Teen Violence in Lakewood
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- This topic has 128 replies, 25 voices, and was last updated 21 hours, 37 minutes ago by n0mesorah.
March 1, 2023 11:33 am at 11:33 am #2170353
Are we going to pretend it doesn’t exist and hope it goes away or do something proactive?March 1, 2023 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm #2170413
There’s always a man bites dog.March 1, 2023 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm #2170399
Neither. We are going to pretend it was someone else’s fault and wait for them to take responsibility.March 1, 2023 1:56 pm at 1:56 pm #2170428
How did it taste?March 1, 2023 1:57 pm at 1:57 pm #2170434
It’s been happening for a while unaddressedMarch 1, 2023 1:58 pm at 1:58 pm #2170438leibyParticipant
We should have the police doing their job without hindrance and interference from askanim and it will all go away. There is no reason why our teens should be treated as above the law.March 1, 2023 2:35 pm at 2:35 pm #2170466amiricanyeshivishParticipant
Did something happen recently that OP is reffering to?March 1, 2023 6:15 pm at 6:15 pm #2170476
The police have limited options. You know that.March 1, 2023 6:16 pm at 6:16 pm #2170478
To be more blunt, the police are involved.March 1, 2023 9:03 pm at 9:03 pm #2170516SQUARE_ROOTParticipant
If teenage Jews want to fight, then they should be organized into a neighborhood patrol, designed to defend places where we live from criminals and from those who hate us.March 1, 2023 9:16 pm at 9:16 pm #2170520☢️ Rand0m3x 🎲Participant
Did something happen recently that OP is referring to?
Yes. You can google [Lakewood Snaps assault].March 1, 2023 9:16 pm at 9:16 pm #2170526KuvultParticipant
Sadly these boys never developed a geshmak for learning Gemara so they fill their lives with emptiness. Yeshiva Rebbeim should “Hang out” at the “Hang outs” offering to take the boys to a Bais Medrash to learn Torah. When these boys see the beauty & pleasure of shteiging they’ll give up their destructive ways.March 1, 2023 9:16 pm at 9:16 pm #2170536
Great news! It’s been obvious for many months that the Rabbonim of Lakewood have no control over the violent teens in their community. Any friendly gestures have been met with mockery and scorn. Maybe these animals will get scared straight when the police crack down on them.March 2, 2023 8:30 am at 8:30 am #2170660chaim_baruchParticipant
I have never been to Lakewood but I’m familiar with troubled teens. I live in a Dati Leumi yishuv in Israel and we have such issues on a larger scale. Boys that age need an outlet both creative and physical. It could be playing (not watching) sports, music, carpentry, working with animals, etc.. Sadly, too many parents, teachers and Rabbonim view all this as bitul zman. Here in Israel we have special Yeshivot, including some in the Haredi communities, that include extra activities that cater to a boys’ talents and interests. And of course, as they mature we have Pre Army Mechinot, Hesder Yeshivot and then Tzahal. By the way, the army (while still not perfect) is much more accommodating to Torah observant boys. The Jewish people need all kinds not just experts in shas.March 2, 2023 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm #2170709
You’re right, but the experts running Lakewood who forbade High School secular studies also don’t believe in any of those options and are now reaping the results of their myopia.March 2, 2023 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm #2170714
Being a “troubled teen” does not give you the right to wreak havoc in someone else’s private business, or to beat someone up, it is amazing how they much growing up they do when the cellmate is twice your size and you find out the consequences of mouthing off to a CO, six months in the slammer would help them grow up.March 2, 2023 2:52 pm at 2:52 pm #2170728smerelParticipant
>>>Are we going to pretend it doesn’t exist and hope it goes away or do something proactive?
