Thursday, August 09, 2007

Catskills Part 3: Kosher Entertainment?

I will be one of the first people to agree that there is a problem in the Catskills. I've been there. I was there 10 years ago when there were signs all over "banning" Woodbourne. I spent two summers working there after high school, and I have witnessed the 'activities' at the bowling alleys, pizza shops, etc. (I'm sorry i can't vouch for the "horrors" at the clubs and pool halls). Even Wal-Mart is quite the scene!

Please tell me how this helps
"...efforts are being made by askonim and organizations under the direct guidance of Hagoan Rav Dovid Feinstein Shlita to provide safe-kosher-and enjoyable entertainment for our kids on Motzei Shabbos in the Catskills. These events provide alternatives to the horrors of the streets. Sponsors are needed as these costs rise and if anyone is interested in becoming a sponsor contact"
Hey all you "at risk" teens, come watch the Jewish clown make balloon animals!! How about a nice all male puppet show?? I'm sure that's much more entertaining than your Motzei Shabbos plans. Yes, maybe their point is that the younger kids should be exposed to kosher entertainment, but that doesn't solve the current issue.

"Note: Entertainment has been scheduled for this Motzei Shabbos, but due to the request of the Askonim and Gedolim - the location cannot be mentioned here."

Oh okay, so meanwhile I think i'll go shoot some pool in a suspiciously smoky back room somewhere.... just until you let me know where this enthralling party is being held.


  1. Wow, it's the same thing all over again.
    Let a problem fester for *years,* finally admit to it when it's beyond blatant, and then "solve" it in an ineffectual manner that causes the problem to develop further.
    IOW, "the country" has been sketch-city for years. Only now is something (besides banning a town) being done about it. What's being done? Providing a "fun, frum outlet."
    Yeah, mmmhmm.
    I'm sure all those teenagers hanging out with their girl/boyfriends in a bowling alley are really going to have their needs filled by having what they deem to be fun banned, and being sent somewhere sans bf/gf with a yeshivish guy playing the keyboard, being fed ziti, and hearing a speech about the dangers of the outside world (That's my optimistic view of the replacement.)
    Such solutions, those that don't address the root of the problem, only make the issue worse.
    Instead of hanging out in the Monticello Walmart or Pizza Store, they're going to have their fun at a party in the bungalow of someone's parents who are out of town. (No, I'm not fooling myself, I know it happens already) Ah, no one can see it anymore- we must have done our job properly...

    p.s. Stam- happy? :p

  2. pleats, you're awesome!

    And yes i'm happy. ezzie's readership doesn't like to comment on any of my posts ;)

  3. While I'm curious as to the nature of their alternatives, I agree with you and Pleats as to the basic premise: Kids simply aren't going to go unless it's really up their alley, which there's almost no way it could be. It's mind-boggling that they're basically doing exactly the opposite of what R' Horowitz said yesterday, which was to avoid trying to 'ban', which forces them to find even worse alternatives; if the "kosher" activities take over the typical places, then the ones who want to have a little more fun will have to find other venues - which will undoubtedly be 'worse'.

  4. Pleats got it right on the money. I'd leave a comment, but she said it all, and better than I could have. :)

  5. Although im HUGE fan of Rav Horowitz, last night after reading the article he wrote,I mentioned to ezzie- how is this going to solve anything- girls who are there want to hang out with guys and vis- versa. Thats why I believe things like ncsy (although really made for jewish public school kids to hang out with other Jewish kids), it is still a great venue for these kids. They are hanging out- under adult supervision and still being exposed to Jewish oriented events. Thats why my mom got so upset when the pizza store in our community didn't let sit down on Saturday nights, my mom would say "ok,so now the kids will go to someones unsupervised basement and do who knows what, at least when they were in the pizza store they were supervised". If the Jewish community really wants to solve the problem, they got pick their battles, put aside their "shtuot" and mindset about boys and girls together, and take it one step at a time- get over the non- co-ed events, because it wont work, you gotta start with adult- supervised, Jewish oriented events and hangouts, that are- co-ed and for everyone. Then slowly and eventually, they can ween off to the separate events, but if they start of to harsh they will lose the teens in the midst and the teens will be uninterested because its not a co-ed event and they will never come back- start off co-ed, and get them to come back every week- I promise you they will come back, even when eventually it is separate- believe me, it will work- been there done that!

