Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

2 Iyar 5761 - April 25, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Project Tvunot's First Community Lecture Addresses Chinuch Challenges
by Yonina Hall

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 implications."

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 community lectures.

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 speakers.


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