learning.. They've shaped the rest of the world. Judaism can not exist without the non Jewish studies. I was disapointed to learn that kids in the hebrew schools in my state avoid mathematics and have little concept of sciences. Allow internet use to improve learning.

39

 Nov 15, 2010 at 02:23 PM AuthenticSatmar Says:

Reply to #26  
mythoughts Says:

Most of what you wrote is correct with one major exception. It doesn't cost any money for a rebbe to show some love and compassion to ALL students. Children aren't like a slice of pizza they have feelings and respond accordingly. If they aren't able to conform to the yeshiva's standards but are shown a smile and some direction instead of a scowl they are less apt to throw away the whole yiddishkeit package later in life. If rebbeim aren't able to do this, they should stay in kollel and stay away from chinuch. I'm not saying anything new here its just common sense.

Many of the kids that we are talking about are already way beyond needing a smile and helping hand. Yes you are correct that chinuch needs to be with warmth and compassion. What we are talking about here is those that are beyond that level.

40

 Nov 15, 2010 at 02:37 PM raykaufm Says:

Reply to #31  
FFB-Teaneck Says:

How do you define 'at risk youth' are they the ones who are good kids but not interested in larning/yidishkeit or are they the bad ones who are on the streets causing trouble/doing drugs??

See my post #22. People often use the therm "at risk" to describe kids who, as you say, "are good kids but not interested in larning/yidishkeit". I feel this is a grave error. Parents of such kids often drag them to counselors, pschologists etc. trying to find out "whats wrong" with there little bachurel. There's nothing "wrong" with the kid. he just has different ideas. When such kids grow up, they often turn out to be frum ba'alei batim who are pillars of the community. At worst they become secular Jews who are otherwise, happy, reasonably well adjusted and productive human beings. "Kids at risk", on the other hand, are those who, for a variety of reasons, turn to self-destructive behavior such as alcohol, drugs, petty crime, etc. Professional treatment and intervention are certainly appropriate in such cases.

41

 Nov 15, 2010 at 02:47 PM sasregener Says:

Rabbi Zecharya Wallerstein has a high school for girls that have fallen between the cracks it's called Ateres Chaya. These girls are from your typical frum families in Monsey, Lakewood, New York etc,...He also has a Seminary and Night Program for girls from all backgrounds 17-120 called Ateres Naava. You people have no clue what is going on out there with our girls. Whatever you think you know, multiply that by 100 and then maybe you will just touch the tip of the iceberg. I see on a daily basis the issues out there. Drugs, Unwed Pregnancies etc.. all this from girls from regular frum families. I don't mean to be disrespectful but If you people out there only had a clue you would drop whatever you are doing and run to A shul and daven 24/7 for Rachmei Shomayim

42

 Nov 15, 2010 at 03:03 PM knowitall Says:

Unfortunately, by the time people are in their late teens, they have not received solid grounding in reading, writing, math and science, since it is relegated to insignificance by Yeshivos - apparently with the mistaken notion that if a boy is exposed to secular subjects in a meaningful way, he will become an apikorus or mechalel shabbos.

This deceit is perpetuated despite the abundant proof around us by virtue of thousands of boys that went through the Yeshiva system in the 60's, 70' and 80' s that became talmidei chachomim and well respected in the professions. When the Yeshivos will take their collective heads out of the sand and deal with the facts and reality as they are and not as they pretend them to be, the problem will be ameliorated.

43

 Nov 15, 2010 at 03:10 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #40  
raykaufm Says:

See my post #22. People often use the therm "at risk" to describe kids who, as you say, "are good kids but not interested in larning/yidishkeit". I feel this is a grave error. Parents of such kids often drag them to counselors, pschologists etc. trying to find out "whats wrong" with there little bachurel. There's nothing "wrong" with the kid. he just has different ideas. When such kids grow up, they often turn out to be frum ba'alei batim who are pillars of the community. At worst they become secular Jews who are otherwise, happy, reasonably well adjusted and productive human beings. "Kids at risk", on the other hand, are those who, for a variety of reasons, turn to self-destructive behavior such as alcohol, drugs, petty crime, etc. Professional treatment and intervention are certainly appropriate in such cases.

Why do you think these, "at risk" kids turn to alcohol, drugs, petty crimes etc ... in the first place??? It's typically because they got turned off to learning/yidishkeit by the system that tells them that there is only ONE way to learn and be frum and if you don't do it THAT way and you don't fit the mold you are "nothing". In my opinion, the drugs, alcohol, crimes, inappropriate relationships are only the RESULT of what happens when a child becomes "at risk" (meaning - they become "at risk" of pursuing dangerous behavior), The CAUSE of "at risk" children is the system that exists in most Jewish communities that wants every Jewish child to fit one mold. It's not humanly possible. And when that becomes a realization and we work with each kid as parents and teachers and accept them as they are, we will be much better off. .

44

 Nov 15, 2010 at 03:17 PM LCSW Says:

That article would make me want to quit my day job. The author placed all the responsibility on the school instead of the parents. Some of the points may have been valid, but he undermined his credibility.

45

 Nov 15, 2010 at 03:25 PM AP Says:

What about instituting organized (preferably mandatory) sports/gym with trained instructors. This is the perfect outlet for a fun and cheap supervised social program that is healthy for the mind as well as the body, and will give children something to do when not learning. It is something even chassidishe yeshivos should consider.

46

 Nov 15, 2010 at 03:35 PM wondering Says:

Reply to #27  
Anonymous Says:

umm.... helloooo!!!! of course someone who pays full tuition has more of a right to be there!! who do you think pays the teachers/staff to keep the school running!?

umm helloooo! (did I get that right?)!!! If the system would encourage kids to learn how to make money in a legal and society contributing way then you'd be right. Unfortunately, the very system that educates children to stay in learning as the only path to "success" then discriminates (at the first sign of a non Auto Pilot) against those whose followed that path and thus being unable to be gainfully employed, cannot pay full tuition for their chitldren. Umm???????????

47

 Nov 15, 2010 at 03:44 PM chashuv Says:

Rabbi Shonbuch, you are a university educated person, who learned your views in School. WE do NOT respect anything you say or know from school. If we wanted the view of the Psychiatric world, we would buy the textbook like you did. If anything, the value in your views, is to do the exact opposite. There is no reason to believe anything you say, other than that it is your own opinion, or the opinion of your teacher at school. These types of theories hardly ever work in the real world. As frum people, we put NO value in these teachings. Psychiatrists believe they have a G-D given right to be respected and heeded. Anyone who dosnt value you, is obviously self destructive, in your view, or just a Neanderthal. You should know- you dont have that authority. Your views are not scientifically proven, nor supported by torah. Nor are they supported by real world experience. When you write an article next time, clearly state, "This is MY personal view. Heed it at your own risk. I take no responsibility if you follow my advise, and it dosnt work. "

48

 Nov 15, 2010 at 03:47 PM lbpss Says:

Reply to #27  
Anonymous Says:

umm.... helloooo!!!! of course someone who pays full tuition has more of a right to be there!! who do you think pays the teachers/staff to keep the school running!?

Sorry to let you know but even money sometimes doesnt' talk

49

 Nov 15, 2010 at 03:52 PM Raphael Kaufman Says:

Reply to #43  
Anonymous Says:

Why do you think these, "at risk" kids turn to alcohol, drugs, petty crimes etc ... in the first place??? It's typically because they got turned off to learning/yidishkeit by the system that tells them that there is only ONE way to learn and be frum and if you don't do it THAT way and you don't fit the mold you are "nothing". In my opinion, the drugs, alcohol, crimes, inappropriate relationships are only the RESULT of what happens when a child becomes "at risk" (meaning - they become "at risk" of pursuing dangerous behavior), The CAUSE of "at risk" children is the system that exists in most Jewish communities that wants every Jewish child to fit one mold. It's not humanly possible. And when that becomes a realization and we work with each kid as parents and teachers and accept them as they are, we will be much better off. .

Sorry, but you're wrong. dropped out Jews can be just as happy productive and satisfied with their lives as frum Jews. Risky behavior does not necessarily follow OTD, and there are plenty of frum kids who get into trouble with risky behavior. On the other hand, you are right that cookie cutter yeshivas are a problem. Both in creating OTD problems where there oughtn't to be any and disregarding inappropriate behavior if the kid otherwise "fits the mold" or if his parents have money.

