Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Orthodox war on drugs: When will they finally declare war on sexual abuse in our Jewish community, one of the root causes of these symptoms.


At 8:58 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Orthodox war on drugs
Orthodox rabbis, yeshiva heads and day school principals in the New York area met recently to discuss substance abuse and other teen problems in their schools.
The Orthodox Union, which convened the meeting, is putting together three task forces to fight the problem. O.U. officials said the community can no longer ignore the problem. “As long as we are surrounded by the outside world, substance abuse involving liquor, drugs and tobacco; drunken driving; promiscuity; unsupervised ‘Open House’ parties where proper behavior is thrown to the winds; eating disorders and other ills, come into the lives of Orthodox young men and women,” said the O.U.’s executive vice president, Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb.

At 5:46 PM, Blogger Avi said...

it's just too easy and convenient to blame all of our problems on assimilation and the influence of the outside world. I agree that sexual assualt is a root cause for many. But I also feel that the dishonesty, bias and corruption within the Orthodox community is a much greater negative influence. Our youth see hypocracy within the community and loose faith - as they should. We need to focus on being more like Avraham Avinu in terms of integrity and honesty. We need more leaders who are willing to stand up, despite the tendency these days to discredit anyone who is not talking the "party line". I support what you are doing in this blog, because we need to fix these problems from within and make clear that our path is one of honesty and integrity...Avi...

At 6:03 PM, Blogger jah said...

Until the community no longer priveleges excessive behavior on the part of its leaders, young people will not be convinced to refrain from their own excessive behavior. If we want to stop kids from using drugs, how about stopping adults from buying SUV's that waste gas and finance terrorists. Why should kids listen about not indulging themselves when parents spend hundreds of thouands of dollars building garish mansions, then complain about the price of Yeshiva tuition? And why should kids listen to parents about drug abuse when they can't even sit down for dinner with them because the parents are too busy? Why should the kids listen to their rebbeim when they see the Rabbinical leaders kiss up to and treat like geniuses every wealthy shul board member? How can kids take their Rebbeim seriously when the rebbeim can't even agree to fire known sexual predators? How can kids take their rebbeim seriously when their Rebbim are to bus making kids frum and not busy litening to their needs?
Need I go on?

At 7:04 PM, Blogger Avi said...

Jah I agree with a lot of what you saying. What drives me really nuts is that lately most of the shiurim are laden with so much biased and racist thinking. I don't remember it always being this bad. So many of these Rabbis are focused on pushing the view that all of our problems are a result of the internet and those bad goyim. Truthfully, I think that the money laundering and dishonest business practices are doing much more harm than the influence of the outside world...Avi...

At 6:24 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...


OU Seeks ‘Action Plan’ Vs. Drugs, Other Ills
New tack by major group seen as positive step.
Adam Dickter - Staff Writer

Taking on a range of societal woes – including substance abuse, promiscuity and eating disorders among teens – that have made their way into the observant religious community, the Orthodox Union has called on rabbis, lay leaders, educators and other professionals to develop an “action plan” for confronting such problems.

Some 65 leaders from across the tri-state area convened at the OU headquarters in Manhattan recently, relating their experiences with these and other societal issues that are being noted with growing frequency. The leaders were joined by outreach and treatment professionals.

The panel resolved to form three task forces to work with parents on the creation of safe shuls, safe schools and safe homes.

“We are hoping the first meetings of these committees will take place in the next two to three weeks,” said Rabbi Moshe D. Krupka, the OU’s executive director of programming.

“The focus will be implementation. … We want to see the creation of user-friendly programs, curricula and reasonable expectations for leadership, parents and kids.”

The task forces will involve members of the OU’s national board as well its Commission for Community and Synagogue Services, including rabbis, principals, and mental health professionals.

“They will identify areas of concern and create the communal mindset we all hope for,” said Rabbi Krupka. “This is not a one-size-fits-all approach, where we can overnight create a sea change in the way the community perceives itself and its actions.”

The OU’s new actions come six weeks after 42 students, including many yeshiva teens, were arrested in Livingston, N.J., for drug possession and alcohol consumption following an unsupervised party.

While episodes involving drug abuse at yeshivas and day schools are not common, “there have been incidents,” Rabbi Krupka noted. “Rather than close our eyes to what’s going on around us,” he said, “we feel the most appropriate approach is to educate our communities and empower them.”

To those who have been grappling with at-risk behavior in the Orthodox community for years, the new tack by one of the nation’s leading Orthodox organizations — representing nearly 1,000 synagogues in North America — adds some much-needed muscle to their efforts.

“This adds another powerful organization,” said Benzion Twerski, a psychologist in Brooklyn who serves Orthodox patients. “There are now many players in this picture, and I’m pleased to see that.”

Ruchama Bistritsky Clapman, founder of MASK, a support program for parents of troubled youth in Brooklyn, said the OU effort was a step toward uniting those working in synagogues and in schools to fight drug use. “Just talking about these issues has a positive effect,” she said.

Rabbi Joel Dinnerstein, who runs a Jewish recovery center, Ohr Ki Tov, in Florida, and was long involved in anti-drug efforts in New York, attributed the OU’s aggressive stance to its executive vice president, Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, who is also a clinical psychologist.

“He has as much insight into the human condition as into the Talmud,” said Rabbi Dinnerstein. “This is a long time coming and it’s sorely needed.”

While praising growing awareness of substance abuse in Orthodox circles, Rabbi Dinnerstein said members of the community were still waiting “two or three times longer to get help because they go to rabbis, or psychologists who are not trained to understand addictions.”

He said programs in the Jewish community should combine the 12-step system used in most substance-abuse recovery programs with perspectives from religious sources.

At 3:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A fellow surivor of abuse from the same rabbi suggested I attend a meeting of COSA, Co-dependents of Sex Addicts.

Guess what? Every single woman there, their partner or ex-partner replaced drug abuse/alcohol abuse with ---
you've got it, sex addictions.


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