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Menifa-Leverage for Life is a nonprofit organization that was founded in Israel in 2004. The mission of the organization is to prevent at-risk youth from dropping out of high school and to reintegrate detached youth into normative frameworks. Since its establishment, Menifa has operated 130 such programs around Israel.
How do we teach our children to keep themselves safe from the adult predators in our midst? Are our schools teaching them what they need to know? Are parents teaching our youth what they need to know? Does your child feel safe enough to approach you if their personal space is being invaded? How do you know?
Former Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary recently testified in a court hearing against ex-Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. The testimony he gave before the jury was sickening on two counts: He described witnessing the alleged details of a sexual assault on a minor child and he admitted he was not vigilant in exposing what he saw. The incident, according to McQueary, took place over ten years ago.
“I couldn’t imagine raising my kids anywhere else,” says Itay Harel, one of Migron’s founders who established the community 13 years ago. But an unexpected battle began after the Israeli anti-settlement movement Peace Now, which aims to eliminate any Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria, to be replaced by a Palestinian state, claimed that Migron was settled on privately owned Arab land.
Rabbi Meir Kahane, perhaps the most dynamic Jewish orator of our time, a speaker capable of inflaming hearts and inspiring the masses, a par-excellence TV debater who chopped the glib intellectual banter of opponents into tiny insignificant scraps, he had a bothersome stutter in his youth, which had to be mastered in order to fulfill his dream of reaching out to the Jewish People.
The streets of Jerusalem on the special day commemorating the city's reunification. A celebration of youthful energy, enthusiasm, and love of the Jewish homeland....
Scholars have debated where precisely the Baal Shem Tov was born, few giving credence to the tiny village of Okopy (pronounced Akup). Most likely he hailed from Kolomyya on the slopes of the Carpathian Mountains and on the banks of the Prut River. Nearly 300 years have lapsed since the passing of the Baal Shem Tov and all the while the stories of his miraculous abilities have increased. Yet all fail to fully portray his greatness.
An Israeli–Zionist success story: the story of two Ethiopian youths who immigrated to Israel from their village in 2007 and evolved into top notch high school students and youth group leaders.
The occurrence has taken on disturbing overtones. The unfortunate youth has become a symbol of racial unrest. He has been called a “martyr for the cause.” It is, of course, possible that Trayvon’s race was a factor in this tragedy. But not every act of violence perpetrated against blacks is necessarily racially motivated, just as not every act of violence against Jews is necessarily fueled by anti-Semitism.
Stories of the heroes of our Jewish nation are heartwarming, eye opening, encouraging, and sometimes even frightening. When we hear such stories, we salute those people (most of whom we have never met) for their courage and perseverance, but most of all for their commitment to Judaism and the Jewish people.
The Commissioner-General of UNRWA expressed his gratitude for the crucial support extended by the United States: "The United States remains UNRWA's largest bilateral donor and this latest contribution again demonstrates America's strong support to the Agency and its activities, of which improving the lives of Palestinian refugee youth, and the opportunities open to them, is such an important part."
In the first part of this article (Family Issues 3-2-2012) I shared the many memories resulting from my year of avaylus (mourning) for my mother. This week I would like to connect those memories to a better understanding of how good could potentially come from bad happenings in an effort to improve relationships.
A Miami plastic surgeon decided on an innovative way to reach the market of nose job enthusiasts – young Jews ages 15-30 – and have fun doing it. He hired the Groggers, an up and coming Orthodox rock band, and traded a nose job for their hilarious Jewish video entermercial "Jewcan Sam." Now the American Society of Plastic Surgeons wants to lower the boom on the guy.
In her ninety-eighth year my mother beat pneumonia twice. She always said that she would know when her time was up – and she did. People would ask her what she attributed her many years to. Though she was not raised in a religious home, she would always say that Hashem knew what He was doing. We learn in the Torah when one honors parents the reward is a long life. She was certainly proof of this.
As the new school year begins, we parents must gain insight into one of the common causes of youth at risk -- abuse and molestation. It is a highly sensitive issue generally deemed the domain of mental health professionals and community leaders, with a host of significant halachic ramifications, such as raglayim l’davor - meaning reasonable suspicion, which is the halachic threshold to permit reporting to authorities under the rules of mesira.
The world likes to believe that threats to Israel's security by its neighbors are the country's greatest concern. The narrative of two ancient peoples in one Holy Land fighting for their place in the world is a great story and leads to an uncanny number of headlines, the expenditure of a relatively large percentage of the UN's energy and resources, and more divisive discussions and actions than are devoted to other - much bloodier - conflicts, such as those in the Congo and Sudan.
From Ecclesiastes we learn the expression "there is nothing new under the sun" and when you read history you see how true this is. From cults to politics it seems as if nothing is really ever new. That also includes technology. While a certain invention or discovery can be classified as new, we often find it in nature much earlier. Arctic fish used anti-freeze in their bloodstreams long before people put it in their cars. There are airplanes, but birds flew much earlier; there are satellites, but the moon was there earlier. Whales are better than submarines and as for nuclear fusion; the sun and stars had that worked out long before we did.
Francine has been coming to therapy for about a month. Her parents brought her due to problems and conflicts she was experiencing boat home, school and in the community. Like many teens, Francine did not see the value of therapy and felt the problems were only her parents' issues. Besides, if she needed to talk to anyone, she would speak with her friends.
Mr. and Mrs. S. came into the office with their ten-year-old daughter, Sharon. They were very distraught and had numerous complaints about Sharon’s behaviors. Not only was she having problems academically and behaviorally in school, but they also complained that every time they asked Sharon to do something at home it became a major altercation.