Please enable JavaScript in your browser to experience all the custom features of our site.

Mr. Harry Skydell, Chairman
Mr. Mark Karasick, Vice Chairman
Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, Director
Rabbi Avrohom M. Gluck, Director of Operations
The first 1000 members will have a chance to win a
16 GB
with Rabbi Horowitz audio

Membership Benefits:

  • Save articles to your favorites folder.
  • Save and print selected articles in a PDF journal.
  • Receive emails containing the latest comments on your favorite articles.
  • Mark articles as "READ".
  • More member features coming soon...

Raffle Rules:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. To enter, complete the signup form and join as a member. Incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries shall become the property of CJFL. CJFL is not responsible for lost, misdirected or delayed entries.

The contest is open to the general public. Members need to be at least 18 years old. Identification must be produced on request. Employees of CJFL, its raffle sponsor, advertising and promotional agencies and their respective affiliates and associates and such employees' immediate family members and persons with whom such employees are domiciled are excluded from this raffle. ALL PREVIOUSLY REGISTERED MEMBERS WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY ENTERED INTO THIS RAFFLE. The prize is not redeemable in cash and must be accepted as awarded. Decisions of the raffle judges are final - no substitutions will be available. By claiming the prize, the winner authorizes the use, without additional compensation of his or her name and/or likeness (first initial and last name) and municipality of residence for promotion and/or advertising purposes in any manner and in any medium (including without limitation, radio broadcasts, newspapers and other publications and in television or film releases, slides, videotape, distribution over the internet and picture date storage) which CJFL may deem appropriate. In accepting the prize, the winner, acknowledges that CJFL may not be held liable for any loss, damages or injury associated with accepting or using this prize. CJFL retains the rights, in its absolute and sole discretion, to make substitutions of equivalent kind or approximate value in the event of the unavailability of any prize or component of the prize for any reason whatsoever. This contest is subject to all federal, provincial and municipal laws. CJFL reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this raffle at any time without prior notice. One entry per person.

Purim, and The Search for Yossi - Part 2 -- Published 3/03 -- "A
by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

  Rated by 3 users   |   Viewed 16337 times since 9/11/06   |   2 Comments
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size    [ Change Font Size ] Email This Article to a Friend

Last week, I asked several rhetorical questions:
"Where is Yossi Califano?"
"Where is the Jewish leader who will step forward, call a spade a spade and address this issue?"
"Who will break through the denial and apathy and stop this insanity of the exponential growth of smoking and drinking among our dear children?"

The first steps necessary to address any issue are honest reflection and brutal candor. Let us ask ourselves some honest questions:

  • Are we comfortable with the level of drinking and smoking among our teenagers?
  • What is, in fact, the level of drinking and smoking among our teens?
  • What are the costs of teen drinking and smoking to our children and families in terms of addiction, heath-related illnesses, and the dramatically increased risk of co-dependency?
  • Are these issues on the radar of our collective consciousness?
  • Are we willing to address these issues and do whatever it takes to improve them?


    Several weeks ago, I noted in this space that the opinion of the vast majority of kids with whom I spoke was that their parents are 'clueless' as to the extent of the magnitude of teen drinking and smoking.

    In the spirit of Purim, please allow me to share with you a true story that happened to me several weeks ago. I was approached by a group of teenagers who wanted to discuss these columns and the impact they may have on their lives. They were very respectful, but quite upset. They were concerned that their parents would get 'bent out of shape' and 'crack down' on them after reading my observations about teen drinking and smoking. They also felt that their parents may not allow them to go to Eretz Yisroel as a result of what I had written.

    I asked them to share with me the particular segments of my columns that upset them. One of them asked me, "How can you write that 20-50% of teens are smoking?"
    I smiled and asked him if he agreed with my assessment. He told me that he thinks the number is higher than 50%, but he shared with me several reasons why he felt it was a 'bad idea' to publicize this information.

    Then, one of his friends, a charming 17-year old delivered an off-the-cuff one-liner that spoke volumes. He told his friend, "What are you so worried about? None of our parents will do anything; each of the parents who read that article will think that their son is from the other 50% [who are not smoking]!!

    Your honor, I rest my case.

    Best wishes for a safe and meaningful Purim.

    © 2007 Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, all rights reserved

    To sign up for Rabbi Horowitz’s weekly emails, please click here.

  • Reader's Comments:      Rating & Comments Policy      Rate & Write a Comment!
     Average Rating:              Rated by 3 users    (2 comments)
    Subscribe to this Article
    (by subscribing you will receive email notification
    when new comments are posted)
    There are no comments yet. Click above to write the first comment.
    Dear Readers:

    Please visit our Parenting Resource listing to learn about agencies and services that you can make use of. If you know of an agency that can be of assistance to others, kindly drop an email to our site administrator at and pass along the information to him.

    I ask that you please consider supporting the work we are doing to improve the lives of our children. Click on these links to learn more about our teen and parent mentoring program that serves hundreds of teens and their families, or our KESHER program, now in 20 schools in 4 states. Your financial support can allow us to expand these services and help more children.

    If you believe in the governing principles of this website – to help effect positive change through the candid discussions of the real issues we collectively face, please consider becoming a daily, weekly or monthly sponsor of this website and help defray the costs of it’s maintenance.

    Working with Families and Educators on Behalf of our Children

    This site is managed by The Center for Jewish Family Life, Inc., 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952
    Project Y.E.S. was founded by Agudath Israel of America
    The Center for Jewish Family Life/Project YES - 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952 (845) 352-7100 ext. 114 Fax: (845) 352-9593