web analytics
October 24, 2014 / 30 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



What Happens To The Children?

Front-Page-110912

Don’ts: • Don’t malign the other parent. • Don’t fight about the children in front of them; it will only increase their feelings of guilt. • Don’t use children as messengers or pawns of manipulation. • Don’t use children as spies. • Don’t use your children as therapists, sounding boards or confidantes. There are others in your life who can fill those roles.

Children and Divorce:
A Community Call to Arms

Making sure that children of divorce develop optimally is not just the responsibility of the divorcing parents. In the phrase made famous by Hillary Clinton, “It takes a village.” As more and more children from divorced homes fill our shuls and schools, educators and rabbis alike need to affirm their commitment to these children and to their spiritual, academic, social-emotional and behavioral growth.

I recently had an enlightening conversation with Rabbi Aaron Kotler of Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood. Rabbi Kotler, who is exceptionally psychologically minded, spoke of how the Jewish home serves as the central vehicle for children to absorb the Jewish way of life. Children develop their sense of mores, values and practices through the delivery system of Jewish parenting and the Jewish family. If this system is disrupted via divorce, how do children develop the skills and confidence needed to perpetuate the Jewish way of life?

Rabbi Kotler says the “village” must step in with extra help for these children. He suggests that schools develop a protocol or management plan that can be general, utilizing a simple set of checklists, as well as tailor-made for each child. Each year the principal and the child’s teachers would meet to discuss the child and his or her specific needs, particularly pertaining to the divorce.

The plan for each child would incorporate variables such as gender, age, cognitive development and current family situation and may require simple steps such as ensuring that the child has someone to do homework with or to pray with on Shabbos. (At times, far more intensive set of interventions might be necessary.) The outcome of these discussions could then be reviewed with the family rabbi. This type of collaboration would ensure that the child is not on the “outs” in school and shul and that the broken home is reinforced by the community.

Rabbi Paysach Krohn, the noted maggid, talks passionately about children of divorce and community involvement. In his first invited address on this topic, given in May 2009 at an event co-sponsored by Ohel and the Task Force on Children and Families at Risk in the Orthodox Jewish Community, Rabbi Krohn gave out little cards with helpful suggestions on how to help children and parents, such as offering to take a 10-year old boy to shul or inviting a divorced parent and children for Shabbos lunch.

Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, founder and director of Project YES and Yeshiva Darchei Noam of Monsey, has developed classes for women who are either divorced or widowed. Rabbi Horowitz even teaches women how to learn Mishnayos with their sons. This is an innovative concept that can be immeasurably helpful both for mothers and their sons, who otherwise might not have anyone to learn with each evening.

These rabbis, all progressive thinkers, have developed ideas that when implemented can truly make a difference in the lives of children of divorce. Our goal as a community is to foster this mindset in every rabbi, every mechanech and every inspirational speaker.

At Ohel we have been deeply involved in helping children of divorce for many years. And in light of the significant increase in the number of divorces, Ohel is providing many new services and programs to best meet the challenges and needs of such children. On Sunday, November 18, there will be a webinar for divorcing or divorced parents, family and friends titled “Don’t Let the Children Get Caught in the Middle” and on Monday, November 19, we will hold our second webinar for rabbis and educators titled “Reinforcing Anchors for Children of Divorce.”

Rabbi Reuven Fink, noted spiritual leader of Young Israel of New Rochelle, recently told me that “Rabbi Dr. Chaim Soloveitchik spoke about ‘mimetic Judaism,’ from the word ‘mimicking.’ Children mimic what they see. Parents act as role models for their children to mimic. If this is disrupted, what role models do children have to mimic?”

About the Author: Dr. Hindie M. Klein is director of clinical projects for Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services. She is a psychologist/psychoanalyst who maintains a private practice specializing in the treatment of children, adolescents, adults and couples. Dr. Klein can be reached at Hindie_klein@Ohelfamily.org.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “What Happens To The Children?”

  1. Okoro Leo C says:

    "Because you can't properly care for your child if you haven't properly cared for yourself."

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Do you know where your vegetables grow?
Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin
Latest Indepth Stories
Eller-102414-Cart

I had to hire a babysitter so that I could go shopping or have someone come with me to push Caroline in her wheelchair.

Bills to restore the balance of power in Israel will be fought by the not-so-judicial left.

Widespread agreement in Israel opposing Palestinian diplomatic warfare, commonly called “lawfare.”

Chaye Zisel Braun

Arab terrorism against Jews and the State of Israel is not something we should be “calm” about.

Peace Now Chairman Yariv Oppenheimer

The Israeli left, led by tenured academics, endorses pretty much anything harmful to its own country

We were devastated: The exploitation of our father’s murder as a vehicle for political commentary.

Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

n past decades, Oman has struck a diplomatic balance between Saudi Arabia, the West, and Iran.

The Torah scroll which my family donated will ride aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier

The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

More Articles from Dr. Hindie M. Klein
Front-Page-110912

The marriage is ending.

Let’s start with some facts. In the general population, 50 percent of marriages end in divorce within 10 years. Sixty percent of divorces occur among couples between the ages of 25-39. More than a million children are affected by divorce per year. Half of these children will grow up in families where the parents stay angry and resentful toward each other.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/what-happens-to-the-children/2012/11/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: