What We Do
Physical & Recreational
A. Physical Welfare
Dinner - We provide freshly cooked, nutritious, hot supper every night. The teenagers sit around a table and eat a meal with hot soup, family-style. Due to various family situations, many of our members do no have this at home.
Protection from Violence - As an alternative to "hanging out" on the street or in other unsupervised environments, Our Place is a safe environment. We take care to make sure that teens who may pose a danger to others are not admitted. At the first sign of any violence our staff intervenes.
Hotline - The crisis that unfortunately occur don't keep regular hours. We maintain a 24-hour hotline where a staff member can be reached at any time. These crises include arrests, drug overdoses and other problems.
Smoking Room - Smoking is permitted only in our specially ventilated smoking room. While we accept that many of our members have not yet quit this habit, this contains the second-hand smoke and keeps the environment clean and healthy at Our Place.
B. Recreational Activities
Trips - An important part of our program, our trips are positive activities that are opportunities for growth. We highly subsidize the trips, and when possible they are free of charge.
- Israel Trip: Our hugely successful Israel trip is an opportunity for our teens to connect with the land of Israel, and through that be challenged to grow spiritually. They also became acquainted with the excellent programs and schools that our members often go on to attend. Our goal is to raise sufficient funds to make the Israel trip an annual trip.
- Shabbatonim - Shabboatonim are an opportunity to form bonds with staff and each other and to experience Judaism in a positive way.
- Trips - Trips are planned monthly, some for the general membership, and some for our Learning Program. These include skiing in Vermont, fishing on a chartered boat, paintball, etc. Like the above, these are positive way to have fun and grow.
Gym: Our Place has a modern stocked gym with free-weights, exercise machines, punching bags, etc. A personal trainer gives instruction. This is an important outlet and a way to get exercise.
Pool/Ping-Pong: Several pool tables and ping-pong tables. There is an organized tournament once a week, with a prize awarded to the winner.
Music Room/Lessons: A sound-proof room equipped with a drum set, guitars and recording equipment. Our staff includes professional musicians who provide drum and guitar lessons. Many of our teens have developed or discovered a talent for music. As an outlet, we have found playing music to be highly therapeutic.
Entertainment Center: A large screen TV for watching sporting events and an arcade system draw teens into Our Place and is one of the ways members can relax in a home-like atmosphere.
Film Making: A recent addition to our recreational programs, this is a project to learn about film making through creating documentary films.
Counseling: Many of our teens have drug and alcohol problems, and others are at risk for substance abuse. Drug/Alcohol abuse counseling and preventive counseling is provided by a licensed therapist.
One on One Volunteers: In our "Big Brother" program, under the supervision of a certified social worker, volunteers take on a teen and devote and hour a week developing relationships, and being a role model and friend to one of our teenagers.
Placement: Our Place is often instrumental in placing our teenagers in Yeshivas, vocational programs, and where appropriate, jobs. We have a professional job placement counselor on staff.
Learning Program: This successful program brings members to a nearby synagouges for a weekly learning program. The learning is done in a non-judgemental, positive, open atmosphere where participants can have their questions discussed, increase their knowledge, or just incorporate a bit of spirituality into their lives. For many of our members, this is a profoundly eye-opening experience, as they have never experienced learning of this sort despite traditional backgrounds. After learning, the group goes to a restaurant for dinner, sponsored by Our Place. As an incentive, there are periodic trip for participants.
Informal Learning: Apart from the learning program, a volunteer learns with teens at Our Place. We have a small library of English Judaic including books on self-help topics.
Thursday Night "Chill": Thursday nights, hot chulent is served.