Saturday, February 16, 2019

Family Link

Parents Tell Their Story

Our thanks to Joyce and Marty Litchman for sharing their story with us.  We’re sure this will resonate with some of you out there.

I am the parent of a recovering drug addict. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. It began innocently. When my son, Ben, was 8 years old, he was diagnosed with

Teaneck Preteen Packs in the Mitzvot

When 12-year-old Sydney Jerome joined her cousin’s family in Israel for a bar mitzvah this past summer, she didn’t know it would inspire her own bat mitzvah project. But after visiting and volunteering at Pantry Packers in Jerusalem, packing food to be distributed to the needy around Israel, Sydney was inspired to something on

Staycation Ideas for Winter Homebodies

Students and teachers are working hard, trying to cram as much as they can into the last couple weeks before Yeshiva break. But thoughts keep drifting toward long-awaited vacation plans. For those who feel left behind during these days, rest assured: Many activities await that do not require flying, and the most packing

Write a Book Report: Sharpen Your Executive Functioning

Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult for some students to write a book report? Good writing takes many steps and depends upon executive functioning skills. Executive functioning is an umbrella term that refers to a number of cognitive processes and skills that facilitate learning. Being successful in writing depends upon

Ephraim and Menashe: Role vs. Soul

In this week’s Torah portion, Vayechi, blessings abound. Jacob is dying. His son Joseph, his favorite, the one who truly became the savior of the family, rushes to his bedside to comfort him. Jacob announces that he will adopt Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Menashe, and will bless them with inheritance equal to that of his

The Miracle

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a bar mitzvah where my connection was with the family rather than the young man. In fact, I had never met the boy. Arriving fashionably late, we were just in time for the speeches, and my introduction to the bar mitzvah boy occurred as he addressed the gathering. Up stepped a confident,

How to Talk to Your Kids About Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-teacher conferences are a great opportunity to hear about your children’s classroom experience and connect with their teachers. These conferences also have the potential to shape your children’s relationships with their teachers and their school experience for the rest of the year. Sharing the teachers’ feedback with your

How Teachers Can Better Handle Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parents can be frustrated by their children’s teachers. By their harsh tone of voice when young children have trouble being quiet or sitting still. By taking away recess for infractions like losing their Chumash worksheets or getting up to sharpen a pencil without asking permission first. By their fixation on rewards and

Nurturing the Hearts and Minds of Children

Donny was having a blah day at school. As he was finishing up his work before the afternoon switch to English studies, his rebbe stopped by his desk and said, “Donny, I see you got a haircut. It looks really nice.” Donny looked up at his rebbe beaming and said, “Rebbe, I was waiting all day for someone to notice. Thank

The Dangers of Substance Abuse  in Teenagers With Mental Health Challenges

Dear Readers,

It has been almost a year since we first started this Recovery Column.

Our thought for the column was to create a dialogue between us and our readers, and between our readers themselves, about the issues of addiction and its impact on

Who Will Put Out the Fire?

Amidst all of the crises the Orthodox Jewish community is facing—the shidduch crisis, off-the-derech children, substance abuse and internet addiction—no one is talking about the elephant in the room that might actually be a game changer in reducing many of our other challenges. This is what I call the divorce crisis. While most


The bell had rung and the third-grade class excitedly gathered by the door, a storm of arms grabbing coats off of hooks and knitted hats being tossed on the floor, as the kids vied to be first on line to get to recess. It had been a long afternoon and we had spent much of the time trapped at our desks, looking longingly out the