Other than giving opinions what else are you volunteering to do?March 2, 2023 4:44 pm at 4:44 pm #2170764Amil ZolaParticipant
The question I have is will the Jewish owner of the business file charges against the Jewish kids who were part of the melee? Would he testify against them if the PD chooses to file charges?March 2, 2023 4:48 pm at 4:48 pm #2170777
@smerel, I am volunteering to give them a taste of their own medicine.March 2, 2023 9:43 pm at 9:43 pm #2170920Yanky1998Participant
To the admin why are you censuring my comment? In order not to hurt these animals’ feelings?March 3, 2023 12:26 am at 12:26 am #2170951#schwarbombsParticipant
Why would someone bite a dog???March 5, 2023 8:45 pm at 8:45 pm #2171337guteyidParticipant
@GadolHadofi: The ‘experts running Lakewood who forbade High School secular studies’ is actually Reb Aharon Kotler ztza”l. I’d watch my mouth if I were you.March 5, 2023 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm #2171357KuvultParticipant
My friend with experience in this area told me what he found to be successful was giving these troubled teens cassette tapes of shiurim. Listening to Divrei Chizuk from HaRav Brudny about not watching the Super Bowl or learning HaRav Avigdor Miller’s Hashkafa about the importance of not having anything to do with tNon-Frum or Non-Jewish ways often has a positive affect.March 5, 2023 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm #2171353GadolhadorahParticipant
Guteyid: There IS a problem when the schools and other mosdos in a community mindlessly pretend that all bochurim should be shteiging 24×7 and ignore the non-conforming segment of yungerliet who for various reasons don’t fit the mold. There needs to be outlets for these bochuring to channel the energy while simultaneously trying to deal with their anger and agression.March 5, 2023 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm #2171352
guteyid that is not entirely trueMarch 6, 2023 11:13 am at 11:13 am #2171546
Harav Aharon Kotler, zt”l, was niftar over half a century before High School secular studies became forbidden. He also didn’t want any restaurants in Lakewood but the “experts” don’t seem to care about that one, do they?March 6, 2023 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm #2171571
guteyid is absolutely correct. It was Rav Ahron who said to not have secular studies in Mesivta.March 6, 2023 1:22 pm at 1:22 pm #2171582
Yet, for more than fifty years after he was niftar Lakewood did have High School secular studies. Until the “experts” decided to forbid it but to continue allowing restaurants. They probably realized the now bored and even violent teens would need places to hang out and cause trouble.March 6, 2023 1:27 pm at 1:27 pm #2171593GadolhadorahParticipant
Its not just “secular” studies. Teaching American history or algebra alone would not address the underlying social and psychological problems driving this small segment of teens to engage in disruptive activity. Nor is it unique to the yeshiva velt. It requires comprehensive outreach involving the family, schools and mental health professionals working together, something lacking across society in general and not just in frum communities.March 6, 2023 5:07 pm at 5:07 pm #2171630
Everyone (except @ujm and @kuvult) is correct. Chareidim in Eretz Yisroel have long recognized this as a problem. Not every teenager is equipped to learning eight hours a day. When they get frustrated at the extremely limited options they are given, they lash out and become rebels. If Yeshivos are so insistent on this Apikorsus of forbidding any classes that aren’t Gemara and Halacha, they should at least give the boys an option to take up a vocation. Be a car mechanic, carpenter, painter, artist! Kids need an outlet!March 6, 2023 7:29 pm at 7:29 pm #2171659anonymous JewParticipant
Darchei Torah in Far Rockaway long ago recognized that a full time commitment to learning was not for every boy . Instead of forcing them to sit , bored, making believe and resenting being there, Rabbi Bender opened a trade school. They learn carpentry, plumbing electrical and other trades, while also learning part time. The boys end up being financial supporters of both their own family and Darchei Torah.March 8, 2023 10:44 am at 10:44 am #2171865hujuParticipant
To the opening poster: Please learn that the plural of violin is spelled “violins”. Very few teens can play the violin well enough to play it in public. The others should stop.March 8, 2023 1:36 pm at 1:36 pm #2171917
High school secular studies is still not forbidden in Lakewood. There isn’t a market for it. And I don’t think it’s what this issue is about.March 8, 2023 3:13 pm at 3:13 pm #2171932Avram in MDParticipant
Kuvult’s post was likely to be read dripping with sarcasm.
“Not every teenager is equipped to learning eight hours a day. When they get frustrated at the extremely limited options they are given, they lash out and become rebels… Kids need an outlet!”
So in my community there are plenty of secular studies, sports, extracurricular activities, etc. Some boys have the latest and greatest in smartphones, and plenty of outlets. Yet there is still a problem with some of the teens who lash out, become rebels, and are violent. Why is this so? It’s fun to blame whatever hashkafa we already don’t like, but I think it fails us when trying to understand the root causes.March 8, 2023 3:14 pm at 3:14 pm #2171941
Which Mesivtas in Lakewood proper still offer High School secular studies?March 8, 2023 5:10 pm at 5:10 pm #2171953
@n0mesorah That’s incorrect. There are several high schools in Lakewood that predate the “nothing but Gemara” nonsense and they are some of the only places (other than the Cheder, Slomowitz’s and one or two others) that have to turn down more bachurim than they accept.
It’s not that there isn’t a market for it, it’s just that the type of person who is starting a high school in Lakewood has a lot of pressure to “keep up with the Cohenses” in order to attract the Top Guys. And with the current trends, that means cutting out most of the important subjects teens need to learn. It has the added advantage of making the school much cheaper and simpler to run, since the staff numbers are easily 1/4 of what they should be.March 8, 2023 5:10 pm at 5:10 pm #2171958
I don’t have any idea how many do. The problem is that most parents don’t care what level education their boys get.March 8, 2023 5:10 pm at 5:10 pm #2171959
The point is that it never was banned. Even today.March 8, 2023 5:15 pm at 5:15 pm #2171972
@Avram-in-MD Fair enough. Teens at risk isn’t a phenomena restricted to certain communities with certain hashkafas. However, although many teens become at risk because of personal problems, making it an issue in every community, different hashkafas have different things that put their teens at risk and have to put out different ways of helping them. In many MO communities, teens become too enamored with the dark sides of secular society so they have organizations like NCSY to steer them on the right path. In some communities, however, they close their ears and say “La la la can’t hear you learn more Torah!” instead of addressing the 800 pound gorilla.March 8, 2023 5:15 pm at 5:15 pm #2171974amiricanyeshivishParticipant
Did you see what Nom wrote? There is no market for it. That means if someone tries to open such a Mesivta he will not get a class together, It’s the truth. A sad truth. You can’t open a Mesivta and say it’s for academically struggeling boys either. None will send. Period.March 8, 2023 5:24 pm at 5:24 pm #2171991
Not true. There are plenty of Lakewood parents who independently educate their sons in High School secular studies or send them out of town to Philly, Long Beach, Scranton, etc.
Whether it was formally banned or all the Mesivtas decided together to stop offering them is just semantics.March 9, 2023 4:24 am at 4:24 am #2172031Always_Ask_QuestionsParticipant
People often equate isolated events with widespread. As a visitor, the only widespread violence I saw in Lakewood was by parents who were either driving while on cellphone or walking their kids into the path of my car. Not to excuse that, but I did not feel threatened by teenagers contrary to some other place in US.March 9, 2023 4:26 am at 4:26 am #2172032Always_Ask_QuestionsParticipant
There are a bunch of schools, not necessarily in L but of similar derech, that introduce online classes to cover general studies. This reduces the cost and allows for clear separation between kodesh vechol.March 9, 2023 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm #2172147
@Always_Ask_Questions If they are not necessarily in Lakewood then they aren’t in Lakewood and irrelevant to our discussion. Furthermore, I find that kids in schools who offer optional studies rarely take advantage of them and most just do the bare minimum.
There is a huge failure in Yiddishkeit that we are now considering studies like math, science, and history to be bad.March 9, 2023 3:04 pm at 3:04 pm #2172206
Yeshiva kids do quite well as fabulous Yidden even without knowing American history or earth science.March 9, 2023 3:04 pm at 3:04 pm #2172203
@ AAQ, This is not about violence against you, this is about the restaurant they trashed and the owner owner they beat up, try to focus on the topic at hand.March 9, 2023 3:05 pm at 3:05 pm #2172233Zaphod BeeblebroxParticipant
Not sure why people decided that there isn’t a market for secular studies. Many lakewood parents send their kids to yeshivas without secular studies DESPITE the fact that they don’t offer it, because they are often very high level places, and places where their kids can really grow in yiddishkeit. Many such parents send their kids to GED programs outside of yeshiva. If a top yeshiva had secular studies they would still get a large crowd. A prime example of this is Yeshivas Emek Hatorah in Lakewood, also known as Rabbi Weinberger’s Yeshiva, which offers secular studies, and still has a huge crowd of top bochurim applying every year.March 9, 2023 3:05 pm at 3:05 pm #2172327Amil ZolaParticipant
Any follow up to this story? Was anyone arrested or charged?March 9, 2023 3:05 pm at 3:05 pm #2172334
Actually, there is a secular curriculum in a few Lakewood mesivtas. It was never banned or decided. One of the best yeshivos in Lakewood used to have a good English program. They stopped because the parent body didn’t care for it. It’s expensive to hire teachers. If the community isn’t pushing for it, it’s not going to really work. But to be fair, most of the volience is from kids who barely made it to their bar mitzva. A real high school diploma won’t solve anything here.March 9, 2023 4:34 pm at 4:34 pm #2172369
Weinberger’s is one of the most contested Yeshivos to get into in Lakewood. Many other Yeshivos of a similar size struggle to fill 9th grade classes. Don’t tell me there’s no market for Yeshivos that teach things other than Gemara and Halacha.
I hope these boys find the help that they so desperately need and I hope this is a wakeup call to the growing problem of teens at risk.
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