50

 Nov 15, 2010 at 03:53 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #29  
Pool Resources Says:

Children that don't fit the mold perfectly should be guided in ways to increase their self esteem an given more pupose rather than building on their failures (academic and behavioral) until they are ultimately tossed out of the system. If you take the Boro Park Y for example, and have children from all yeshivas that need less classroom time, but more physical activities attend swimming or other recreational sports for part of the day, along with computer classes, woodworking, music, art and the like, it may actually help motivate them once they are back in the yeshiva classroom. Now everything is Ussur. It should be an encouraged viable option. There shouldn't be a class system, but rather we should build a society with Yisachars and Zevuluns, each appreciating the contribution of each other.

I am #14 and it wasnt' the kids who didn't fit the mold. It was the menahel who needed to be molded. As the story goes with the rebbe who called the father saying that the kid needs medication and it was decided that the rabbi will give the child every day the medication as a candy/treat for making him a coffee. A few weeks later the rabbi tells the father the child is doing great. The father asks the kid if there is any change in cheder so the kid says that his rabbi sends him out every day to make a coffee and gives him a treat but he tasted it the first day but didnt like it so he dropped it in his rabbi's coffee and has been doing so ever since. No comments necessary.

51

 Nov 15, 2010 at 03:59 PM Butterfly Says:

To #38 I agree wholeheartedly with you. That is the type of education that I had. I had to pull my kid out of yeshiva because he was being tormented by other kids and nobody would do anything about it!! That is where your money goes??? Down the drain??? My kid is now well rounded, well educated, and balanced.

52

 Nov 15, 2010 at 04:12 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #47  
chashuv Says:

Rabbi Shonbuch, you are a university educated person, who learned your views in School. WE do NOT respect anything you say or know from school. If we wanted the view of the Psychiatric world, we would buy the textbook like you did. If anything, the value in your views, is to do the exact opposite. There is no reason to believe anything you say, other than that it is your own opinion, or the opinion of your teacher at school. These types of theories hardly ever work in the real world. As frum people, we put NO value in these teachings. Psychiatrists believe they have a G-D given right to be respected and heeded. Anyone who dosnt value you, is obviously self destructive, in your view, or just a Neanderthal. You should know- you dont have that authority. Your views are not scientifically proven, nor supported by torah. Nor are they supported by real world experience. When you write an article next time, clearly state, "This is MY personal view. Heed it at your own risk. I take no responsibility if you follow my advise, and it dosnt work. "

You are so wrong. You have no clue about what has been proven scientifically. In fact, if you would read or learn through the most epic works on chinuch, everything he said is true, Torah derived, and has been stated openly by the greatest gedolim and mechanchim in history. You may be unaware that the Chazon Ish ZT"L (must be before 1954) stated that chinuch must address the needs of the yochid, not the tzibbur. Perhaps investigate what Rav Shloime Wolbe ZT"L said about chinuch. And the Brisker Rav, and the Chofetz Chaim, etc. Much exists in Shas & Medrash, and much was expounded upon by the baalei mussar. The trouble is that barely a trace of those great leaders in chinuch is detected in our current yeshivos. We do have a different world that requires us to think differently. But Rabbi Schonbuch's ideas are neither secular nor antithetical to Torah - if you examine the writings and teachings of our greatest gedolim. I can't speak for the author, but if it was me, I'd say, "I don't need your respect. The talmidim need good chinuch. Forget the messenger, and keep the message."

53

 Nov 15, 2010 at 04:13 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #49  
Raphael Kaufman Says:

Sorry, but you're wrong. dropped out Jews can be just as happy productive and satisfied with their lives as frum Jews. Risky behavior does not necessarily follow OTD, and there are plenty of frum kids who get into trouble with risky behavior. On the other hand, you are right that cookie cutter yeshivas are a problem. Both in creating OTD problems where there oughtn't to be any and disregarding inappropriate behavior if the kid otherwise "fits the mold" or if his parents have money.

Let me clarify - I never meant to infer that being "turned off by yidishkeit" = LEAVING Yidishkeit altogether. I am aware that kids who conduct themselves dangerously still remain frum and even live within their family unit. I am also aware that OTD kids may be just THAT (OTD) and do not engage in dangerous activity. I still believe that kids who go OTD or kids who engage in dangerous activities or even in secular society amongst complete non-Jews where kids engage in reckless behavior it is due to lack of quality relationships with parents and/or teachers/Rabbeim... When it comes to the frum communities - it is typically because we have become a society which puts it's emphasis on the fact that boys learning in Yeshiva and girls who go to a "proper" Bais Yaakov with the intention of not going to a secular College and with the intention of supporting her "learned" husband = the one and only mold of frumkeit. Some of these kids can not live up to or aspire to be what is expected of them and are often criticized for the initial choices they make that set them apart from what is expected. Once criticized endlessly - they may as well do something to be worthy of the criticism.

54

 Nov 15, 2010 at 04:20 PM to #31 Says:

At risk, as I have said many times refers to juvenile delinquency. young people in trouble. I don't know who white washed criminal behaviour.

55

 Nov 15, 2010 at 04:23 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #47  
chashuv Says:

Rabbi Shonbuch, you are a university educated person, who learned your views in School. WE do NOT respect anything you say or know from school. If we wanted the view of the Psychiatric world, we would buy the textbook like you did. If anything, the value in your views, is to do the exact opposite. There is no reason to believe anything you say, other than that it is your own opinion, or the opinion of your teacher at school. These types of theories hardly ever work in the real world. As frum people, we put NO value in these teachings. Psychiatrists believe they have a G-D given right to be respected and heeded. Anyone who dosnt value you, is obviously self destructive, in your view, or just a Neanderthal. You should know- you dont have that authority. Your views are not scientifically proven, nor supported by torah. Nor are they supported by real world experience. When you write an article next time, clearly state, "This is MY personal view. Heed it at your own risk. I take no responsibility if you follow my advise, and it dosnt work. "

I disagree. Most rabbeim are not educated to deal with the variety of emotional issues and they themselves recommend professional help should they not be able to help.

56

 Nov 15, 2010 at 04:24 PM shvigger Says:

The last person I'd trust to "fix" up the broken system is a therapist.

57

 Nov 15, 2010 at 04:37 PM RipRoar Says:

Reply to #47  
chashuv Says:

Rabbi Shonbuch, you are a university educated person, who learned your views in School. WE do NOT respect anything you say or know from school. If we wanted the view of the Psychiatric world, we would buy the textbook like you did. If anything, the value in your views, is to do the exact opposite. There is no reason to believe anything you say, other than that it is your own opinion, or the opinion of your teacher at school. These types of theories hardly ever work in the real world. As frum people, we put NO value in these teachings. Psychiatrists believe they have a G-D given right to be respected and heeded. Anyone who dosnt value you, is obviously self destructive, in your view, or just a Neanderthal. You should know- you dont have that authority. Your views are not scientifically proven, nor supported by torah. Nor are they supported by real world experience. When you write an article next time, clearly state, "This is MY personal view. Heed it at your own risk. I take no responsibility if you follow my advise, and it dosnt work. "

Your comment is borderline - make that completely ridiculous. Rabbi Shobuch is clearly not someone straight out of school spouting textbook theories. If you bothered to read the article itself - as in, if you got past the first few sentences, you would have seen he's apparenlty had 10 years experience dealing with these types of issues! I don't know about people like you but most of us apply real-world experience as we obtain it rather than sticking to textbook knowledge all our lives. To assume Rabbi Shonbuch is doing the same is plain silly
And second – you failed to discuss a single one of his points. If you have issues with what he’s written then demonstrate your own sechel which are “supported by Torah” to refute them. As it stands you’ve written a blanket condemnation without providing a single shred of proof or even discussion. Where is he wrong? What has he said that is not supported by Torah? That parents and mechanchim need to be supported by Torah? Really? Your comment is clearly worthless and without a single shred of merit.

