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.

Issue 205 - More Than Four Questions
Exploring Klal Yisroel's 'Family Dynamics'
by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz
Publication: Mishpacha Magazine

  Rated by 5 users   |   Viewed 15859 times since 4/15/08   |   4 Comments
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size    [ Change Font Size ] Email This Article to a Friend

As Jewish families around the world celebrate the Yom Tov of Pesach, most of us spend time with relatives that we do not see much all year long. Often, that requires us to develop an enhanced level of tolerance as we are in close quarters with siblings and cousins that may not share our personalities, hashkafos and world views.

Stepping back a bit, I thought it might be a good exercise to explore the broader dynamics of our “family relations” as far as Klal Yisroel is concerned, particularly how we interact with and project our image to our non-frum (or as my friends in kiruv say, not-yet-frum) brothers and sisters.

As asking questions is the order of the day in our Pesach Seder, I thought it best to simply pose some questions, and let you, the reader, think about the answers. I hope that you find these questions thought provoking.

Best wishes for a Chag Kosher V’samayach

Yakov Horowitz
1. Most secular Jews worldwide personally interact with charedim …
a. often
b. not very often
c. hardly ever if at all

2. When secular Jews worldwide see charedim in the media, they usually see …
a. the finest charedim
b. average charedim
c. people who are less than flattering; those who do not represent the majority of charedim

3. Secular Jewish newspapers, such as The Jewish Week in America and Ha’aretz in Eretz Yisrael – and to some degree, media overall:
a. are very biased against charedim
b. are slightly biased against charedim
c. just report the news. It is the nature of the media to focus on negative news.

4. Assuming that the media is portraying charedim in a negative light, this …
a. has little effect on our children as they don’t partake in secular media
b. has some effect on our children
c. does adversely affect some or many of our children

5. The entire matter of our public image/public relations is
a. not very important in the scheme of things
b. somewhat important
c. should be a significant one for members of our community

6. Assuming that the media is portraying charedim in a negative light …
a. it is hopeless to try and improve things, as their bias is too ingrained to ever change
b. we might make some headway, but things are unlikely to change
c. things can always improve, and we ought to be seriously thinking about what we can do to make that happen

7. Charedim who live in insular communities – where the vast majority of the other residents are charedi, are …
a. more likely to portray a positive image of a Torah lifestyle than are charedim who live in more integrated communities
b. less likely to portray a positive image of a Torah lifestyle than are charedim who live in more integrated communities
c. makes no difference

8. Boisterous protests in response to violations of halacha or injustices to the charedi community …
a. re effective ways to convey our feelings when our Torah values are challenged
b. are partially effective in conveying our feelings
c. often distort the Torah values that the protesters are championing

9. The ‘average’ secular Jew thinks that the ‘average’ charedi is …
a. a deeply spiritual person, one who is to be admired for living with a profound moral compass
b. a person just like him/her, just with different religious standards.
c. a judgmental person who looks down on those who don’t share his/her religious standards.

10. Reading this questionnaire makes me …
a. committed to reflecting about what I can do to improve relations with all Jews
b. frustrated at how misunderstood our charedi society is by the secular media
c. not quite sure how to sort things out

11. Rabbi Horowitz, you …
a. deserve a great deal of credit for addressing matters that need to be discussed
b. make me uncomfortable by raising the topics you do in your columns
c. should apply for a job at The Jewish Week or Ha’aretz

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 5 users    (4 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