Sunday, October 14, 2012

Teaching teenagers derech eretz in shul

NYTimes   ALIA RAMER, a mother of three from Maplewood, N.J., first noticed the problem when her daughter was just reaching adolescence, the age when many Jewish children celebrate their bar and bat mitzvahs

Parents were dropping their children off at the synagogue, and the kids, unchaperoned, were treating the joint like the mall. Girls were hanging out in the bathroom, sitting on the countertops and texting their friends, while boys were playing tag football in the social hall and sneaking brownies from under the plastic wrap.

These days, the tables have been turned. Jewish communities around the country, horrified by the appalling lack of manners their children display at bar and bat mitzvahs, are increasingly turning to more-formalized training efforts.

At the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway, a Modern Orthodox day school in Lawrence, N.Y., the school holds weekly academic classes to prepare boys and girls to become bar and bat mitzvah scholars.

But administrators added a separate, in-school program to rehearse the proper etiquette guests should display at these events. The highlight is a mock service in which teachers coach students on how to sit quietly during prayers and listen attentively to remarks made by the rabbi, parents and grandparents. Members of the school staff even make telephone calls to students’ cellphones to prepare them for that eventuality. 


  1. If our frum shuls would stop using our shuls as babysitting service. If the kid can't daven from A to Z he (or she) does NOT belong in or around shul.

    1. I'm not into the babysitting/youth groups either, but that has nothing to do with this story.

  2. Well this is really a great cause a great step towards he upliftment of the society, appreciate this one.


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