58

 Nov 15, 2010 at 04:39 PM 5TResident Says:

Reply to #1  
shimonyehuda Says:

if we have solutions why are they not being implemented? this has been going on for more then twenty years i think we have had these problems for at least 50 years

I agree completely. This was a problem when I was in the Mir in the late 1970's and early 1980's. I can think of at least five boys who are frei today from my graduating mesivta class. Its like the "shidduch crisis". Its been around for decades but now, finally, they are waking up to it.

59

 Nov 15, 2010 at 05:08 PM Beard18 Says:

In my life experience I have found that if a person feel like they are accomplishing something then they will continue to pursue that goal, and play to their personal strenghths. We need to give our children oppurtunities to find their strengths with in our Jewish halachik society. The most important thing for our school system is to help children enjoy the curriculum which we are offering, the Torah. There is a piece of Torah for everyone, and it is our job to find that area for every child. This is no small task especially b/c we have large classes and a system of teaching. I think we need to find a way for children to see success in school. We need everyone getting a "100" on the test. A child has to be taught that with effort he will succeed. we need to give the child reasons to put in the effort. He needs to believe that he will succeed. I do not, yet, no of a way to do this, but if there are any mechanchim out there who have been in this situation please brainstrom with ideas, and share them.
I also beleive, that a child has to see school as a place of growth, both in Kodesh and Chol. They have to want to come to school. We need to help them achieve this viewpoint.HashemOzer

60

 Nov 15, 2010 at 05:09 PM marko Says:

well unfortunately this problem is here to stay, and guilty are the fathers who have top boys ,and still don’t want to know that they can have 1 or 2 or have grandchildren with the same problem, they are selfish , I know a family who was always on the yeshiva side saying well those yeshivas have the right to do what they want, they are not obligated to take in buchrom, until it hit him home I will never forget this,he had a good son in a good yeshiva who went off the derech, you should hear him talk now ,much different, but again now he knows new fathers who have no experience will repeat the mistake, , so the problems keeps on rolling and we are in big hot trouble and I keep on realizing it’s the younger generation did not yet go true with all their children who makes the problem the older one who married off their children will all tell you the same the system in unbearable it’s the young generation who think they have their first or second good buchir and will always be that way by the time they will marry all their kids they will have their opinion all the way in the other direction

61

 Nov 15, 2010 at 05:11 PM Anonymous Says:

I say everybody who problems with their yeshiva and is now married should take a few minutes and write a letter to the Rosh yeshiva of that yeshiva he had the problem and at the same time somebody to publish without names all the letters so let the world see the pain and anger and at the same time let the Rosh yeshiva not sleep at night knowing how many people have a heavy heart on them

62

 Nov 15, 2010 at 05:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Many professionals believe that with extra funds we can hire more specialists to help with our situation. One solution may be to get it out of the heads of most parents that the yungerman has to sit & learn after the wedding and be supported by their parents. Maybe one in a hundred should sit in kollel. The parents should give the money they save to the the yeshivas of their younger kids who are still in school. Look back in history very few kids learned till 18 years. They had to help with parnoso.

63

 Nov 15, 2010 at 06:02 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #52  
Anonymous Says:

You are so wrong. You have no clue about what has been proven scientifically. In fact, if you would read or learn through the most epic works on chinuch, everything he said is true, Torah derived, and has been stated openly by the greatest gedolim and mechanchim in history. You may be unaware that the Chazon Ish ZT"L (must be before 1954) stated that chinuch must address the needs of the yochid, not the tzibbur. Perhaps investigate what Rav Shloime Wolbe ZT"L said about chinuch. And the Brisker Rav, and the Chofetz Chaim, etc. Much exists in Shas & Medrash, and much was expounded upon by the baalei mussar. The trouble is that barely a trace of those great leaders in chinuch is detected in our current yeshivos. We do have a different world that requires us to think differently. But Rabbi Schonbuch's ideas are neither secular nor antithetical to Torah - if you examine the writings and teachings of our greatest gedolim. I can't speak for the author, but if it was me, I'd say, "I don't need your respect. The talmidim need good chinuch. Forget the messenger, and keep the message."

I have a sneaky suspicion he was being sarcastic (I hope so anyway).

64

 Nov 15, 2010 at 06:20 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #54  
to #31 Says:

At risk, as I have said many times refers to juvenile delinquency. young people in trouble. I don't know who white washed criminal behaviour.

If you want to choose the words "juvenile delinquency" to describe "at risk" - you may want to first understand the LEGAL definition of the words you YOURSELF chose.
Juvenile Delinquency

It refers to the antisocial or criminal activity of the child below 18 years of age and which violates the law. In true context, that same activity would have been a crime if it was committed by the adult.Such activities are definitely tried in juvenile court and is senteced a bit differently that that of an adult.

As you can see - the legal definition clearly states that the behavior violates law and is therefore criminal. So apparently you are calling "at risk" behavior criminal.

"At risk" means you are on your way to risky behavior while "risky" would refer to the children who are already deep in destructive behavior. We can thwart the destructive behavior BEFORE it happens, by abolishing the community behavior that leads to "at risk" children .... that way - they won't ever make it to the actual destructive behavior. And by the way - the words "young people in trouble" is clearly very vague. You have yet to really explain YOUR definition of "at risk".

65

 Nov 15, 2010 at 06:45 PM ShmuelG Says:

Reply to #18  
scmaness Says:

it also helps if the children are checked for health problems,anyone actually,trace minerals are valuable for the mind to work well,l can't stress this enought,including fish oil,anyone interested in the holistic nutritionist that l used,can email me scmaness@gmail.com

Anyone who doesn't see through scmaness's outright attempt to improve his parnassah may indeed need to improve the workings of their minds, only I don't beleive "minerals, icluding fish oil" can help them.

66

 Nov 15, 2010 at 06:49 PM bfromwilli Says:

being within the framework of the yeshiva system, I am convinced that 80% of at risk teens come from homes where there are significant shalom bayis issues. in some cases where the shalom bayis seems o.k. the children very often get mixed messages from one or both parents, or see alot of hypocricy in yiddishkeit in the home. There is small percentage of kids at risk that fall through the cracks of the yeshiva system in and of itself. Usually this occurs when a child somehow gets emotionally disconnected from the system- and yes it is the mechanchims' job to look out for these signs and deal with it before its to late !

67

 Nov 15, 2010 at 06:53 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #31  
FFB-Teaneck Says:

How do you define 'at risk youth' are they the ones who are good kids but not interested in larning/yidishkeit or are they the bad ones who are on the streets causing trouble/doing drugs??

My friend, definitely both! And these two catgories overlap to a very large degree. Besides, who are these "good kids but not interested in larning/yidishkeit"? By what definition would you call them "good"?

68

 Nov 15, 2010 at 06:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #35  
Raphael Kaufman Says:

Statistically speaking, half of the "Children that don't fit the mold perfectly" don't have self esteem problems, nor are they necessarily academic failures. They often "need less classroom time" because they can assimilate a lesson much faster than the rest of the class and are simply bored with the pace of the class. We need to recognize that not all children who don't do well in regular yeshivas aren't substandard but actually superstandard, and I submitt that we lose more gifted kids than we lose those with "learning disabilities". Yeshiva are,generally better able to deal with slower students than with gifted kids because they can get state aid for special programs. G-d help the 13 year old who is smarter than his rebbi and knows it. It takes a very special kind of rebbi to deal with a bachur who the rebbi knows is smarter than he is.

Kol Hakovod! Most Yeshivas cannot handle an above average student, and it is up to the parents to pay for private rebbim and teachers to enrich their studies.

69

 Nov 15, 2010 at 06:56 PM ShmuelG Says:

Reply to #33  
Your Conscience Says:

I have noticed that you participate quite often on VIN. If you want your comments read carefully, please take a moment to use punctuation - periods especially. It is very difficult to read continuous run on sentences.

Oh, give up, Conscience. He was asked about it in the past and admitted he can't use punctuation, or speak English for that matter. Everybody else here just ignores him. I suggest you do too.

