Friday, 7 Tishri, 5784
  |  September 22, 2023

“There’s No Such Thing as a Trusted Adult”?

From the COLlive inbox: "Several days ago, I received a phone call from a close nephew of mine who is a good Yeshiva bochur. I was surprised that he was calling. But when I heard the panicked fear in his voice, my social worker's antennas went up." Full Story

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Yes we need help them and show love and support
March 22, 2022 11:44 pm

Spot on

Seymore Harrison
Reply to  Yes we need help them and show love and support
March 24, 2022 12:47 pm

This article incorporates a fallacy that must not be overlooked. The author argues that because her nephew told her that Yeshiva staff members are largely incapable of properly handling certain issues, they are incapable of handling those issues. Besides for the obvious point—that who says her nephew’s perspective reflects the reality—it’s mere hearsay. The author is arriving at a conclusion and advocating for certain measures of change on the basis of a report of her nephew. She doesn’t claim to have actually investigated the matter. She doesn’t even claim to have reached out to other Yeshiva boys she knows to… Read more »

yeshivah including younger grades are living in bu
March 22, 2022 11:49 pm

they need to be taken for a month of the year to shluchis to see the real world and then only can they be good teachers and understand kids the mentch of the teacher is not normal bad all the training of teaching cannot do what being in the real worl will do to act lovingly to our kids

Boruch & (Brouria Hoffinger A'H)
Reply to  yeshivah including younger grades are living in bu
March 23, 2022 12:47 pm

Shalom, I, Boruch Hoffinger, can tell you horror stories about the terrible, selfish adult conduct in Crown Heights.

Sorry for you realizing the reality
March 22, 2022 11:49 pm

But if children cant go to their parents for help why should they feel safe going to the hanhala? Why recently it has become a trend when I speak to teenagers all the way up to young adults, I say the word “your mother etc… ” and everyone just automatically tunes out. What are MOTHERS DOING?!

Reply to  Sorry for you realizing the reality
March 23, 2022 7:47 am

Why is this a recent trend? From time immemorial teenagers have confided to other people except their parents. Its true that there are some teenagers that do but thats the exception not the norm. Its part of teenagers becoming independent young adults.

True its not healthy but its definately not new.

In fact nowadays, with all the information out there, mothers have more information to learn about how to connect with their teenagers and support their development without being overbearing. Much more than 10,20 years ago.

Yes recent
Reply to  recent?
March 23, 2022 10:11 am

Its a recent trend within the last about 10 years in ch. It depends where you are from.
With all the information out there and yet mothers still will not want to learn how to communicate with their spouses, let alone their teens. I’m talking about me dealing with mothers from ages 40-60. It has nothing what to do with lack of information by them, it has to do with a mindset “I SAID” and there is nothing that goes past that! And teenagers just shut down and just don’t talk to them about their mother.

Reply to  Yes recent
March 23, 2022 11:28 am

true but sad

Boruch & (Brouria Hoffinger A'H)
Reply to  Sorry for you realizing the reality
March 23, 2022 12:49 pm

About 5 years ago 10 Chabad Teenagers died from drugs in Crown Heights. Dr. Eli Rosen called an emergency meeting in Ohlei Torah.

My daughter also...
March 22, 2022 11:51 pm

My 11th grade daughter also faces these problems. She is not what in my day they called a “nerd”, she was always popular. But she has been struggling with her group of friends because they have started hanging out with boys. She confides in my wife and I. I suggested that she bring it up to her mechaneches in school without mentioning names. I naively thought that perhaps they would address this i n a positive, educational way. But, my daughter was mortified at the suggestion. She said they school would do a witch hunt to find out which girls… Read more »

Basic Rule in Life
Reply to  My daughter also...
March 23, 2022 12:02 pm

Snitches get stitches. There is always one person who “tries to be the responsible one and tells Hanhala”. Please, you are not that guy pal, you’re not that guy.

not only the boys
Reply to  My daughter also...
March 23, 2022 4:01 pm

Yes. this is also an issue in girls schools.

sorry to say but the mechanchos are all taken as a joke. whos confiding in a random 20-40+ lady?!

also, a lot of girls feel embarssed to tell someone something bad going on bc a) their scared of what they’ll say and b) all these bad things are looked so badly upon in most schools and the principals would never imagine it happening in their own school.

Reply to  not only the boys
March 23, 2022 9:42 pm

I often wondered if there was a way for girls to submit worries/concerns/etc into a box that could then be read and addressed truly anonymously

Aunt Rivky
March 22, 2022 11:53 pm

So on the mark!! Thank you for writing about it and advocating for our teens! Blessings to you for your sensitivity! I hope your words penetrate the ears of all in the field of education. May Hashem bentch our kinder with emotional, spiritual and physical health and happiness!

Love everything you said
March 22, 2022 11:58 pm

Its about time that the institutions that are “educating” get with the program and care about educating and giving life tools to our children and not just information.

Don't be fooled
March 23, 2022 12:05 am

The easiest thing for hanhola to do is not to expell a rotten apple. You save yourself a lot of enemies. But then you are not living up to the trust that all the other parents gave you!

Dear hanhola, please, please, ignore this populist article. And do the difficult work of saving our kids from bad influences.