  6. I stand corrected, Ser said more. :)

  7. If the root of the problem is teenage-ness itself, devising the solution will require significant input from teens to the organizers---done in such a way that these teens won't get burned. They have to feel that the solution is largely of their own doing.

  8. anon- I disagree with you about the teens wanting it to be largely of their own doing- they want to know that adults care and want to help- part of why they are doing what they are doing is a cry for attention and a seeking for help. They want to see that the adult Jewish community gives a darn, otherwise why not continue doing what they are doing if they wont be getting the (positive) approval from the adults then why not get some negative approval/attention and rebel. the adults need to take action and show the teens we do give a darn- a big huge darn!

  9. What ser said. Everyone wants to feel validated. After validation, people are much more open to accepting the ideas of other's, even if they differ from their own.

  10. Of course the adults have to pitch in to actually make it happen, but we can't have a completely top-down approach (You WILL do this and you WILL like it). The teens have to buy in willingly, unless they're to be forced at gunpoint.

  11. It's not necessarily that we (at least I) don't like to comment on your posts; it's that I have no frame of reference. I haven't the faintest clue what goes on in the Catskills, as I don't live there.

  12. C,

    That's because you grew up in that bastion of normal behavior known as the mid-west. We know not of these types of events. Why in my day we all we had was pizza and blockbuster...AND WE LIKED IT!!

  13. Did someone say ziti?!

  14. I still only have pizza and blockbuster (now Netflix) and I like it! ;-)

    What can I say, old school charm.

  15. G- did you say BLOCKBUSTER- thats an issur d'orisa- worse than kosher subway- you shanada.. you are going to hell you and your midwestern friends!

  16. This is absolute madness. I believe the old wrong tree is quite weary of being barked up. We need an all front war here. We need prevention in Yeshivos and homes so teens will feel more excited about their Judaism and their lives in general, we need emergency attention to addicts and sexually promiscuous behavior and consequences, and for the middle of the road rebels we NEED HANGOUTS! We need to know where most of them are, especially the lightweight rebels. The hardcore rebels will find a pool hall or private home in which to get high and do other things. We need to let the others be when they are at the pizza stores, let them sit there without an adult (attention, Monsey with possibly the biggest per capita rebel subclass in the tristate area). NCSY should have some kind of sub group for inreach. The key would be not to mix it with the outreach groups because, as a former advisor, the frum rebel kids can be a real detriment to the non frum kids just starting the learning process.
    Where's that teen newspaper that Chana or someone will start?

  17. G->You raaaang.

    did you say BLOCKBUSTER->I did

    thats an issur d'orisa->whaaaaaaaaa? ah well, add it to the list

    worse than kosher subway->I knew that Jarod guy was trouble, I hope he gains all the weight back.

    you shanada->I do believe that's the frist time I've been called that (can one "be" a shanda? i always thought something "was" a shanda. i think these are first uses of shanda in my entire life...shanda

    .. you are going to hell->Yeah, really going out on a limb there, i've got season tickets in Hades!

    you and your midwestern friends!->Hah!! If you only knew, if you only knew...

  18. THESE kids are essentially like they I was: Not really religious but due to parental & familial environment live in the orthodox world. Leave the kids alone. They will grow up to be responsible parents, teachers, accouttants, laborers & business people. They will pay tuition and shul dues. Someday their generation will rule the population just as mine does now

  19. Much of the at-risk problem is that those charged with solving the problem are its cause in the first place.

  20. hahaha sssssss i was cracking up at this post!!! the mts is seriously a scandalous place!