70

 Nov 15, 2010 at 06:58 PM The_Truth Says:

Reply to #23  
AuthenticSatmar Says:

Parents don't pay enough tuition for that. If the schools were to charge 60,000 per child then maybe. As it stands now, we have developed a system that works for most of the children. The rest is the parent's responsibility. The school needs to notify a parent that their child is not doing well, but if the child needs a special program, its the parents problem, not the school.

"As it stands now, we have developed a system that works for most of the children."

When was the last time you heard a school/yeshiva say - 'Our school is financially stable'???
How can you say a 'system' works if it is not financially stable? Generally, yeshivos are not geared up to be stable, when they don't teach limudei chol or give it no importance & basically teach that lechatchila one should not get a job??? Kids pick up on the hypocrisy IN THE SYSTEM and we can all see that it does not work. Who will support the school/yeshiva in 10-20 years? The alumnai or others??? If it was a well oiled system, it would make the necessary improvements to be able to provide for ALL the needs of its clientele. To say that it costs too much money, is an excuse to try to rid yourself of responsibility. when you say 'it works for most kids'; what you mean to say, is that most kids survive and come out the other end - two different things.

71

 Nov 15, 2010 at 06:59 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #60  
marko Says:

well unfortunately this problem is here to stay, and guilty are the fathers who have top boys ,and still don’t want to know that they can have 1 or 2 or have grandchildren with the same problem, they are selfish , I know a family who was always on the yeshiva side saying well those yeshivas have the right to do what they want, they are not obligated to take in buchrom, until it hit him home I will never forget this,he had a good son in a good yeshiva who went off the derech, you should hear him talk now ,much different, but again now he knows new fathers who have no experience will repeat the mistake, , so the problems keeps on rolling and we are in big hot trouble and I keep on realizing it’s the younger generation did not yet go true with all their children who makes the problem the older one who married off their children will all tell you the same the system in unbearable it’s the young generation who think they have their first or second good buchir and will always be that way by the time they will marry all their kids they will have their opinion all the way in the other direction

Yes, this is exactly what I have been saying. The current system should frighten us all because anyone can become a victim of it. Our communities have every chesed organization imaginable in place. We have money for just about everything. It is time to cut back on all these chassodim and put our money into our yeshivos -- the future of klal Yisrael.

From a different perspective, I would like to bring up the issue with day camps. Our children are sitting in a classroom setting for hours during their summer vaction! I am fed up with this. Instead of all the hours learning, I would prefer they spent time in the swimming pool receiving swimming lessons doing arts and crafts etc. This year, I am seriously considering keeping them home for at least half a summer. I can spend lavishly on day outings, giving my children a real vacation and it would still be far cheaper than day camp.

72

 Nov 15, 2010 at 07:01 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #61  
Anonymous Says:

I say everybody who problems with their yeshiva and is now married should take a few minutes and write a letter to the Rosh yeshiva of that yeshiva he had the problem and at the same time somebody to publish without names all the letters so let the world see the pain and anger and at the same time let the Rosh yeshiva not sleep at night knowing how many people have a heavy heart on them

Yes, there are problems with very many facets to them. The blame lies in more than one lap. How about if all those who did well in yeshivos would take a few minutes to thank all those Rebbeiim and teachers who went the extra mile, who gave up their own time and resources to reach out to their students. I believe we need to be grateful.

73

 Nov 15, 2010 at 07:14 PM ShmuelG Says:

Before you even think of adopting any psychologist’s 12-point solution (isn't it always some 12-point solution coming from them?), ask yourself: do you know of a single case of any psychologist actually helping anyone? I mean in his professional capacity, not personal advice? And even if you did (I didn't, I doubt there is such a case!), what is their rate of success? One in 20 years? One in 40? Remunerative employment financed by the most gullible people (unfortunately, gullible people with real problems) is the only endeavor they ever succeeded in.

74

 Nov 15, 2010 at 07:15 PM ShmuelG Says:

Reply to #49  
Raphael Kaufman Says:

Sorry, but you're wrong. dropped out Jews can be just as happy productive and satisfied with their lives as frum Jews. Risky behavior does not necessarily follow OTD, and there are plenty of frum kids who get into trouble with risky behavior. On the other hand, you are right that cookie cutter yeshivas are a problem. Both in creating OTD problems where there oughtn't to be any and disregarding inappropriate behavior if the kid otherwise "fits the mold" or if his parents have money.

Rephuel, it does appear as if you are trying hard to justify being off the derech. To yourself, perhaps?

76

 Nov 15, 2010 at 08:01 PM Who Me Says:

Reply to #5  
AuthenticSatmar Says:

A school is a business. This is their system, and it works for the majority. If your child is an exception it's the parents responsibility to find a working solution. It is not the responsibility of the school to develop custom education plans for each child. Today most schools are quite accommodating to some extent and allow some flexibility. To overturn the process because of a few is not fair to the majority.
Additionally much of what is being suggested costs alot of money. As it is most tuitions do not cover the true cost of a child's education.
Today a parent has many choices as to where to educate their child. If a child has special needs he must be placed in an appropriate institution. Demanding that every school accommodate them is like walking into Kosher Delight and demanding a slice of pizza.

Wow, looks like your life is perfect. No problems with the kids. I'll talk to you when you'll have a problem with one of your kids and say "If your child is an exception it's the parents responsibility to find a working solution" Do you think the parents chose for their child to be like this? don't you think the parents would love for their children to be like everybody else? stop walking with your head high you never know whats gonna hit you and stop judging people. Good Luck

77

 Nov 15, 2010 at 08:23 PM chashuv Says:

Reply to #57  
RipRoar Says:

Your comment is borderline - make that completely ridiculous. Rabbi Shobuch is clearly not someone straight out of school spouting textbook theories. If you bothered to read the article itself - as in, if you got past the first few sentences, you would have seen he's apparenlty had 10 years experience dealing with these types of issues! I don't know about people like you but most of us apply real-world experience as we obtain it rather than sticking to textbook knowledge all our lives. To assume Rabbi Shonbuch is doing the same is plain silly
And second – you failed to discuss a single one of his points. If you have issues with what he’s written then demonstrate your own sechel which are “supported by Torah” to refute them. As it stands you’ve written a blanket condemnation without providing a single shred of proof or even discussion. Where is he wrong? What has he said that is not supported by Torah? That parents and mechanchim need to be supported by Torah? Really? Your comment is clearly worthless and without a single shred of merit.

I have not discussed any of his points, because it isnt the point of my post. I say this- Let this rabbi therapist say " these are my personal opinions. They are only that-opinions. I take no personal responsibility if they work, or if they mess up a generation of kids, if implemented". However ths guy doesnt say this. He speaks as though he is speaking FACT. However, it is only his , or his teacher opinion, based on faulty worldview of the secular humanist liberal worldview, that is self serving for all is practitioners..

78

 Nov 15, 2010 at 08:18 PM transportation_expert Says:

I went to a yeshiva in brooklyn for the ninth grade, the menahel made my life a living hell, as I was not ur typical yeshivish guy.I had no interest in just being like everyone else bec that's the way we were told to do things. He would always berate me in public,pull the pns out of my yarmulka, complain that my yarmulka was too small........all petty things, if not for my ninth grade rebbi,I wouldn't be frum today. A few weeks ago I was at shul at guess who I met....my ninth grade menahel who now put on a frock on shabbos and stiing next too him was a nice boy about 16 years old have shaved head,spiked hair bobby pins....and the list goes on. Its very cruel of me that I feld so good when I was told this boy is the menahels son.....what goes around comes around. And btw. I am a frm guy today married with a familly and B"H sucessful in business owe and btw I learn every day......but every time I hear that menahels name or see his face I still harbor very ill feelings, and can't overcome them. Rabbiem listen no 2 kids are alike that's correct not even ur own children. Don't try too mold them guide them,them then form their own unique personalities.