Reply to  Don't be fooled
March 23, 2022 5:38 am

You have a complete lack of empathy. Clearly, you have be fortunate enough not to experience the struggles of your children. Although, I suspect your children simply refuse to confide in you knowing the repercussions. Your attitude is heartless. Your lack of decency warrants your expulsion. There are times when expulsion is warranted and there are times when a warm embrace and imbuing a child with a sense of self and purpose would lead to a most positive result. In fact, in Lubavitch today, there are many Roshie Yeshiva that given your criteria and the expectations of the times would… Read more »

put yourself in someone else's shoes
Reply to  Don't be fooled
March 23, 2022 8:05 am

If your child was the “bad influence ” or was being influenced and is now the “bad kid” I’m not so sure you would be begging hanhala to kick him/her out. Obviouslyevery angle must be considered but the point she is making is that we should view kids not as “the bad kid” but instead the “struggling kid” and in that way help them get out of their bad place instead of just pushing them further down. Give these kids a chance to pull themselves out of their pit. It’s not right to destroy another child’s life in order to… Read more »

Great point!!
Reply to  Don't be fooled
March 23, 2022 9:04 am

I invest so much in my kids, with a lot of personal sacrifice. Only to see their purity soiled by a selfish, lazy, principal, who refuses to expel poisonous students.
Find me one tov that will allow the school to keep this boy, at the expense of others!!

Great point?
Reply to  Great point!!
March 23, 2022 10:27 am

Part of what you should invest in your children is an ability to stand strong in what they know is right and EMPATHY for the sufferings of others. If you are so worried, it seems your chinuch has not succeeded on either front.

So insightful
Reply to  Great point?
March 23, 2022 10:59 am

spot on to above insensitive critique!

Reply to  Great point?
March 29, 2022 11:43 pm

Just because someone has empathy doesnt mean they dont fall into peer pressure

dont be fooled
Reply to  Great point!!
March 23, 2022 11:35 am

this is all LIES. if you gave your children “so called personal sacrifice “, they wouldn’t be influenced , they would be influencing the others to do good. stop with this goyishe attitude that my child is special and others aren’t. when are we going to wake up and realize all the children are ours and responsibility to care and love everyone. these are our children

kids of shluchim ??
Reply to  Great point!!
March 23, 2022 1:03 pm

I’m sorry but when people go on shlichus, their children are surrounded by goyish and none-frum kids.
Are they being influenced? not really because THEY have a good education.
If you sacrifice yourself for your children, then they are supposed to influence other children for the better, without being influenced themselves.

this was my second though!
Reply to  kids of shluchim ??
March 23, 2022 9:46 pm

so spot on what you’ve said. I know some may argue that the Rebbe said he would personally “take on” the kids of shluchim, but ALL of our children are the Rebbe’s children. all we can do is instill in them everything we can and daven. Tehillim and tears. To call any kids “bad apples” is deplorable. Can you imagine how the Rebbe would speak of this children? How the Rebbe would move heaven and earth to help assist them in any way? Let us all follow the Rebbe’s path in every true way.

Reply to  kids of shluchim ??
March 29, 2022 11:44 pm

there is always that concept of peer pressure and unfortunately lots of shluchims kids do get influenced. And its not much different in crown heights either…..

No name calling!!
Reply to  Don't be fooled
March 23, 2022 9:41 am

Do not call any child a “rotten apple”!!! Children are humans who may be struggling. No one is a rotten apple!!!

To Don’t be fooled
Reply to  Don't be fooled
March 23, 2022 9:45 am

All hanholo and teachers should take Avi Fishoff’s two day training. That’s all I’ve got

Its called
Reply to  To Don’t be fooled
June 16, 2023 6:33 pm

Twisted Parenting.

Look it up

Your all hypocrites
Reply to  Don't be fooled
March 23, 2022 11:21 am

If you don’t want yeshivas to be selective, why are you all fighting to get your kids into those very selective yeshivas?!

The answer is simple: you want your child to be surrounded by good kids.

Seminary student
Reply to  Don't be fooled
March 23, 2022 12:29 pm

Thats why my seminary send home all the “rotten apples” without hesitation!!!!!! And what work of “saving our kids” IM GOING TO THERAPY BECAUSE OF THEM!!!! they ruined the year we all awaited since we were kids, why? Because we struggled????? Unfortunately you guys are not doing the work because the first thing is understand the generation different and work with the students not against! Thats it, the times have changed and the struggles are much more the hanhalah will never understand. So stop doing it your way and the old way and maybe start helping THIS generation and work… Read more »

Ridiculous comment
Reply to  Don't be fooled
March 23, 2022 1:37 pm

Someone I know was removed from yeshiva for trying a cigarette. That ruined him.

How caring you are!!
March 23, 2022 12:06 am

There needs to be lists of caring and trained appropriate Mashpiim for these Bochurim to go to, that make themselves available for them. This should be a top priority of Yeshivos!!

There are!
Reply to  How caring you are!!
March 23, 2022 12:14 am

There are!
The Mechanchim who run and work in TAG, Wilkes, JETS…

I assume the author
Reply to  There are!
March 23, 2022 12:52 am

is referring to other Yeshivos.

Reply to  There are!
March 23, 2022 1:43 am

What do you want your kids to turn out like? We need a institution that will keep them in a good path.

