My short answer, “not much”, appears coy. I describe Areivim as being the most exciting, boring, place that there is. Here’s why:
For many teens, a controlled environment can hurt their long term success. Keeping teenagers entertained and teaching them skills are important but the effect is muted when it’s experienced in a vacuum. In most residence environments, the teacher, chaperone, and group of teenagers are in a controlled environment. What happens if they come late, act rudely, or fail what is expected of them? Whether their actions are ignored or responded to, the teenagers know that their actions don’t really matter. Whatever takes place stays right there in the controlled group. Their lives don’t matter to others and they are acutely aware of that. Areivim is different. Here, anyone can go to the mall on Sunday. Here, anyone can make a major purchase. But they have to take responsibility for their actions. They pay for their decisions from their salaries and by planning out how they will return in time to wake up in time to go to work. Some succeed, others fail. But they have no one to hide behind and blaming others won't help them much. They have either earned enough “points” with their boss or they haven’t. They are experiencing life in its fullest. This approach isn’t for everyone but it is appropriate for a much larger percentage of teenagers than people might imagine. This approach isn't for everyone but it is appropriate for a much larger percentage of teenagers than people might imagine.
An Areivim residence, as well as our counseling philosophy, mimics real life as much as possible. Residents live in their own houses, make shopping lists, prepare food, and arrange rides (which we generally help them with if they remind us - but not the other way around).
When you support Areivim, you are choosing to support a program that places teenagers in the real world with a calculated safety net, not an organization which protects teenagers from life. We teach them how to live life, not how to avoid it.
Partnering with Areivim will save our children and, more importantly, our future generations. I'm asking my friends to please click on the banner below, or call the office at 845-371-2760, and partner with us. Our dinner will be held Motzei Shabbos, December 1st, at Ateres Charna.