Although my family was not one of the first to move into the Marine Park neighborhood, we did purchase our home about 12 years ago and feel as though we’ve been here since the beginning stages of this neighborhood’s development. It’s amazing to see how we grew from that point to the present. The area now boasts 17 shuls, several schools, and many Jewish businesses. In fact, the frum community has grown to over 1300 at this point. Families whom I met in those days with toddlers now have 6-foot teenagers who dwarf their fathers. Girls who were babies are now ready to start the next chapter in their lives by dating. It’s very exciting, but at the same time requires direction. The JCC has tried to keep up with the community’s needs by expanding its programs and services, opening youth programs for girls , social services initiatives, educational speakers, and many other projects.
As parents we often feel like we need a guidebook for bringing up our children. Looking to our parents is always good, but the challenges we face often require an updated skill set from professionals. I don’t have to tell you about the pressures of our children wanting their own smart devices, social media accounts, and even their own cars. To this end the JCC and MASK will be sponsoring an evening with Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz to address this issue of “raising teenagers in these times.” I hope this will shed some light for us parents wanting to be in the know and update our “guidebooks” to raise our growing children in the best way possible.