web analytics
August 29, 2014 / 3 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



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
Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal in Gaza
Mashaal Vows Cease-Fire a Step to New ‘Resistance’ War against Israel
Latest Indepth Stories
TorahScroll AoT17

The congregants, Ethiopians spanning generations, were beaming with joy and pride.

Troodler-082914

The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip nine years ago did not enhance Israel’s security.

Eisenstock-082914

How does a soldier from a religious home fall in love with a soldier from a non- religious kibbutz?

Israeli-flag

In 19th century entire ancient Jewish communities fled Palestine to escape brutal Muslim authorities

Responsibility lies with both the UN and Hamas, and better commitments should have been demanded from both parties in the ceasefire.

But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.

If this is how we play the game, we will lose. By that I mean we will lose everything.

Reportedly, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have formed a bloc that seeks to counter Islamist influence in the Middle East.

One wonders how the IDF could be expected to so quickly determine the facts.

While there is no formula that will work for everyone, there are some strategies that if followed carefully and consistently can help our children – and us – gain the most from the upcoming school year.

We risk our lives to help those who do what they can to kill to our people .

Twain grasped amazingly well the pulse of the Jewish people.

The entertainment industry appears divided about the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Israelis in Gaza border communities need to get out; who will help them?

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.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: