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Remember the kids at risk crisis

I saved this advertisement from a 1999 Jewish Press during the height of the kids at risk crisis. The kids at risk crisis was what frum Jews talked about before the shidduch crisis- although not as much because it was before the blog era.


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  • wait, i missed out on getting high at shule on simchat torah? sheesh living up here in canada bites the big one sometimes. was this really a problem back then?

  • It still is a problem especially on purim.

  • Hadassha check out this post about being a yeshiva rebel of the 90s


  • A23

    From the kvetching I hear from rabbis, it seems like the At Risk Crisis is just hitting its peak.

  • I just want some potato kugel. 🙂

  • noch a loser

    yup. all I have to say is http://www.priority-1.org

  • Is that a dubie in the picture? Looks more like a cigar.

  • chanief

    And to think, in all my shul going years no one ever passed me a joint on Simchas Torah. Part of me thinks there’s no problem with kids smoking up on Simchas Torah or Purim – if it’s ok for them to drink, who cares if they enjoy a little herbal cigarette?

    s(b.) want some chips with that potato kugel?

  • boulder is better
  • gennaro

    I’m not understanding. Aren’t kids more at risk these days???

  • urban gypsy

    The headline is so funny that I dissolved into giggles and couldn’t take the rest of the poster seriously at all!

    Though I understand what the word means, what are they referring to by “vinishmartem”?

  • Here in Willy all problems are kept so secretive. A poster like this would never appear in public.

  • Nah the kids at risk thing is still around- its just not as interesting for people to talk about as the Shidduch Crisis- which seems to be the big deal now, but if what they say about the shidduch crisis is true- it has been going on for the last 20 years or so, they just never had blogs and magazines to complain about it.

    At least with the kids at risk thing there are solutions offered- the shidduch crisis will be ongoing- because people love to complain.

  • Q

    Is it a little ironic that the ad is sponsored by Kedem? What about all the kids getting drunk on Matuk Rouge?

  • Texgator

    It’s not just ironic, I think it’s very telling. Kedem is worried that drugs and hard liquor will replace kosher wine on Simchas Torah.

  • Chief, you’ve got mail from Sarah B.

    Chanief, chips? Are you from Mass.? No, thank you. Just a little hot and brown for me in the cool A/C, thanks. 🙂

  • ChanieF I am also of the crowd that thinks pot is better then cigs. Legalization of pot, shrooms, peyote, etc… all the natural stuff- that doesn’t kill ya.

  • heimish in bp

    I love my fellow Libertarians

  • Shevers

    Did anyone here have to take D.A.R.E. and health classes?

    The issue with getting high and drinking simultaneously is marijuana is a nauseau supressent. So you could potentially get alcohol poisoning because your body won’t necessarily eject the alcohol from your body if there is too much in you.

    Hope that made sense. I can see that as an issue no?

  • Meira

    That explains a few bad nights back in college…

  • Shevers

    Yeah health ed was fun. Scarred me for life.

  • It never got bad enough for condom distribution in schools, although my yeshiva had periodic drug tests.

  • Q- Just imagining how much Matuk you’d have to drink gets me sick.

  • TL

    Yeah, those were the good old days. When there were all sorts of articles and letters in the Jewish Press and Hamodia about Teens at Risk. Saying that we were doing all sorts of stuff.

    My grandmother even caught on to it. She’s like ” I know why you are going to the Pizza shops, to hang out and meet all the bums”.

    Bums-that’s what they called all the at risk people who hung out on Ocean Parkway.

  • Its funny how they used to close the pizza stores to hanging out on sat night- which meant that they would have open houses instead.

  • Q

    Nemo, for some reason my father only uses Matuk Rouge for Kiddush. It’s basically fortified grape juice. I suppose that his taste was formed when he was a boy– he grew up drinking Schapiro’s (“the wine you can cut with a knife”).