Reply to  There are!
March 23, 2022 7:27 am

Not all these kids need a chill yeshiva even tho those yeshivos work for them. Why can’t there be normal mashpiim and high school teachers in crown heights and other mainstream schools. Not downplaying how much good those yeshivoc do for those boys that come

there are
Reply to  Err
March 23, 2022 11:37 am

actually the so called chilled yeshivos are the ones having most success and the so called norm yeshivos are calling them to find out how to have their great success. nowadays parents that only whated the so called norm yeshivos are only going to those you call chilled yeshivos . the so called chilled yeshivos are the norm

Thank you for bringing it up
March 23, 2022 12:11 am

Is it a correct statement that the principal/ menahel doesn’t help ? Well if my son was being introduced to vapes cigarettes and more , I would on the spot demand that the “cancer “ be removed in order to “save “ the cluster, however I also hope this so called “cancer “ is removed in a extremely delicate bacteria free surgery done by a professional that I believe is not practicing but trying to save my life meaning taking this student and guiding them into a yeshiva / high school where such activities are not shunned on mocked or… Read more »

You’re missing the point
Reply to  Thank you for bringing it up
March 23, 2022 9:27 am

The drugs and vapes are not the ‘cancer’. They are simply pain killers for a child in pain. Removing the drugs will not take away the reason the child is taking them. They will find other ways to numb whatever pain they’re in- this is about the CHILD, not the drugs/vapes/fill in the blank- and until you see this, removing all these things WILL NOT HELP.

Obviously didn’t read the whole thing
Reply to  You’re missing the point
March 23, 2022 10:20 am

Deal with the root not the symptoms I 100% agree
in most schools they can’t focus on the root and they need to hand it over to experienced masters of the craft the chinuch guru’s to help brake down the situation and rebuild the broken parts like the Rebbe Rayat”z explained in kuntras klolai chinuch vhadracha

ty bringing up
Reply to  You’re missing the point
March 23, 2022 11:41 am

maybe its the parents????

I think that is what is wrong with many communitie
Reply to  Thank you for bringing it up
March 23, 2022 10:31 am

You want the whole world to change and anyone who may not be a perfect influences on your child to be removed. You call those children “a cancer.” That shows a HUGE lack in your idea of chinuch. Yes, it’s harder to teach children when everyone/everything is not perfect around them. We choose frum schools to educate our children, protect against assimilation, and form our children into wonderful chassidishe adults. If your chinuch relies on everything else working out though and everyone around them being “perfect” your chinuch is bound to fail.

Reply to  Thank you for bringing it up
March 23, 2022 11:40 am

maybe the child is using the drugs to chill from his parents attitude . calling them cancers , i bet is one way for them to distance themselves from you

Again read The Whole thing
Reply to  ???
March 23, 2022 2:18 pm

Our system calls these children quote on quote “the cancer “ chas veshalom !!!! to say actually say that about the pupil of hashem eye his children they are such gems searching in a more advanced method then there peers for true emes in there life , no sheker they see there parents and teachers living a double life?! Why can’t I ? why should i daven and not talk while you talk the whole davening then you get drunk start cursing…. ?! Enough of these shallow connection’s real one on one conversation’s put your phone down ma ta rebbe… Read more »

March 23, 2022 12:16 am

I believe that most people in educator positions are well meaning. the issue is they haven’t been trained for today’s youth. this is a generation of people raised within a culture designed for a Rebbe, without one. This is a generation of people raised in the internet world which has no secrets and lots of aired garbage. Educators were trained to believe they have all the answers. but they don’t and in fact can’t understand half the questions. So, it’s not malice that underpins the disconnect between student and “mashpia”, it’s that there are very few maspi-im. A mashpia must… Read more »

We don’t need all the answers
Reply to  Blind
March 23, 2022 11:31 am

It’s more important for us as Mechanchim to validate the question and respect the student for asking it. It’s OK to say you don’t know and that you will try to find an answer…and when you come back to the student having done your research, whether you’ve actually found an answer or not, you encourage him or her to continue asking. Even Rashi sometimes says “I don’t know!” Are we “trained to believe” we know better than he?!

Where are parents???
March 23, 2022 12:19 am

Our community Educators don’t receive a livable wage therefore I have zero complaints ( beggars can’t be choosers). But where are community parents??

Our community educators
Reply to  Where are parents???
March 23, 2022 12:03 pm

Have a shlichus.
I know you need to make a parnassa but don’t forget your on shlichus

Our community Educaters
Reply to  Our community educators
March 23, 2022 3:52 pm

Do our community Educaters get a camp discount like shluchim NO! Are they invited to the kinus ( like the Rebbe wanted) NO! Do they get store discounts NO! Maybe when the community will remember to treat their job like shlichus they will too!

Best comment
Reply to  Our community Educaters
March 23, 2022 8:03 pm

This is %1000 true

Relate to this personally
March 23, 2022 12:30 am

Very similar situation happened to me as a boy. I expressed to a Hanhalla that I used certain substances only to arrive home and my parents get a call that I have been thrown out of yeshiva, it ended just like that. I was gutted I never expressed anything after that I had 2 lives the one outside of the community and the one I put on for the community so I played it well but knew it wasn’t real. I tried to spend as much time away so I didn’t have to put on that show but that came… Read more »

Reply to  Relate to this personally
March 23, 2022 10:29 am

Maybe you’re a great candidate to be there for these boys!

March 23, 2022 12:40 am

There are 3 types of yeshivas. Type 1 holds to a very high standard and has the reputation and staff to draw a student body who hold to this standard. They typically don’t have to server a local population. Westchester is embodies this type of yeshiva. Type 2 desperately wants to be type one but simply cannot. They have neither the staff nor the reputation to draw exclusively from a student body who holds to this standard. And here is where it gets complicated. They fear that if they accommodate the reality of their student body they will become Type… Read more »

Type 4
Reply to  Berel
March 23, 2022 2:53 am

One that doesn’t care about what the misguided think, establish robust curriculum geared to empowering each student with a full tool chest from which to chart his own path, care about the individual and the process not the theology.

Reply to  Type 4
March 23, 2022 9:57 am

Sounds like a marketing flier, easier said then done.

I challenge you to name one institution who can and does accommodate both type 1 and type 3 bochurim through differentiation.

