Fortifying the Family Structure

Helping Israel from within: "Promoting healthy family relationships" will be the theme at a Jerusalem conference next week.

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Hillel Fendel, | updated: 17:58

Helping Israel from within: "Promoting healthy family relationships" will be the theme at a Jerusalem conference next week, with the participation of rabbis, educators and psychologists.

It will be sponsored by Kav L’Noar, an organization that provides English-speaking families living in Israel with children ages 11-18 the support services needed to address their behavioral and emotional issues. It provides mentors for children and adults plagued by painful and/or dysfunctional family and educational circumstances.

Kav L’Noar’s seventh annual conference, set for next Monday, is entitled, “Empowering Solutions for Today’s Parents.” Concentrating on Awareness, Education, and Prevention, the speakers will be Rabbi Zev Leff, Rabbi Zechariya Greenwald, and YU Professor of Education and Psychology Dr. David Pelcovitz.

The themes often emphasized at Kav L’Noar are: Acknowledging that challenges are found across the religious spectrum; identifying warning signs of at-risk behavior; combating negative influences through vigilant parenting; fostering resilience and enhancing self-esteem; accessing respected community resources for support; and working together as a community to create positive change.

Kav L’Noar was founded and is directed by Dr. Ronald Wachtel, who moved to Israel in 2002, at the height of what is sometimes known as the Second Intifada (or the Oslo War, as it followed the Oslo "Peace" Accords), directed against Israeli civilians. Many of the youths helped by Kav L’Noar still bear the scars of that war, such as a young girl who lost both her father and sister in a terrorist attack and years later was still attempting to recover from the event’s physical and emotional scars. Kav L’Noar provided her with a mentor who met with her twice weekly and spoke to her by phone the other nights; as a result, the girl’s depression lifted and she was able to re-integrate into a school, circle of friends, and later, even married life.

Dr. Wachtel worked for over 30 years as a school psychologist with adolescents in both Jewish day school and public high school settings in the United States, and directed a Career Mentoring program for high school students for over 20 years. Courses he developed to enhance high school student decision-making ability were taught in schools.

For information on the conference, click here