79

 Nov 15, 2010 at 08:17 PM transportation_expert Says:

I went to a yeshiva in brooklyn for the ninth grade, the menahel made my life a living hell, as I was not ur typical yeshivish guy.I had no interest in just being like everyone else bec that's the way we were told to do things. He would always berate me in public,pull the pns out of my yarmulka, complain that my yarmulka was too small........all petty things, if not for my ninth grade rebbi,I wouldn't be frum today. A few weeks ago I was at shul at guess who I met....my ninth grade menahel who now put on a frock on shabbos and stiing next too him was a nice boy about 16 years old have shaved head,spiked hair bobby pins....and the list goes on. Its very cruel of me that I feld so good when I was told this boy is the menahels son.....what goes around comes around. And btw. I am a frm guy today married with a familly and B"H sucessful in business owe and btw I learn every day......but every time I hear that menahels name or see his face I still harbor very ill feelings, and can't overcome them. Rabbiem listen no 2 kids are alike that's correct not even ur own children. Don't try too mold them guide them,them then form their own unique personalities.

80

 Nov 15, 2010 at 08:44 PM Balaboos Says:

Reply to #65  
ShmuelG Says:

Anyone who doesn't see through scmaness's outright attempt to improve his parnassah may indeed need to improve the workings of their minds, only I don't beleive "minerals, icluding fish oil" can help them.

With all due respect, this is the opionion of many a helpless local pediatrician as well.... Please look into it (I, BTW, have NO financial interest whatsoever)

81

 Nov 15, 2010 at 08:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #64  
Anonymous Says:

If you want to choose the words "juvenile delinquency" to describe "at risk" - you may want to first understand the LEGAL definition of the words you YOURSELF chose.
Juvenile Delinquency

It refers to the antisocial or criminal activity of the child below 18 years of age and which violates the law. In true context, that same activity would have been a crime if it was committed by the adult.Such activities are definitely tried in juvenile court and is senteced a bit differently that that of an adult.

As you can see - the legal definition clearly states that the behavior violates law and is therefore criminal. So apparently you are calling "at risk" behavior criminal.

"At risk" means you are on your way to risky behavior while "risky" would refer to the children who are already deep in destructive behavior. We can thwart the destructive behavior BEFORE it happens, by abolishing the community behavior that leads to "at risk" children .... that way - they won't ever make it to the actual destructive behavior. And by the way - the words "young people in trouble" is clearly very vague. You have yet to really explain YOUR definition of "at risk".

Nevertheless, you get the point.

82

 Nov 15, 2010 at 09:07 PM Rafi Says:

Reply to #73  
ShmuelG Says:

Before you even think of adopting any psychologist’s 12-point solution (isn't it always some 12-point solution coming from them?), ask yourself: do you know of a single case of any psychologist actually helping anyone? I mean in his professional capacity, not personal advice? And even if you did (I didn't, I doubt there is such a case!), what is their rate of success? One in 20 years? One in 40? Remunerative employment financed by the most gullible people (unfortunately, gullible people with real problems) is the only endeavor they ever succeeded in.

Those who need psychologists most are the more resistant. Get help.

83

 Nov 15, 2010 at 09:17 PM FFB-Teaneck Says:

Reply to #67  
Anonymous Says:

My friend, definitely both! And these two catgories overlap to a very large degree. Besides, who are these "good kids but not interested in larning/yidishkeit"? By what definition would you call them "good"?

kids who are NOT doing drugs, alcohol and involved in criminal behavior..they just are not interested in learning and being frum even though they may have fine middot. (ex. have non jewish friends, might not keep all taryag mitzvot etc.)

84

 Nov 15, 2010 at 09:25 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #77  
chashuv Says:

I have not discussed any of his points, because it isnt the point of my post. I say this- Let this rabbi therapist say " these are my personal opinions. They are only that-opinions. I take no personal responsibility if they work, or if they mess up a generation of kids, if implemented". However ths guy doesnt say this. He speaks as though he is speaking FACT. However, it is only his , or his teacher opinion, based on faulty worldview of the secular humanist liberal worldview, that is self serving for all is practitioners..

As stated in a previous post, these are not the personal opinions of the writer, who just happens to be a therapist. These ideas have been backed up by our true gedolim for years. Now, why are you so threatened by the sound judgement of one who just happens to be a therapist? You may find yourself looking up this article, one day, if perhaps you one day find yourself a victim of our chinuch system as it stands today.

85

 Nov 15, 2010 at 09:28 PM JackM Says:

Not for nothing, but wouldn't having a TEACHING DEGREE automatically improve an instructor's classroom outcomes? Every single thing that this Rabbi so eloquently put into writing is already being covered in college classrooms around the country. I'm not saying that they have to sit through 4 years of school in an actual classroom; that's what online classes are for. Clearly, if the majority of these instructors knew as much about HOW to teach as they knew what they were teaching ABOUT, many of these problems wouldn't be...problems. Seriously now- in 2010 you need to tell these instructors to use POWERPOINT? You need to tell instructors to offer TUTORING? Absolutely shameful.

86

 Nov 15, 2010 at 10:01 PM RealOMG Says:

This is a honest question, I am not criticizing any Yeshiva, God know I could, but I don’t understand why the schools don’t make a connection with the kollel and have like a “big brother program” one on one tutoring for free.

87

 Nov 15, 2010 at 10:18 PM Baruch Mordechai Verona Says:

I enjoyed Rabbi Schonbuch's article. However, he presented this formula, "I=QR, where Impact (I) is directly proportional to the Quality of Relationship (QR) you develop with your child." In order to express direct proportionality, you must show a constant of proportionality. That is, the formula should be shown as I=mQR, where m is the constant of proportionality. Keep up your good work, Rabbi Schonbuch.

88

 Nov 15, 2010 at 10:23 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #73  
ShmuelG Says:

Before you even think of adopting any psychologist’s 12-point solution (isn't it always some 12-point solution coming from them?), ask yourself: do you know of a single case of any psychologist actually helping anyone? I mean in his professional capacity, not personal advice? And even if you did (I didn't, I doubt there is such a case!), what is their rate of success? One in 20 years? One in 40? Remunerative employment financed by the most gullible people (unfortunately, gullible people with real problems) is the only endeavor they ever succeeded in.

You seem quite bitter about psychologists. I wonder what your problem is that you are so convinced a field that involves considerable training, supervision, continuing education, credentialing, and even more supervision is incompetent. Your comment is directed at an entire profession, not an individual. I fear your own competence is suffering, and you are projecting your own inadequacy on others, in public for all to see. You have become the emperor without any clothes.

I wish you a refuah shelaimoh.

89

 Nov 15, 2010 at 10:29 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #77  
chashuv Says:

I have not discussed any of his points, because it isnt the point of my post. I say this- Let this rabbi therapist say " these are my personal opinions. They are only that-opinions. I take no personal responsibility if they work, or if they mess up a generation of kids, if implemented". However ths guy doesnt say this. He speaks as though he is speaking FACT. However, it is only his , or his teacher opinion, based on faulty worldview of the secular humanist liberal worldview, that is self serving for all is practitioners..

I would take you on for debate, but it seems useless. Of course, any professional is expressing his opinions, especially because he is drawing general conclusions which might be less than 100% accurate for any specific individual. However, you ignore that he has accumulated extensive experience in this field, and is basing his opinions on real life facts (experience). Also, as commented earlier, there is complete consistency with Torah approaches to chinuch (unfortunately quite distant from the current and common practice of chinuch). Have you tried comparing and contrasting the opinions of this author with the writings of the legendary mechanchim listed in an earlier comment. I would add to that list the sefer that was collected from writings from Rav Pam ZT"L as well as the Nesivos Shalom from the Slonimer Rebbe. They had 100% Torah experience, and they say much the same as Rabbi Schonbuch. First study, then comment. Until then, you are not a candidate for debate.

90

 Nov 15, 2010 at 10:47 PM username Says:

Reply to #77  
chashuv Says:

I have not discussed any of his points, because it isnt the point of my post. I say this- Let this rabbi therapist say " these are my personal opinions. They are only that-opinions. I take no personal responsibility if they work, or if they mess up a generation of kids, if implemented". However ths guy doesnt say this. He speaks as though he is speaking FACT. However, it is only his , or his teacher opinion, based on faulty worldview of the secular humanist liberal worldview, that is self serving for all is practitioners..

And your conclusions are no less your opinion. Only his is the product of actual work in the field. You just sound like you have an ax to grind.

91

 Nov 16, 2010 at 12:45 AM enlightened-yid Says:

Reply to #41  
sasregener Says:

Rabbi Zecharya Wallerstein has a high school for girls that have fallen between the cracks it's called Ateres Chaya. These girls are from your typical frum families in Monsey, Lakewood, New York etc,...He also has a Seminary and Night Program for girls from all backgrounds 17-120 called Ateres Naava. You people have no clue what is going on out there with our girls. Whatever you think you know, multiply that by 100 and then maybe you will just touch the tip of the iceberg. I see on a daily basis the issues out there. Drugs, Unwed Pregnancies etc.. all this from girls from regular frum families. I don't mean to be disrespectful but If you people out there only had a clue you would drop whatever you are doing and run to A shul and daven 24/7 for Rachmei Shomayim

I actually know who this rabbi is and I have heard his style of educating these "at risk" youth. He is the epitome why there is a problem with our children to begin with. I don't know what Rabbi Wallerstien preaches to the girls, but he literally brainwashes the boys with his shock and awe shiurim that absolutely accomplish nothing in the long run for these people. The frum teens are broken down by an entire system around them. They are not allowed to be human beings with individuality and unique talents. Rabbis like Wallerstien think that if you pray like a robot, dress like a robot, regurgitate every pshat like a robot then you're a tzadik, but when a student has different interests in life, the system doesn't allow him or her to deviate from the mold, so then that student is branded as "off the derech" and is sent to therapies when there is nothing wrong with the teen to fix.

Teens are not stupid they see how their communities turn their lives into meaningless prison environments so they start releasing steam through non conformal ways. The problem will go away when the "Gedolim" will reform how they herd their flocks starting from elementary through adulthood.

92

 Nov 16, 2010 at 01:04 AM Eli Says:

Reply to #37  
Try Waterbury Yeshiva Says:

There is one Yeshiva that implements many of these ideas, and that is the Yeshiva of Waterbury. The menahel of the high school is a true tzaddik who shows the bachurim love and understanding. Two of my sons go there. One was not accepted into a local yeshiva as he did not fit the mold, the other decided to go there because he was tired of being forced to fit a particular mold. They have now brought many friends of theirs there. It is a great yeshiva which all others should emulate.

agree 100%

that's why my last donation was to this great yeshiva! thank you R.kalish

as for the brooklyn high school I went to, I wouldnt give a penny to that so called yeshiva..

All they care about is a good name and their pay checks

93

 Nov 16, 2010 at 01:40 AM elchonon Says:

I read all the comments here and want to share my personal history and you all need to read this.

The most I learned in my life was 3 years of "the cheder". We were a group of 6 kids, we learned in the kerestier shtiebel in miami beach from the age of 9-12.

It went a little like this, a few parents taught for 1 hour 30 min or so and we had a teacher for a few hours in afternoon usualy a bachur from yeshiva gedolah.

I'm sure people here remember us, let me tell you that what those 3 years did to me even giluy eliyahu hanavi couldent.

For one, as lubavitcher kids learning in a chasidish shtiebel we learned to connect to different yidden, we learned to respect each and every yid (and non jew)

Whether it was the kaliver rebbe, the beirach moshe of satmer, rav sholom of bobbov and more.

The kavana man (is he still alive?) That was saved from the gas chambers at the last minute and promised hashem he would daven with chayus and was shukeling away till 11am.

Rav shalom of bobbov at tu b'shvat tish telling me to make a bracha "besimcha"

We watched, we learned, we misbehaved and were swiftly punished.. We learned to respect...

But more so I learned to love hashem, his torah and my fellow man.

Each of us 6 are frum to this day and 5 besides me are married bh.

I share this because hopefully someone would dare to copy this model.

In everlasting memory of rav raphael grosz zt"l

94

 Nov 16, 2010 at 04:12 AM schwartizes Says:

i just dont understand one thing. doesnt it say in the kesuba that the husband has the obligation to support his wife? (or is it the other way around?) and if he does have to support her, then how do the roshei yeshivas(who are against boys going to work,or college) feel and are able to be mesader kiddushin,or lain the kesuba at the chupa? isnt this a contradiction? i am just a working yungerman,so i dont get it. can someone please explain this to me?

95

 Nov 16, 2010 at 07:54 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #91  
enlightened-yid Says:

I actually know who this rabbi is and I have heard his style of educating these "at risk" youth. He is the epitome why there is a problem with our children to begin with. I don't know what Rabbi Wallerstien preaches to the girls, but he literally brainwashes the boys with his shock and awe shiurim that absolutely accomplish nothing in the long run for these people. The frum teens are broken down by an entire system around them. They are not allowed to be human beings with individuality and unique talents. Rabbis like Wallerstien think that if you pray like a robot, dress like a robot, regurgitate every pshat like a robot then you're a tzadik, but when a student has different interests in life, the system doesn't allow him or her to deviate from the mold, so then that student is branded as "off the derech" and is sent to therapies when there is nothing wrong with the teen to fix.

Teens are not stupid they see how their communities turn their lives into meaningless prison environments so they start releasing steam through non conformal ways. The problem will go away when the "Gedolim" will reform how they herd their flocks starting from elementary through adulthood.

No, you don't know this rabbi. His speeches that are recorded and broadcast are those given to an adult audience. With teens, his approach, as well as the team of volunteers who work with him, are far more invested in "kiruv kerovim", not the impressive shiurim. There are others who conduct themselves in similar ways, and these are way too few to cope with the larger numbers of teens who are looking elsewhere outside of our yeshiva system. Your point is well taken, but is unrelated to Rabbi Wallerstein.

96

 Nov 16, 2010 at 10:19 AM Balaboos Says:

Reply to #91  
enlightened-yid Says:

I actually know who this rabbi is and I have heard his style of educating these "at risk" youth. He is the epitome why there is a problem with our children to begin with. I don't know what Rabbi Wallerstien preaches to the girls, but he literally brainwashes the boys with his shock and awe shiurim that absolutely accomplish nothing in the long run for these people. The frum teens are broken down by an entire system around them. They are not allowed to be human beings with individuality and unique talents. Rabbis like Wallerstien think that if you pray like a robot, dress like a robot, regurgitate every pshat like a robot then you're a tzadik, but when a student has different interests in life, the system doesn't allow him or her to deviate from the mold, so then that student is branded as "off the derech" and is sent to therapies when there is nothing wrong with the teen to fix.

Teens are not stupid they see how their communities turn their lives into meaningless prison environments so they start releasing steam through non conformal ways. The problem will go away when the "Gedolim" will reform how they herd their flocks starting from elementary through adulthood.

With all due respect, you DON'T know Rabbi Wallerstein. There are a few of them, each with a specialty in their own respective fields. While I myself don't necessarily agree with some of their methodoligies, I would certainly stop short of publically berating them.

A written word can never be retracted. Think twice before you write nonsense.

97

 Nov 16, 2010 at 10:51 AM chashuv Says:

Reply to #89  
Anonymous Says:

I would take you on for debate, but it seems useless. Of course, any professional is expressing his opinions, especially because he is drawing general conclusions which might be less than 100% accurate for any specific individual. However, you ignore that he has accumulated extensive experience in this field, and is basing his opinions on real life facts (experience). Also, as commented earlier, there is complete consistency with Torah approaches to chinuch (unfortunately quite distant from the current and common practice of chinuch). Have you tried comparing and contrasting the opinions of this author with the writings of the legendary mechanchim listed in an earlier comment. I would add to that list the sefer that was collected from writings from Rav Pam ZT"L as well as the Nesivos Shalom from the Slonimer Rebbe. They had 100% Torah experience, and they say much the same as Rabbi Schonbuch. First study, then comment. Until then, you are not a candidate for debate.

Is this therapists basis of information, the views of gedolim, or is it from a secular textbook, that he then works to "prove" that the gedolim say the same thing???

I assume the latter, as a poster here said, "This is not his opinion alone. everything he says is also being taught in universities".

Bottom line , I dont value anything this man says, and If we where smart, we also wouldent have bought into Bernie Madoff's greatness, and the prowess of the sub prime mortgage lenders.