Reply to  Berel
March 23, 2022 5:45 am

I am going to let you in on a little secret. Most “#1” yeshivos have the exact same issues as the “#3”. The only difference is the boys hide it. It doesn’t get dealt with. And many deal with issues well into adulthood. Stop being naive and talk to the boys. Talk to the doctors. It will enlighten you.

Reply to  Secret
March 23, 2022 10:02 am

there are very few type 1 yeshivas. the only one I know for sure of is Westchester and they don’t serve a local community so they can be 100% selective in their process and they flat out turn away any bochur who doesn’t naturally and without question obey any dictate coming from the hanhola (and they have excellent staff). the environment there is truly special but it is what it is. we need it but serves a very narrow but important niche. I suspect you are referring to type 2 yeshivos with illusions of grandeur. But now that we come… Read more »

Reply to  Berel
March 23, 2022 11:47 am

there’s no such a thing as type 1 yeshiva. its all a façade .and even so, who says that its really type 1 ? maybe type 2 or 3 or 4 etc are better. maybe type 1 is a cookie cutter , goody 2 shoes, that we dont want ? the stereotypes that people make up are crazy. every child is a type 1 , and his type 1 doesn’t have to be your type 1 . zushe said , when i go l’maila , they arent going to ask me why i wasnt like avraham avinu, they want to… Read more »

Reply to  laughable
March 23, 2022 2:28 pm

I named one that I know. Do you dispute that from knowledge? Sure if you wish to make up your own religion or you own take on darchei chabad then have it. But barring that it’s crystal clear that teen bochurim learning Torah behasmada Chassidus and Niglah, doing mivtzoim and keeping the sederim and not wasting time (to put it mildly) consuming non Jewish popular culture is the lechatchila Yeshiva experience. It’s obvious common sense if the 100s of letters of the Rebbe on this don’t speak to you. But sure, if you wish to make up your own religion… Read more »

not exactly
Reply to  Berel
March 24, 2022 1:46 pm

yes i dispute your knowledge, know that place very well.

School business
Reply to  Berel
March 24, 2022 5:40 pm

My opinion of Westchester is that it’s specializes in superficiality which is inline with the projection of it’s high standard. The only yeshiva I knew about 25 years ago that cared about it’s students was YOEC, perhaps your type 3, under the Rosh.

March 23, 2022 12:43 am

Who was kicked out?
The good kid that told
Or the other kid that did those things?
Most times they kick out the good kid.
Because “he dared to call my school a @@&&? Place that has kid that do that “

Reply to  Who?
March 23, 2022 11:48 am

who is the good kid? the tattle taler ?

The good kid
Reply to  who
March 23, 2022 7:38 pm

Is the one that says “let me tell the teacher so he will talk to him like a Lubavitcher Teacher should do and not kick him out”
If I’m a bucher in yeshva and see a bucher. On drugs number one as a friend I should tell on him Because I am a friend and Don’t want him to overdose. And 2) Excuse me if I came to learn and want to be able to concentrate on learning and davening
And not having to worry if my friend is sleeping napping or needs medical assistance because he took too much.

Reply to  who
March 29, 2022 11:55 pm

if something is dangerous and harmful you still need to “tattle”. For example if a little kid is holding a knife, do you call the kid who comes and tells you a “tattler”. No! cuz its dangerous!!!

The bad kid
Reply to  Who?
March 23, 2022 5:14 pm

The bad kid was kicked out without warning instead of the hanhola/mashpiim trying to help him

March 23, 2022 12:45 am

I’m shocked this was published without verification. Not once does the author write that she reached out to the school to find out why that child was kicked out. Maybe there where years of meetings with parents,teachers and professionals before this specific kid was told to find a different yeshiva.

Reply to  Shocked
March 23, 2022 10:09 am

no yeshiva was named and this absolutely happens a lot. we like to handwave but if a bochur is using weed or worse and everyone knows about it that can have a significant impact on the rest of student body depending on his social stature, and this if I am not mistaken the one condition under which the Rebbe viewed expulsion as a legitimate option.

Reply to  Berel
March 23, 2022 11:49 am

whats the big deal if hes using weed? his parents are also using weed and almost 90 of all adults. hes just following example

Reply to  shocked
March 23, 2022 2:22 pm

you are overstating this by a lot. week and a serious and traditional chabad yeshiva experience don’t go together at all.

Bochur from unnamed yeshiva
Reply to  Shocked
March 23, 2022 5:18 pm

There was no real warning and definately no meetings with professionals before he got kicked out

Please address general issue.
March 23, 2022 3:05 am

What about the general issue? What if we are out of school and want to do good but don’t know who to turn to for help? Mashpia falls under same category as hanahla. This issue needs guidance- our hanhalos and mashpia need to have answers and guidance for us. Thank you for bringing this up.

Excellent article
March 23, 2022 3:12 am

Usually can’t stand the op-eds but this is a fantastic, necessary – pikuach nefesh necessary – op-ed. Thank you author and that you COL for publishing.

ex article
Reply to  Excellent article
March 23, 2022 11:50 am

i hope you are meaning that the so called bad boy isnt going to get kicked out

Bottom line
March 23, 2022 4:11 am

Most schools care more about the image of their institutiom, then the well being of the child.

