Q: What is AISHEL?
A: Aishel is an organization composed of a group of local Mechanchim and community Askonim who recognize that good kids from fine homes sometimes face difficult choices. Aishel has been helping these kids for the past 21 years.
We also proactively address the challenges that can potentially put young people at risk.
Q: What is AISHEL’s objective?
A: Aishel’s objective is quite simple: PREVENTION.
In today’s environment, teens sometimes face difficult choices. Some obvious, some treacherously deceptive. Our goal is to intervene before little problems become big problems – before a teen gets too close to the edge.
Q: What services does AISHEL offer?
A: Aishel provides services that meet the needs of teen-agers from the Toronto’s (GTA) Orthodox Jewish community who are exhibiting signs of going off the derech.
One of Aishel’s core services is a “Drop-in Center”. The CENTER provides a warm and safe environment for the teens to express themselves without the fear of judgment or shame. The center also enables the teens to come and relax with a game of pool or just for some warm food and a caring word.
Additionally, our programs also include; parent mentoring, school placement assistance, referrals to mental health professionals and career counseling.
Q: If you could offer only one piece of practical advice for parents of teens and pre-teens, what would it be?
A: Have an open relationship with your child. It is probably the most important step you can take. You want to create an atmosphere in which your child is comfortable sharing his/her thoughts and issues with you. Then, as problems surface, you have an open line of communication.
Q: How do you establish an open relationship, particularly in the early years?
A: There are many contributing factors to a trusting and open relationship — the home atmosphere, your interactions with your spouse and children, and, of course, love. But love is not enough. You must try to communicate in a way that acknowledges what your child is experiencing. Don’t minimize your child’s problems; instead, try to make them feel understood.
Q: And when things start to get out of control with my teen…?
A: Aishel is here for you when the need arises, and of course, in a most discreet manner.
Q: How should I react if my teen begins to show signs that keeping Mitzvos is burdensome?
A: Unfortunately, you can only insulate so far. The world out there is not only incredibly attractive, but also more accessible than ever. Try to find an opportunity to talk about it. Children will share a lot with you, if you encourage them to talk.
Discuss your values and the way Hashem wants us to view life.
Q: Any final thoughts to share?
A: Raising children, with all its inherent blessings and burdens, can be confusing and perplexing.
Being a parent today takes almost superhuman strength and almost requires divine intervention. We can only hope and pray that the Ribono Shel Olam looks favourably on our youth.
Q: How can I donate to this worthy cause?
Thank you for asking!!
Click here and make a donation on our secure Donate Page.