  • Anonymous

    That was too funny!
    Simchas Torah: My anti-drug

  • Boosha

    I kept that ad in a cigar box until 2001 when I REALLY got into drugs and not just Simchas Torah. I found it one day and used it as the backdrop to my big Grateful Dead cassette box.
    The doob looks like a turd.
    Good find, Hesh

  • Haha thats hilarious dude- thanks for that little story.

  • Yochanan

    Just legalize it. Of course, make sure you light from an already lit flame. The idea of weed as a “gateway drug” has been disproved time and time again.

  • does weed really enhance the religious experience as i have been given to understand?

  • Hadassah I was never really much of a drug guy- IE I never even smoked a cig in my life.

  • boosha, lol. That’s great. We probably have shared a show or two in common, over the years (Phil’s coming to Jones Beach on Sunday, 7/12 — FS gathering beforehand, perhaps?

  • Hadassah, it’s an appetite stimulant; if you get your spiritual cookies from eating, then, yes, you’ll “start saving up in the bank of heaven,” so to speak. As far as religious enhancement goes, there are other things I could think of that might do that, but I will not discuss them on the internet.

    Having tried a natural thing or two in the mid-’90s, I will say that the best spiritual stuff comes from inside you, bottom line. Some people use drugs to kick internal doors open, but the spiritual thing, that was inside the whole time.

    That said, there is more than one way to open a door, and drugs are not required in order to have or understand the spiritual experience (duh, and imo).

  • I wanna see Phil

  • gennaro

    I think the shidduch crisis is directly related to the kids at risk crisis of the 90s. Think about it all those kids are “in the parsha” right now. And who in their right mind wants to marry an ex-atrisker?
    They should make a dating site for the “90s at riskos”. Maybe even a shabbaton or a singles event disguised as a shiur or hiking trip.

  • Interesting idea- I always wanted to do a TV show- where are they now? for all the cool yeshiva rebels of the 90s. I already know where they all are- most of them frummed out and live in Israel- the others work in mortgages and construction.

  • gennaro

    The question is, how many are married? And how many are single nebach cases. To do a good documentary you would need old footage of woodbourne, chaim berlin, playboy billiards, ocean parkway, maybe even some dorm room footage of the at risk yeshivas. I doubt any good stuff exists out there.

  • I remember when I was in Rochester some kid went around interviewing everyone, that was probably around 97 or 98 and I have no idea what happened with the video.

  • jennthejewess

    Hey as one of the “on the fringe yeshiva rebels” I know where some of them are now as I seem them around…its so funny to see them…many are married and living normal lives….

    Btw some ppl say the at risk crisis adds to the shidduch crisis since there are already less boys add too that all the ones who are now irreligious as a result of being at risk or watever….
    I have to go find the email where i wrote my hypothesis on kids at risk and post it…

  • jennthejewess

    I think that by the jewish observer putting out that issue and the agudah and all the schools making this huge deal about “kids at risk” it actually exacerbated the problem. I think that the whole situation was blown soooo out of proportion. Every generation has its share of rebellious teenagers (not to mention every religion and culture has it to- we are not unique in this aspect). The fact that there was this huge push to “cleanse” the schools of anyone who MIGHT (anyone showing any signs that could be construed as “rebellious”) be a KAR or infleunce someone else to “go of the derech” (as they love to put it) really ended up having the schools kick out students who really should have stayed in the school and would have prob grown out of this “phase”. Phase is actually a very strong word most were prob just doing normal things like english music etc. Suddenly someone who was just “finding himself” was a KAR, destined to sin and fall of the path of the just and wind up a homeless drug addict. Kicking these students out as we all know likely led to them becoming an actual KAR (whatever that means).

    Also i think that by publicizing it – it became “cool” so more ppl wanted to experiment…

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  • Anonymous

    LOL, remember when if your kid wore jeans/short skirts, or spoke to girls/guys that meant they were AT RISK and all hell was gonna break loose… good times.