The day after Ruchama Clapman appeared on a Jewish radio program to discuss issues raised by two chasidic runaways, the phones were ringing off the hook at MASK, the organization she founded to address at-risk youth in the Orthodox community.
Clapman had given the number of a hotline for parents who are concerned that their children, mostly teenagers, may be straying from what is known as "the derech," or path of what is considered appropriate behavior in strictly observant or chasidic communities.
Ever since the Nov. 21 arrest of 42 teens on drug and alcohol charges at a wild party thrown by a Livingston, N.J., yeshiva student, there has been a buzz around The Lockers.
“It’s being blown out of proportion,” one New Jersey teen opines, “but I’m glad that it is. If it weren’t, there would be no lesson learned, people would keep doing it.”
Another teen seems exasperated. “I know I’m sheltered- but imagine like … being a 14-year-old freshman and getting arrested. Pretty scary!”
With the blessing of rabbinic authorities, the Orthodox Union’s youth group has launched a Web site promoting abstinence and warning of the impact of premarital sex on the body, mind and spirit.
While declaring that they are “deeply disturbed” by teens “increasingly engaged in sexual experimentation,” officials of the National Council of Synagogue Youth insisted there was no particular catalyst within the organization’s membership.
As Jews around the world prepare to celebrate one of the most joyous days of the calendar, local law enforcement officials, communal leaders and professionals are increasingly concerned about the impact of alcohol-laden festivities on the growing problem of Orthodox substance abuse.
Jerusalem — Alice, a 15-year-old with a blue kerchief around her head and a cigarette dangling from her fingers, was clearly upset to be living in a supervised home for troubled girls in Jerusalem.
She was displeased, too, about speaking with visitors on a UJA-Federation mission from New York.
“She has a real in-your-face attitude,” observed one of the visitors, Jane Grauer of White Plains.
After a three-day search that consumed the West Side Jewish community, police on Tuesday night located a missing teen who "stormed out" of the of the local JCC on Sunday evening.
Following up on a tip from a student who saw his picture posted at Stuyvesant High School, auxiliary officers found Zachary Manning, 15, a sophomore at Brooklyn Friends School, in Bryant Square Park in Midtown with a friend.
He had been staying with friends in Queens after an argument with his mother.
At-risk Orthodox Jewish teenagers in Brooklyn (involved in everything from credit card fraud to sexual promiscuity and drug abuse) have created their own informal support network that attracts similarly troubled youngsters from across the city and seeks to recruit "regular youngsters" to their ranks.