98

 Nov 16, 2010 at 12:23 PM Jimmy37 Says:

Reply to #1  
shimonyehuda Says:

if we have solutions why are they not being implemented? this has been going on for more then twenty years i think we have had these problems for at least 50 years

Our society, at large, has become coarser over the last 30 years. Our children are being exposed to so much more just by walking down the street. Naturally, these children wonder "Why not me, too?" If the experience these children have with Yiddishkeit is not the best, society makes it that much easier to engage in bad behavior.

99

 Nov 16, 2010 at 12:25 PM jimmy37 Says:

Reply to #3  
fiftyseven Says:

moshiach would be the only magic solution! Anyone who thinks otherwise (even if ur a therapist) is living in dream land!

What a narish statement!! Who's really living in dreamland?

Do you go to a doctor when you have a problem or do you wait for Hashem to magically heal you? Even Moshe Rabbeinu had to talk to the stone before water flowed.

100

 Nov 16, 2010 at 12:36 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #97  
chashuv Says:

Is this therapists basis of information, the views of gedolim, or is it from a secular textbook, that he then works to "prove" that the gedolim say the same thing???

I assume the latter, as a poster here said, "This is not his opinion alone. everything he says is also being taught in universities".

Bottom line , I dont value anything this man says, and If we where smart, we also wouldent have bought into Bernie Madoff's greatness, and the prowess of the sub prime mortgage lenders.

If his words are consistent with those of gedolim, I don't quite care where he learned it. We are not debating his education. We are debating what he said. Most of what he says is not even found in textbooks. It is discovered when working with individuals. The teaching of experience is not "secular" or "textbook". He has not even advanced the arguments about looking to the gedolim to prove his point. I'm the one referring to the gedolim, and their works deserve to be studied by every teacher and mechanech that wishes to accept the responsibility for a classroom of kids. Every menahel and menaheles should be required to have bekius in these monumental works. I'm not at all sure why you brought in Madoff or mortgage lenders to obscure your point.

I do not demand that every educator attend university. It is a shanda that the study of these pillars of our Torah world and basic texts on chinuch are not requirements for entry into the field. Their approach is unquestionably Torah based, and there is much in their guidance. Mental health professionals have their role, and rabbonim, gedolim, and the better mechanchim know it. Ask them.

101

 Nov 16, 2010 at 01:24 PM chashuv Says:

Reply to #100  
Anonymous Says:

If his words are consistent with those of gedolim, I don't quite care where he learned it. We are not debating his education. We are debating what he said. Most of what he says is not even found in textbooks. It is discovered when working with individuals. The teaching of experience is not "secular" or "textbook". He has not even advanced the arguments about looking to the gedolim to prove his point. I'm the one referring to the gedolim, and their works deserve to be studied by every teacher and mechanech that wishes to accept the responsibility for a classroom of kids. Every menahel and menaheles should be required to have bekius in these monumental works. I'm not at all sure why you brought in Madoff or mortgage lenders to obscure your point.

I do not demand that every educator attend university. It is a shanda that the study of these pillars of our Torah world and basic texts on chinuch are not requirements for entry into the field. Their approach is unquestionably Torah based, and there is much in their guidance. Mental health professionals have their role, and rabbonim, gedolim, and the better mechanchim know it. Ask them.

This author instinctively buys in to the "Blame the Victim" mindset of todays contemporary thought. Perhaps these kids have problems, because their parents dont know how to give them a good whack. Perhaps King Solomon is also "daas torah" for you??

102

 Nov 16, 2010 at 04:06 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #101  
chashuv Says:

This author instinctively buys in to the "Blame the Victim" mindset of todays contemporary thought. Perhaps these kids have problems, because their parents dont know how to give them a good whack. Perhaps King Solomon is also "daas torah" for you??

Perhaps you need to give this another read. Unless you're being sarcastic, the author is not laying the blame on the kids. There are plenty of kids with issues. Whether parents or kids caused them may be secondary. If I bopped you on the head with a heavy object and caused injury, who goes to the hospital? There are also countless issues that are not solved with the "whack" you subscribe to Shlomo Hamelech. Your interpretation of "Chosech shivto" is also not in synch with that of minds greater than yours or mine. Read Rav Wolbe's pshat. Discipline is not so simple as that, and it solves a very minor piece of the spectrum of issues kids have.

The author was calling attention to the role of yeshivos. I believe as fact that there are many sources of the problems, and that parents, the community, as well as individual circumstances, learning issues, and mental health issues are all relevant. It is infantile to place all responsibility on parents, and not different to blame it all on any one of the other factors. You have not found a source in Torah to challenge this author.

103

 Nov 16, 2010 at 07:15 PM Seasoned Teacher Says:

Now that everyone vented...from my perpective, this is a multifaceted concern. Schools lack a lot, granted. However, to lay the blame on educators who walk into a classroom with hyperactive children, for whatever the reasons may be, is just unfair. We do our best - and then some - to teach these kids whatever they're capable of absorbing.

When we identify a "problem child" and bring this to the attention of the administration, we are often told to mind our own business. I have taught in different schools over the years and this seems, unfortunately, to be the general attitude of supervisory staff.

There is NO QUICK FIX to this problem. Please bear in mind (this was mentioned a few times already) as far back as one can remember, stumbling blocks existed. Back then, these kids were NOT called "at riskers", they were just "bad kids". Nevetheless, they all grew up and were successful in many areas of business, general life & raised families. Some of them are even BIG supporters of today's mosdos.

BOTTOM LINE: It starts at home, not in school. Parents often take a "whatever" approach out of frustration. It boils down to parenting skills. Don't hesitate to reach for direction.

104

 Nov 16, 2010 at 07:37 PM GB_Jew Says:

Reply to #3  
fiftyseven Says:

moshiach would be the only magic solution! Anyone who thinks otherwise (even if ur a therapist) is living in dream land!

“ moshiach would be the only magic solution! Anyone who thinks otherwise (even if ur a therapist) is living in dream land! ”

Fifty Seven could well be right in what he says. Nevertheless - and until Moshiach does arrive - I will place my faith in qualified medical practitioners.

105

 Nov 16, 2010 at 08:15 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #103  
Seasoned Teacher Says:

Now that everyone vented...from my perpective, this is a multifaceted concern. Schools lack a lot, granted. However, to lay the blame on educators who walk into a classroom with hyperactive children, for whatever the reasons may be, is just unfair. We do our best - and then some - to teach these kids whatever they're capable of absorbing.

When we identify a "problem child" and bring this to the attention of the administration, we are often told to mind our own business. I have taught in different schools over the years and this seems, unfortunately, to be the general attitude of supervisory staff.

There is NO QUICK FIX to this problem. Please bear in mind (this was mentioned a few times already) as far back as one can remember, stumbling blocks existed. Back then, these kids were NOT called "at riskers", they were just "bad kids". Nevetheless, they all grew up and were successful in many areas of business, general life & raised families. Some of them are even BIG supporters of today's mosdos.

BOTTOM LINE: It starts at home, not in school. Parents often take a "whatever" approach out of frustration. It boils down to parenting skills. Don't hesitate to reach for direction.

I strongly doubt that Rabbi Schonbuch was being so foolish as to place all the responsibility on yeshivos and schools. He was, however, absolutely correct in waving a finger at chinuch. And one of the reasons this gets so much discussion, even drama, is the staunch refusal that we continue to hear that chinuch has its issues and areas of responsibility. Most all in the education field say exactly what you did, "It starts at home, not in school. Parents often take a "whatever" approach out of frustration. It boils down to parenting skills. You are certainly accurate in pointing to parenting. But why denial about what yeshivos do? I can recite a litany of events that occurred with my children that were not just irresponsible, but were in violation of all the Torah based principles of chinuch. IT IS MORE THAN JUST PARENTING SKILLS. Denial will only serve to prolong the changes in how our community raises children, and that is not okay for them. We are all responsible, and we all need to fix things to save our children. I pray that our gedolim lead, guide, and help us survive this generation with Syatta Dishmaya, of course.

106

 Nov 16, 2010 at 10:36 PM Seasoned Teacher Says:

Reply to #105  
Anonymous Says:

I strongly doubt that Rabbi Schonbuch was being so foolish as to place all the responsibility on yeshivos and schools. He was, however, absolutely correct in waving a finger at chinuch. And one of the reasons this gets so much discussion, even drama, is the staunch refusal that we continue to hear that chinuch has its issues and areas of responsibility. Most all in the education field say exactly what you did, "It starts at home, not in school. Parents often take a "whatever" approach out of frustration. It boils down to parenting skills. You are certainly accurate in pointing to parenting. But why denial about what yeshivos do? I can recite a litany of events that occurred with my children that were not just irresponsible, but were in violation of all the Torah based principles of chinuch. IT IS MORE THAN JUST PARENTING SKILLS. Denial will only serve to prolong the changes in how our community raises children, and that is not okay for them. We are all responsible, and we all need to fix things to save our children. I pray that our gedolim lead, guide, and help us survive this generation with Syatta Dishmaya, of course.

Sorry, I do apologize if my message came off as pointing fingers only at parents. Allow me to clarify. As I stated, this is a multi-faceted issue.

Parents certainly need to be DRASTICALLY more involved (not just "OK, supper, homework, shower, get to bed, etc.") than some, perhaps many, are.

I have spoken to many a parent over the years (after identifying an issue with a student) and was frankly, taken aback by some of the apathetic responses.

On the other hand, school administrators MUST be more involved in helping those who are not on autopilot. Kids are NOT stupid. They sense the lack of parental involvement as much as they sense the lack of the educator's (at whatever level) involvement.

Then they get turned off. The rest is typical. Testing the waters, negative attention...OK, nobody cares? Let's escalate this to serious misbehavior, smoking, foul language and more....Why did this happen we ask??

I, the teacher, certainly didn't want it to turn out this way. Mommy's busy with the other kids, daddy's working late or learning and the principal said "he can't be bothered with this".

So: Is the child "bad" or was the child "made bad"??

I rest my case...

107

 Nov 16, 2010 at 10:44 PM Seasoned Teacher Says:

Reply to #105  
Anonymous Says:

I strongly doubt that Rabbi Schonbuch was being so foolish as to place all the responsibility on yeshivos and schools. He was, however, absolutely correct in waving a finger at chinuch. And one of the reasons this gets so much discussion, even drama, is the staunch refusal that we continue to hear that chinuch has its issues and areas of responsibility. Most all in the education field say exactly what you did, "It starts at home, not in school. Parents often take a "whatever" approach out of frustration. It boils down to parenting skills. You are certainly accurate in pointing to parenting. But why denial about what yeshivos do? I can recite a litany of events that occurred with my children that were not just irresponsible, but were in violation of all the Torah based principles of chinuch. IT IS MORE THAN JUST PARENTING SKILLS. Denial will only serve to prolong the changes in how our community raises children, and that is not okay for them. We are all responsible, and we all need to fix things to save our children. I pray that our gedolim lead, guide, and help us survive this generation with Syatta Dishmaya, of course.

One more comment re: Our Gedolim.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for many of our gedolim.

We, as a community must be indefatigable in our pursuit of today's gedolim to GET INVOLVED and STAY INVOLVED in saving this generation!!

Sadly, as we've seen in so many areas, our gedolim are often powerless for reasons I prefer not to enumerate in a public forum (vehamayvin yavin).

108

 Nov 17, 2010 at 12:47 AM chashuv Says:

Reply to #102  
Anonymous Says:

Perhaps you need to give this another read. Unless you're being sarcastic, the author is not laying the blame on the kids. There are plenty of kids with issues. Whether parents or kids caused them may be secondary. If I bopped you on the head with a heavy object and caused injury, who goes to the hospital? There are also countless issues that are not solved with the "whack" you subscribe to Shlomo Hamelech. Your interpretation of "Chosech shivto" is also not in synch with that of minds greater than yours or mine. Read Rav Wolbe's pshat. Discipline is not so simple as that, and it solves a very minor piece of the spectrum of issues kids have.

The author was calling attention to the role of yeshivos. I believe as fact that there are many sources of the problems, and that parents, the community, as well as individual circumstances, learning issues, and mental health issues are all relevant. It is infantile to place all responsibility on parents, and not different to blame it all on any one of the other factors. You have not found a source in Torah to challenge this author.

Correct.The author does not put the blame on the kids, as you say. He puts blame on anyone but the kid. If the kid was disciplined correctly, it would be better for him, and everyone else. Now YOUR the one twisting the words of Shlomo to fit your Opinion.

109

 Nov 17, 2010 at 08:22 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #108  
chashuv Says:

Correct.The author does not put the blame on the kids, as you say. He puts blame on anyone but the kid. If the kid was disciplined correctly, it would be better for him, and everyone else. Now YOUR the one twisting the words of Shlomo to fit your Opinion.

You should return to Sefer Mishlei, and study what is explained on the posuk of Chosech shivto (13:24). Then go through the works of mussar and hashkafah (for example: Alei Shur - Rav Wolbe, Nesivos Shalom - Slonimer Rebbe, Kabdehu Ve'chanchehu - Rav Friedman, Mishnas Hachinuch - Admor Pinsk-Karlin, Mesoras Hachinuch - Rav Shach) then tell me all about discipline. The currently common methods are neither effective nor logical. I have confronted many a menahel about some of them, getting only the response, "But what else is there to do?" Such positions are not beneficial to Klal Yisroel, accomplish nothing in chinuch, and do not result from Torah based training in the field. There is plenty of blame to distribute, including the kid him/herself. But get your head out of the sand. This article was about the yeshiva's responsibility. Parents have their portion (probably fodder for another article), and the kid has his/her part. No one is absolving anyone of their portion.

There is much about discipline that parents and mechanchim need to learn. Doing it wrong is destructive.

110

 Nov 17, 2010 at 12:21 PM chashuv Says:

Reply to #109  
Anonymous Says:

You should return to Sefer Mishlei, and study what is explained on the posuk of Chosech shivto (13:24). Then go through the works of mussar and hashkafah (for example: Alei Shur - Rav Wolbe, Nesivos Shalom - Slonimer Rebbe, Kabdehu Ve'chanchehu - Rav Friedman, Mishnas Hachinuch - Admor Pinsk-Karlin, Mesoras Hachinuch - Rav Shach) then tell me all about discipline. The currently common methods are neither effective nor logical. I have confronted many a menahel about some of them, getting only the response, "But what else is there to do?" Such positions are not beneficial to Klal Yisroel, accomplish nothing in chinuch, and do not result from Torah based training in the field. There is plenty of blame to distribute, including the kid him/herself. But get your head out of the sand. This article was about the yeshiva's responsibility. Parents have their portion (probably fodder for another article), and the kid has his/her part. No one is absolving anyone of their portion.

There is much about discipline that parents and mechanchim need to learn. Doing it wrong is destructive.

Speak in your own name. Not in the name of author of article, who clearly say blame goes to parents, not to kids. He says this outright, Just take a look. Additionally, for any rabbi you show seemingly (according to your reading) explaining away a passuk, I will show you five who say exactly opposite.

This is getting old. Shalom

111

 Nov 17, 2010 at 08:32 PM monishmo Says:

this is to number 4
I disagree with the fact its only money that can make a difference in the rabbaim. One outburst can destroy a child forever. building a childs self esteem can make a hugh difference in a child forever. money cant prevent that from happening. alot of rabbaim shouldnt be sitting on their job. not everyone is meant to know all the learning that yeshivas today require them to know and they shouldnt be put down for it. their kishronas should be brought out and if the yeshivas wouldn't be so busy in building "their yeshivas name" and just work on building their kids, alot of problems would be prevented. All "those" rabbiam know what im saying when it comes to their own children

112

 Nov 17, 2010 at 10:47 PM stamazoy Says:

i was deeply touched by rabbi schonbuch's sensitivity and on-target awareness of the at-risk situation. the yeshiva/bais yaakov system failed me. thinking back to my high school years still makes me cringe. it took years for me to find the proper mentors and rabbis to undo the hashkafic and emotional damages incurred by the teachers and principals whom i reached out to. having resolved all of my doubts, questions, and frustrations, i am b"h a happy and fulfilled person who has decided to do a small part in rectifying the corrupt chinuch system by becoming a teacher- the kind of teacher i always wish i had- loving, warm, patient, accepting, open-minded.

113

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