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Electrifying, inspirational, and uplifting are some of the words used to describe the unique concert that took place on Sunday evening, October 26, in the Rose Theater of The Jazz at Lincoln Center. The Dream Team of musical mega-stars, Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot and Avraham Fried, performed individually and together in perfect harmony for the delight of the sold-out audience, at the first benefit concert for Project YES.
The evening was dedicated to the heroes of Project YES – the many hundreds of teen mentors and parent coaches in New York and other communities throughout the United States, who volunteer each and every week to work with at-risk youth and their families, guided and supervised by professional counselors.
For some of those present, this was their first introduction to Project YES. The audience sat spellbound as Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, founder of Project YES, described the work of these dedicated volunteers and this incredible organization.
As a veteran mechanech (educator) in the yeshiva system, Rabbi Horowitz spoke of his history of reaching out to troubled teenagers, before the term “at-risk” was ever coined, leading to the publication of his first article on the subject 11 years ago in The Jewish Observer. Response to the powerful article led to presentations about the escalating problem at the annual conventions of Agudath Israel of America and Torah U’Mesorah.
Rabbi Horowitz spoke warmly of the encouragement he received from Rabbi Moshe Sherer, z”l, whom he referred to as his mentor in work for the klal, who helped him found Project YES to begin to deal with the problem.
Rabbi Horowitz movingly described the need for expansion of the existing programs of Project YES and the creation of new innovative methods of reaching out and listening to the “kol demamah dakah” the “still soft voices” of children crying out, because they are growing up in unstable home environments, failing in school because of an unrecognized learning disabilities, or suffering from abuse or neglect.
He challenged the audience to partner with him in expanding the KESHER school program, which provides professional counselors to schools in three states, in a successful preemptive effort to sensitize educators to recognize and motivate “pre-risk” children. He introduced the brand new “People Helping People” program, where professional and experienced lay people will share with the public their know-how in parenting and counseling, on Rabbi Horowitz’s website.
A highlight of the evening was the screening of a video illustrating the work of Project YES from the perspective of children and families who benefit from receiving mentoring from Project YES volunteers.
The audience applauded the work of Mr. Harry Skydell and Mr. Mark Karasick, co-chairmen of Project YES; and Mr. Leon Melohn, and Mr. Dovid Weldler, previous chairmen of the organization. Rabbi Horowitz made special mention of his partner at Project YES, Rabbi Avrohom Meir Gluck, the director of operations, for his round-the-clock effort in organizing the benefit concert.
Integral to the musical majesty of the evening, produced by Suki and Ding Productions, was the superb accompaniment of the Neginah Orchestra masterfully led by Yisroel Lamm, and the performance of the Shira Choir. The audience left the concert hall at the end of the evening, still enthralled by the music of those two phenomenal performers, and inspired by the work of Project YES. To become a partner of Project YES please call the YES office at 718 758-3131 or visit www.rabbihorowitz.com.
About the Author: Rabbi Yakov Horowitz is founder and dean of Yeshiva Darchei Noam and founder and director of Agudath Israel's Project Y.E.S.
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One minute you’re shaving shwarma off a pit, then the shwarma guy tells you he read a (fake) WhatsApp that the boys are dead.
I probe a little deeper and Shula takes me into the world of phantom pains and prosthetic limbs.
Shame is often confused with guilt and humiliation.
Because Menachem lives in Israel, he can feel the ruach in the air.
Perhaps you can reach a compromise during this news frenzy, whereby you will feel more comfortable while he can still follow the latest events.
Leon experienced the War of Independence from a soldier’s perspective, while remaining true to his Jewish ideals and beliefs.
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Those of us familiar with the do’s and don’ts of accepted practice in the mental health profession saw similar blaring warning lights in our minds, as should have occurred when the facts were made public regarding the accusations against Nehemia Weberman. This case may very well be our community’s most important abuse trial during our lifetimes. It is imperative that we have a huge turnout in support of the victim, a courageous young lady who, may she be gezunt andge’bentched, is determined to see this through to the end so others won’t suffer like she did.
These lines are written in loving memory of our dear father, Reb Shlomo Zev ben Reb Baruch Yehudah Nutovic, a”h, whose first yahrzeit is 7 Menachem Av. May the positive lessons learned from this essay be a zechus for his neshamah.
All responsible leaders in our community have roundly condemned the recent violence in Beit Shemesh and Meah Shearim.
A surefire way to gauge the generation in which a person was raised is to have him or her fill in the following sentence: Where were you when ?”
Baby Boomers would ask, “When President Kennedy was shot?” Thirtysomethings would respond, “When the space shuttle exploded?” Today’s teenagers would reply, “On 9/11?”
One week ago on my website I announced my intention to attend the next court appearance of a man who was arrested last year and is now standing trial on 10 felony charges of child abuse.
Dear Rabbi Horowitz:
We were taken aback when our 18-year-old son just called us from Eretz Yisrael (we live in Europe) and told us that he was coming home and wants to immediately go to work. He said that he is wasting his time in yeshiva, and just can’t take it anymore. He said that he will “run away from home” if we don’t allow him to go to work.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/a-resounding-yes-for-the-dream-team/2008/11/05/
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