March 23, 2022 5:51 am

The world is changing teenagers are way way diffrent these days then how it used to be even 10 years ago. The problem is most Hanhala are living in the past & they are out of touch. Some yeshivas changed with the times & are better at catering to kids these days but a lot of yeshivas need to evolve a little & be better at understanding teenagers these days

stop expecting
March 23, 2022 6:25 am

People have to stop expecting hanhola to actually care about the students beyond teaching them because while there might be some good ones most aren’t (I mean they might still be good at just teaching) When I was in yeshiva and one of our classmates died yeshiva did not provide any proper mental \ emotional support yet the next year under the same staff when I was caught watching movies I was quickly sent to a “therapist” (chosen by hanhola) who just told me that if I watch movies I will get addicted to shmutz (very helpful for a 17… Read more »

I'm so sorry
Reply to  stop expecting
April 4, 2022 11:18 pm

This is awful, and unfortunately not super surprising, but deeply upsetting to hear

March 23, 2022 7:25 am

While yeshivas and parents are all part of the equation so are the young adults. Our children today don’t trust because theyvare involved in a world full of mistrust. Social media. They know everything out there isn’t true and yet they follow it like it and consume it while knowing all those influencers and media content is all lies. So if your whole premise of the world is based on lack of trust how do you expect them to suddenly trust. I

Trusted adult!
Reply to  Trust?
March 23, 2022 9:51 am

Having a real trusted adult in a teen’s life helps cushion against all the mistrustful world of social media. Lots of teens know that social media has lies in it, but are influenced by what is popular. If they have a REAL trusted adult they can go to, who can help them and not judge them, it can help if they find themselves in real trouble.

March 23, 2022 7:51 am

Why is this new? I was in high school 15 years ago and this is what my friends were doing. Whats new is that now we think we can help these girls instead of writing them off like we used to. Looking back now I see that the majority of those girls had mental health issues or “stories”. There is no quick fix. Schools are set up to teach academics, they are not mental health treatment centers. Sure, they try and have gotten much better but you cant send a kid with anorexia to school and expect the school system… Read more »

Culture of alcohol
March 23, 2022 8:06 am

Our children are raised literally in a culture of alcohol abuse. By the time they are bar mitzva they are “supposed to” be drinking. Look what the 7th graders are doing at their friends’ bar mitzvahs. In 8th grade some teachers are pushing lchaims on kids. They are just kids! Give them grape juice! If you get through mesivta without learning to drink, you will learn to in zal. Even if the teachers are careful by farbrengens not to give the boys alcohol, the boys will sneak it in for themselves. A mesivta shabbaton which is supposed to be inspiring… Read more »

What 6 months in Lockdown has taught us
March 23, 2022 8:19 am

Chinuch happens at home. Why are the parents not the trusted adults?

March 23, 2022 8:25 am

For the past few years hanala was in denial about today’s kids and that they r just rebels. But now they see reality and they have no idea what to do next and seem to fail at every move they try to make. Students r noticing and it needs to be taken care of. U can’t have hanhala depressed over the generation when they need to be proactive. Someone please teach them or give them lessons on how to deal with today’s generation. Thanks

Same issue in the girls school don’t be fooled
March 23, 2022 8:27 am

They makes like the can handle things but everything everything gets blown out of proportion and becomes an international affair and also double standard rules for thee but not for me . Keep praying that’s all I can say

I was a teen
March 23, 2022 8:29 am

In my day, I was the bad influence. I would bring girls to my dorm and do drugs, bh I was able to pull myself out and become a good frum yid. All my friends were scared to help me, as they did not know how I would react. All school needs to have proper support, that does not involve the Hanhalla.

Staff Professionals
March 23, 2022 9:08 am

I would think that most Yeshivos and girls high schools have professionals on staff or at least look for guidance for circumstances such as the above. If there are not social workers, psychologists etc. involved in all schools as of yet, now is the time. We can’t wait any longer.

Train with Shimon Russell and Avi Fishoff
March 23, 2022 9:19 am

Mechanchim can’t help struggling kids if they don’t know how to. Shimon Russell and Avi Fishoff are masters in this field and if every single Rebbe, teacher and Mechanech would train with them and actually practice their mehalech, guaranteed the system will change. But the change needs to come from each individual.
Next training with Shimon Russell is April 3rd in Lakewood. http://Www.Keshernafshi.org you’ll find all the info there. In my opinion it should be mandatory for anyone involved with frum kids and education to attend these trainings.

I had my friends kicked out
March 23, 2022 9:22 am

This is so true, when I was learning in yeshiva the hanhalah did a witch hunt towards my friends, yes they were struggling and ended up with bad behaviors but the rabbis thought that kicking them out would be the solution, their share their pain and resentment to this day after 10 years and yes they feel not a big connection to Jewish values… I understand that the hanhalas freak out in such situations (bad behaviors), fear other bochurim will learn their behaviors but what about being positive, involving Professional Help and making them better, as suggested here, they will… Read more »

March 23, 2022 10:17 am

“they care about the general student body more than the individual”
AFAIK that’s the only time the Rebbe allowed for a Bochur to be sent out of Yeshiva. The Rabim precedes the Yochid. This can ONLY be applied if the individual is actively a bad influence on others. Otherwise, if the student’s personal struggles don’t affect others, there’s no allowance to remove the student.

