me…? working with kids at risk…? :O

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    soliek in at least 2 of my threads, and a lot in real life, people have suggested that i work with at risk teens and such and im considering it. the only thing is…would any such organization take someone on who didn’t go to beis medrash and only learns about 2 hours a day? i dont know how to learn on my own let alone learn with a kid who is either beginning or is weak…i mean i know that i would be serving other purposes, but would an organization take someone who couldnt learn? i can answer pretty much any hashkafa question thrown at me, but i cant sit down in front of a gemara and just start learning…thoughts?


    rofl i classify at risk as a kid who is going off the derech and/or engaging in self destructive behaviour


    I never heard of the term being misused.

    You can be a most valuable tool to any organization, since the kids will connect with you when you tell them your position. It will help them make their decision to come back when they realize and understand that it doesn’t mean becoming a Frummy and learning all day. Some of these kids went off because they felt they couldn’t live up to the high ideals described by their mentors.


    Sam2 – Kids at risk is very real problem in the frum community these days. Your sarcastic response shows how little you know about what goes on around you. There is a school for “at-risk girls” on Coney Island Avenue in Flatbush where drug counseling (and other counseling) is part of the curriculum, and most of these girls grew up in our communities. All night parties and “raves” are the norm for these teens. I can go on and on, but suffice it to say that this is not not a minor problem, and you should be very thankful you haven’t had to deal with it…



    Kiruv organizations, like Aish Inspire ( are looking for people JUST like you, who want to inspire others and can answer hashkafa questions they are looking for answers to. They do not need someone necessarily to learn with people -many people are not interested in deep learning at the beginning anyway. Check out Inspire’s site, they are amazing people to work with.


    Are there any at risk adults?

    be good

    agree with the.nurse

    The fact that you are not standard will make kids like that be more willing to talk to you and will make it easier for you to understand them.

    You sound like you couldn’t imagine that you have anything to offer them (just by the tone of your post). Don’t underestimate yourself. You have a lot more to offer than you think. Just because you are not a full time learner…?

    Most of the people who work in that field have been thru something of their own. It makes them more sensitive to others…

    If other people are telling you to do it- you probably should!

    Go for it!



    Your greatest asset on your resume is your abusive past. Just telling them, “I too suffered all that, plus I can’t learn, yet I remained frum because if I don’t have olam hazeh, I want to at least have Olam Habah!” is a powerful message. Also you can tell them, “I’m shteiging together with you.” And that’ll be true, I guarantee!


    interstingly enough, i just asked to help a kid ive never met, but knows some of my extended fam. i have a typical young teen nearly off the d story, and BH i bounced back to be a normal well-rounded indivdual. i have no formal training but i always helped out troubled kids in yeshiva. i was thinking of pusuing a job. good luck to you!

    a mamin

    BOMB:: Go for it!! If anyone can do it, YOU CERTAINLY CAN!!! HATZLOCHA and Tizku lemitzvos!!!

    am yisrael chai


    They will probably be able to relate with you SO well as a mentor and as someone with admirable hashkafos despite your background.

    You write “…and only learns about 2 hours a day.”

    There’s no ONLY about learning 2 hours a day. You can be proud of what you are accomplishing.


    “Kids at risk” are not the same thing as kids who are simply OTD. At risk implies that they are engaging in a range of self-destructive behavior from substance abuse, petty crime and other obsessive risk taking to eating disorders and clinical depression. Note that none of the behaviors mentioned has any religious (or irreligious) component. While a young man or woman who is or is going OTD may exhibit self-destructive behavior as well, Most of those who leave religious practice are generally well adjusted and proceed to lead reletively happy and fulfilling lives. The only “risk” they take is losing their family connections.

    The differences mentioned also imply that different strategies must be employed to combat the diferent problems


    The prime definition of an at-risk child, is a child is who is at-risk of going OTD. They are at-risk of losing their Olam Haboa.



    the usual meaing of that phrase is as r kaufman stated.

    what you say is true but that is not how the term is generally used


    Okay, but it (how I defined it) is how the term is utilized in the frum community.


    i guess then it depends on which frum community

    the frum community i am a part of defines it as i said.

    what you are referring to is off the derech, or going off the derech


    Are there any at risk adults?

    you’d be surprised


    Glad you’re considering it:). As I’ve said before, I strongly think you should do it. Kids at risk LOVE to hear it from someone who’s life isn’t perfect. When this perfect great talmid chacham who comes from a loving family and has friends tells them to do teshuva, it doesn’t reach them. But if you tell them that your life isn’t a bed of roses and yet, you didn’t throw away Yiddishkeit because this is the Truth, they’ll fall for it. Besides, these kids CRAVE tough love. They love it when you command them to do things such as davening etc. They love it when you direct them. And I saw you doing it with the guy on the off the derech thread.

    So, yes, definitely go for it. Hatzlacha rabba and come back with your success rate;)


    Bomb, Hashem gives people different gifts and different talents. You might have the gift to reach these kids and help them. Some people have the knack to connect with kids and mentor them. If you feel you could do it, give it a try. You don’t have to be a teacher or be able to teach to do it. You just have to be capable of loving your fellow jew.


    bomb, as everyone here has said, it is worth giving it a try. You might see you are perfect for the job and really can connect with these people. Your past only makes you stronger and more capable, so you might find yourself really making a huge impact, larger than others trying to help but may not have the personal history to go with it. Whatever G-d gives us, whether we see it as good or bad, is for a purpose, and can be used beneficially. This therefore might be the right thing to do, by using what you have to benefit others. Wishing you all the best!


    Rafael: Can we make a blanket statement about how happy and fulfilling their well-adjusted lives are? Isn’t there an element of “at-risk” when one leaves behind a spiritual life? A disconnect with one’s neshama that will eventually lead to maladjustment? Or do they carve out their own spiritual life with no association to structured religious practice, and this suffices?

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