The chinuch challenges of today's generation were the
topic of last week's well-attended community lecture
sponsored by Project Tvunot, a new Jerusalem-based resource
center for English-speaking families.
HaRav Mendel Weinbach, rosh yeshivah of Ohr Somayach,
introduced the evening. Citing the long history of
revolutionary innovations in Jewish education which have
since become the norm for Klal Yisroel, he then
turned to the unique challenges facing us in Eretz Yisroel --
challenges which prompted the creation of Project Tvunot.
"People who made the bold move of leaving the lands in which
they grew up, with their language, their culture, and all
their opportunities, and came to grow in ruchnius in
Eretz Yisroel, all face chevlei klita -- ongoing
absorption pains," he said. "For the tzibur of
English- speaking people, perhaps the sharpest problem is
the education of our children, with all its
Being less than comfortable with the language and culture,
English-speaking parents often don't know where or to whom
to turn for help when they or their child experience
problems or unusual stress at school, home, or elsewhere.
Rav Weinbach noted that phenomena such as learning
disabilities, behavioral irregularities, difficulties in
parent-school communication, and children "at risk" are,
unfortunately, all too common. He urged English- speaking
parents not to shoulder their burdens alone, but to ask for,
and get, help.
"One of the greatest mistakes a parent can make is to think
that the job (of child-raising) has to be done, or can be
done, all by himself," he stressed. "The problems are
common, and the solutions can only be implemented if there
is public awareness of the range of special services,
counseling, and schools that are available. We need to rely
on the support and resources of the community."
One of those resources is Project Tvunot, which operates
under the guidance of gedolei Yisroel. The center
offers screening and needs assessments, professional
counseling services, school intervention, parenting-skills
workshops, and new-immigrant support services, as well as
The topic of the evening, "Chanoch LeDor Al Pi
Darcho," was developed by Rav Dov Brezak, principal of
Talmud Torah Ezrat Torah Yerushalayim. Rav Brezak spoke in
depth about the special characteristics of our times.
"Nowadays, there's a tremendous gravitational pull away from
Yiddishkeit," he observed. "If a person is not
adequately trained in yeshivas, or has no connection to a
rav who will guide him, or doesn't attend shiurim, he
will easily be pulled away from Yiddishkeit. The
widespread lack of respect for authority only makes matters
more complicated, as already noted by sefer Chovos
HaTalmidim, which was written 68 years ago."
Rav Brezak quoted gedolim to develop the additional
point that children -- and people in general -- are more
sensitive today than ever before.
Keeping these points in mind, he outlined several basic
premises for creating and maintaining a good parent-child
relationship, which is the key factor for keeping our
children close to us and to Yiddishkeit, as well. He
also offered practical tips for carrying out these
guidelines. Tapes of the evening lecture are available by
calling (02) 537-7697.
Project Tvunot's next community lecture is scheduled for
this coming Monday, April 30, 2001, at Beit Knesset Ateret
Nof, Rechov Brand 15, at 8:15 p.m. Men and women are
welcome. Rav Zev Leff and Rav Leib Kelemen are the featured