Crazy with no end in sight
March 23, 2022 10:19 am

We’re teaching this next generation the most detailed aspects of halacha, but is anyone teaching these teenagers and young adults the basic fundamentals of Judaism? We put so much emphasis on the trappings of Judaism, but do we make sure to educate about the belief in Gd? Most days it feels like the foundation of this community and all orthodox communities is not complete. We can all dress the right way and get married and raise families and have the Jewish white picket fence life, but how many people here are truly satisfied and feel a real a connection to… Read more »

Excellent questions
Reply to  Crazy with no end in sight
March 23, 2022 11:47 am

This should be an article in itself

March 23, 2022 10:28 am

It’s so so easy to point the finger and blame the schools again and again for every problem our kids face. It takes a village to raise a child means this is everybody’s problem and we are all responsible. We are living in hard times and we are all struggling- including parents. It’s easy to say whose fault it is but let’s all take a good look at ourselves and ask are we a trusted adult that kids can turn to? If ur kid isn’t turning to u, don’t blame the school for ur kids not turning to them either.… Read more »

Shaming parents isn't helping either...
Reply to  Honestly...
March 23, 2022 3:00 pm

You can be the change AND have a voice and cry when it hurts We are not trying to “fix people” or have are little island of “normal people” We were ALL CREATED for a reason and the fact someone exists means the world can’t go on without them It’s not about being “normal” it’s about feeling whole – complete, fully expressed – with ALL OF US If only one kind of personality “makes it” in the system Then obviously people are sufferering Obviously there are the good girls and the failures But just because they learn DIFFERENTLY they do… Read more »

March 23, 2022 10:38 am

We also need recommendations of good professionals to turn to

March 23, 2022 10:41 am

I feel that the issue is more prevalent in mesivta and then in zal there are more “trusted adults” but the damage has been done
So what needs to be done is that educators have to realize that nowadays the issues of 18 year olds from 10 years ago is affecting 14 year olds now and will trend down so we need zal Mashpim or n mesivta

Articles LIKE THESE kill chinuch
March 23, 2022 11:07 am

No wonder none of our talent wants to go into chinuch, because you will never see such an op-ed about shlichus. As an educator, i give my whole kishkes to my students but all the community does is BASH US!! Every education mosad throughout the lubavitch world is struggling to hire talent thanks to these articles! Have you read the rebbes letters that say the reason teens struggle is because of their mother’s tznius? Have you held parents accountable for giving their kids smartphones in 4th grade I have many students who cant stand their parents cause they didnt give… Read more »

Reply to  Articles LIKE THESE kill chinuch
March 23, 2022 11:37 am

You give preaches/book knowledge or you practice what you preach? I dont mean to bash you but adults, mechanchim etc… dont ONCE practice what they preach UNLESS if it’s for benefits. This article is the outcome of not practicing what your preaching! Teens struggle because of their mothers lack of tznuis? Correct! Anyone practicing that or trying to correct that today? No! This article is just bringing awareness.

Its not only the Yeshivos
March 23, 2022 11:19 am

The same problem is by the girls.
not about kicking out or not, it’s the fact that everyone is struggling and feels that there is no one to turn to. Majority of teenagers would agree with this statement: there is no such thing as a trusted adult. And kids if you wanna help your friend, do urself a favor and get help from outside the hanhala

March 23, 2022 11:27 am

I was one of those students in Yeshiva, thank god I only got kicked out of one Mesivta. After leaving the so called system at age 16 I went to the R.A.P in Jerusalem then following that my friends and I established pop up Yeshiva mivtzoim programs I finished my “system” off by being a Shalich in Wilkes Barre at age 21 and moved to CH with the hopes to continue my Shlichus in CH and in Chabad Lubavitch while I look for my Shiduch. To my shock after working with majority of the school in CH alternative and not,… Read more »

Best comment of all 116
Reply to  Mendel
March 23, 2022 11:09 pm

Thanks for sharing and for doing what you’re doing. Keep it up. We need more like you!

Not surprised but bH your speaking up
March 23, 2022 11:33 am

Look, no offense in Chabad there is this dumb thing where everyone likes to mamesh pretend they are perfect, always asking ‘oh you’re chassidish?? Ye she’s not chassidish! Oh is he chassidish??’ Being raised in the system, it always frustrated me how all the friends would always pretend they are perfect and if one did have a personal nisayon they were going through, it was turned into some type of like ‘chassidish chassidish she’s not chassidish.’ I mean, really? Girls are going through the toughest emotional issues which symptoms include lifting skirt a phew slight inches and opening neck and… Read more »

I feel your pain
Reply to  Not surprised but bH your speaking up
March 23, 2022 12:22 pm

Yes really! It’s called double life. Adults want to train the next generation: go to the mivkah/shul etc..for a show, for the society but inside you dont believe in G-d. Because whatever I teach you is contrary to G-d’s belief.
The next generation is going with: I go with how I feel.
To them I say: at least they are being honest with themselves. and with their parents and with their community – WHO DOESNT CARE ABOUT THEM, but will use them to make another putting down “success supermarket conversation story “.

Reply to  Not surprised but bH your speaking up
March 23, 2022 1:13 pm

Beautiful hit the nail on the head

very nice
Reply to  Not surprised but bH your speaking up
March 23, 2022 8:04 pm

If I may add, I also feel the parents are part of this too…or perhaps then don’t know how to deal as well…cus then they would go to their mommys and tattys to open up…but oddly they are fake to them too…to a certain extent. It’s some sort of game like you say ‘perfect’ game.

yeah seriously!
Reply to  Not surprised but bH your speaking up
March 23, 2022 8:07 pm

What does this chasidish mean anyway?! Stop!
We are all in a work in process. There is no one word definition. I feel that the word chassidish was taken way out of context and used as a threatening perfect mask rather than a proud identity

Not a good solution
March 23, 2022 11:58 am

I don’t think it’s fair to cast all blame on educators who are just doing their job and holding their Yeshiva to the standard they market it to be. There’s a phenomenon of Bochurim ending up in Yeshivos they don’t belong in. What is a Bochur who struggles with movies or drugs doing in a Yeshiva where smartphones aren’t allowed? However, kicking a boy out of Yeshiva should never be a thing. With so many Yeshiva’s geared for these Bochurim, it should just be a matter of sending him to the Yeshiva that best fits his standards and struggles. Also,… Read more »

March 23, 2022 12:03 pm

the yeshiva gives them kids alcohol, what are you going to expect…

Seminary student
March 23, 2022 12:13 pm

I agree with this so much!! I personally am a victim of this, i was in seminary and it came to their attention a struggle i was having and they were so quick to kick me out…. if im not doing well why is it that the answer? TO GO AND MAKE IT WORSE??? These days all teenagers struggle and have issues so why are we pushing it away??

Perfect yeshivos
March 23, 2022 12:16 pm

The yeshivos are perfect, don’t you get it? The menahelim are true and genuine chasidim. And you are not (unless part of the big shots, unzere etc.) The ramim are their sons, nephews, eidim, same “perfect”, flawless, infallible kind. They do you a huge tzedaka by taking in your son and your money. You should pay them 10 times as much, and dedicate your life to raise money for them. So whatever happens there, stays there. If you speak at all about anything, event “to help”, “to save a life”, you become their worst enemy, and no matter how much… Read more »

100% on point.
Reply to  Perfect yeshivos
March 23, 2022 4:52 pm

Omein. Perfectly said. Thank you very much for your blunt comment. Much needed.

Problems begin at home
March 23, 2022 12:20 pm

As a great grandfather of many I can see that many parents are out to lunch. They shirk parental responsibility, ignore their kids and hold entire Yeshivah staffs responsible when kids mess up. There had better be a great awakening at home.

Need Chabad light system
March 23, 2022 12:49 pm

We need a Chabad light system. Place that teaches Jewish and Chabad values without white shirt black hat rules. Maybe then kids won’t feel the need to escape.

Reply to  Need Chabad light system
March 23, 2022 3:06 pm

Its sad that the only thing a kid sees is the halacha so keeping halacha becomes painful
While in reality it has to do with body shame
All the kid hears is they are doing something wrong – while in truth they are being taught Torah wrong…
Torah is absolute truth- the issue is how is it getting taught…

Seminary girl
March 23, 2022 12:50 pm

Thanks for finally talk about it! Not many girls or even boys feel safe enough to open up and ask their principal for help for these reasons; judgment, reputation, being accepted, Shiduchim… I waited all my schooling for my Seminary year, because I was thinking of a year of learning, a place where I could express myself, ask questions, ask for help. I was so disappointed when I arrived in Seminary. I opened up to my principal about real struggles I was having, I saw the disappointment on her face at having accepted a girl who is not up to… Read more »

This makes me want to cry
Reply to  Seminary girl
March 23, 2022 6:44 pm

I wish you would have had the listening ear and empathy you deserved

Daughter of Shluchim
March 23, 2022 12:51 pm

Being a daughter of Shluchim, I feel that we give much more attention and understanding to the Kids that aren’t necessarily Frum (Cteen, Ckids etc) Us Chabad children, we also need help, it is not because we have received good educations that we do not have questions and that we do not lack motivation in Avodas Hashem. We have doubts, we have fears and we need to be listened to and helped! This is the reason why we go to Yeshivos/Seminary because we expect to be listened to and understood at least… But we end up being kicked out because… Read more »

Reply to  Daughter of Shluchim
March 23, 2022 6:45 pm

This truly is sad

Reality check
March 23, 2022 1:39 pm

Kids want to try things these days. Making it less taboo and giving some freedom might just be the way to go. I personally will be doing that with my kids. Better they try things with your knowledge than in hiding.

Yeshiva ruined my son
March 23, 2022 2:38 pm

My son was in a “solid” yeshiva. He was a learner of nigla and Chassidus and a true chassidish bochur. But he had a roommate. During the year, the roommate introduced my son and completely changed him. By the time I found out, it was too late. My son was no longer what he was. The roommate introduced my son to Breslov teachings and my son became addicted to it. There is nothing I can do to stop him from saying daily the Tikun Klali. He is growing long payos which is embarrassing to me. He even wears a Na… Read more »

Be proud! Be Accepting
Reply to  Yeshiva ruined my son
March 23, 2022 3:45 pm

What is wrong with your child being breslov?? Is he frum , a yiras shamayim, living a productive life?? BE PROUD OF HIM! We must be more accepting to different tracks of connecting to hashem!

Be grateful
Reply to  Yeshiva ruined my son
March 23, 2022 4:07 pm

He went to breslov. Some have it worse like going off the derech. Maybe this is his derech. Please dont be like some parents who are angry with their kids for becoming frumer or for choosing a different chassidic route. A lot of BT had to face that with their parents. Dont be that parent. If he wants to come around, he will!

Your problem is Breslov?
Reply to  Yeshiva ruined my son
March 23, 2022 4:35 pm

I find it difficult to take this comment seriously, or even believe it is not a joke. As far as I know, Breslov is a legit part of Judaism, and of Chasidic Judaism at that. Believe me, when you say “there is a therapy that can fix addictions” you have no idea what you are talking about. Addictions are life threatening, G-d forbid. And sometimes life with them is worse than…, and for the whole family. Many families would have wished so much that their child had become a member of any other frum movement and not addicted to substance,… Read more »

lol breslov should be the worst he knows abt
Reply to  Yeshiva ruined my son
March 23, 2022 5:45 pm

at least he was introduced to breslov and not girls or movies c’v

What's a "not good influence"
March 23, 2022 2:50 pm

Our bodies are important They don’t lie If something is painful our bodies will tell us If they expell this kid – how many more will it take for them to face the root of the issue… This is the goal of chassidus chabad truly It’s meant to effect the BODY… If something is shoved under the rug it comes out at some point in life it as physically sickness r”l WHY?? Why aren’t children encouraged to LIVE in their own bodies Know what feelings and sensations are meant to feel like Be comfortable knowing why they feel the way… Read more »

March 23, 2022 3:09 pm

Their should be a licensed guidance counselor in every school and help the kids who are struggling.

Trust issues
Reply to  Important
March 23, 2022 4:29 pm

Unfortunately we dont trust any help given by school anymore because it always turns against us at the end of the day…

Reply to  Trust issues
March 23, 2022 5:36 pm

The “social workers” just tell the principals everything and it doesn’t feel safe. It’s a school therapist so it automatically make u not trust them

This is truth
March 23, 2022 3:13 pm

I have to say it’s quite interesting to read comments from either side. I will first off agree that schools need to hold a higher standard for their students in the sense of if the kid is influencing others in “broad daylight” the situation must be dissolved so that it’s under control. But, with that being said, “bad influences” need the same love,care,and consideration. We teach Torah “outside the box” but then are surprised when our children think outside the box as well? This is the times we are in , the rebbe for saw this and just a little… Read more »

March 23, 2022 4:21 pm

I also was a madricha in a seminary and they didn’t like exactly how i did the work, but the girls loved me and needed me they decided to send me home, leaving all the girls without that support and they were heartbroken. I don’t understand why the staff couldn’t put their needs aside and do what was best for the girls… the girls were only open with me, not them. They need someone to talk to without being judged and knowing that its safe with the person. Unfortunately the hanhalah doesn’t give that, and if so why take away… Read more »

March 23, 2022 5:24 pm

This is a traditionally systemic problem that has hardly been addressed effectively. It behooves those in administrative positions to be honest and tackle it, for the benefit of our precious young people. Otherwise, I’m afraid we will slowly lose momentum in active membership. All the events in the world will not help to overcome the unfortunate habits of our training ground! Hypocrisy will become the painful norm.

from the top!
March 23, 2022 5:42 pm

Outside of the building itself and into the leadership domain outside of the building is called for. Paradigm shift is needed. Is there a committee within Chabad to monitor effectiveness of Yeshivas beyond academics?

Another angle
March 23, 2022 7:36 pm

The issue is like this not that there aren’t enough “trusted” adults there are the issue is that is the teens have a hard time trusting them why should we We always are told that there is a standard that needs to be kept so if here isn’t the place somewhere else is that’s not what we need to hear we aren’t things that can be passed around we are bnei malachim Also there is a underlying issue even if I do trust why should they care we are constantly put down so now there is a lack of self… Read more »

Gut Morgen
March 23, 2022 9:37 pm

as a girl who is pretty much at the end of the system and didn’t live at home in high school I can confirm the reality of this article. The amount of times I’ve attempted to trust an adult and gotten slapped back in the face is astonishing. From suicidal friends, to most recently having a friend get drunk while being around hanhalla and them doing nothing… It’s a real shame because we need the help and support so much more than you would ever know yet we’re so afraid of saying anything seeing how twisted the responses of a… Read more »

March 23, 2022 11:02 pm

My experience with most principals I’ve dealt with, was generally positive BH. They always tried their best to help in any way that they can, even after hours. I’ve found them to be considerate, helpful and was happy to have them on the team of raising our children. Did they create the issues my kids struggle with? No Do I expect them to fix every issue? Obviously not. Are any of us envious of their jobs? I doubt it Are they getting fair financial pay for all their hard work, sweat, and tears? I doubt it Were there some things… Read more »

March 24, 2022 4:15 am


March 24, 2022 9:37 am

Parents are supposed to be partners with the schools for the benefit of the child. If the parents and school are not aligned, the child receives mixed messages. It is wrong to put so much blame on the schools. There are so many fantastic, caring teachers and principals out there. I chose to keep my sons local so that I see and speak to them face to face every single day. I cannot possibly parent effectively over the phone once a week. The local mesivta has been wonderful for us. In fact there are quite a few boys who originally… Read more »

the blame game
March 24, 2022 12:46 pm

i am one of those students who you can call the “influencers” among my peers, and wait before you stop reading and reporting this comment, hear me out. for the most part, i keep to myself, i don’t influence people for my own benefit, lurking to find the next innocent victim. instead, they come to me for advice on how to rebel against the system. i plead for them to stop coming to me and they should continue being the perfect kid the system and their parents expect them to be. But time and time again, they refuse, begging for… Read more »

If they are going to you....
Reply to  the blame game
March 24, 2022 9:06 pm

Then you have a share in the problem. Think about it: they would never go nag a goody goody because she doesnt have the potential. They come to you because you do. And plus you take their encouraging nag and GIVE THEM encouragement to do what they want, NOW THEY REALLY WON! also some people have a double life. I’m not accusing you but people with your potential are very easy to put up crocodile tears and say “dont blame me….” when they are the source of all problems, whomever they come in contact with. Only G-d knows your true… Read more »

important things not gemorah
March 24, 2022 3:42 pm

yeshiva should teach kids how to live an everyday life outside of school. how to do taxes, pay rent, make money/ get a job.

Do so
Reply to  important things not gemorah
March 24, 2022 10:39 pm

You are free to go/send your child to such a school

School business
March 24, 2022 5:12 pm

Schools today, especially seminaries and zal, have turned into lucrative businesses more concerned about their ability of taking in large tuitions and marketing their reputations than educating our children. This would explain why when a school learns about a student who would besmirch it’s reputation the administration will expunge the offending individual. In regards to the above mentioned story, the parents of the boys taking drugs should have been notified immediately so that they can move their children to a facility where they can be rehabilitated. The question is whether the parents would agree to such an action and potentially… Read more »