Photo Credit: Google Maps

Ten years ago we “banned” Woodbourne, for some very good reasons. There were pronouncements in a variety of Jewish publications forbidding our children from appearing in Woodbourne on Motzoei Shabbos. There was also a concerted effort made by Hatzolah leadership and camp directors to limit the driving of teenagers who spend their summers in camps and bungalow colonies.

Those initiatives were effective in taming the environment in Woodbourne and reducing the number of horrific car crashes. What we have not done, however, is really address the core causes that are driving so many of our young men and woman to the fringes of our society. Nor have we been creating enough supervised, appropriate venues in which our children can spend their free time.

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Our disenfranchised kids, some of whom may not be that book-smart or academically gifted, managed to figure out the “new math” pretty quickly.

Woodbourne, no. Monticello, yes.

         Frum pizza shops, no. Non-Jewish pool halls, yes.

Public areas, no. Motels and apartments in non-Jewish neighborhoods, yes.

Somehow, that doesn’t add up to me.

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Rabbi Yakov Horowitz is director of The Center for Jewish Family Life/Project YES, conducts child abuse prevention and parenting workshops internationally, and is the author of two books and has published the landmark children’s personal safety picture book “Let’s Stay Safe!,” the Yiddish edition “Zei Gezunt!,” and the Hebrew adaptation, “Mah She’batuach – Batuach!”
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