These days many of us believe we are PS. Post Sandy. We congratulate ourselves that we made it through these trying times. We want to put these experiences behind us and get on with our lives. But it’s not so easy—certainly not for everyone. For many of us, Sandy is still with us, and its aftereffects will likely remain with us for a long time. Some of us are not yet back in our homes. The process of returning to normal for many dislocated families will be neither short nor easy.
One segment of our society that has suffered from Sandy and its aftermath is our Jewish youth. The trauma inherent in the expectation of the storm, the storm itself, and the resultant dislocation cannot be overestimated. Those who have noted the phenomenon of posttraumatic syndrome, particularly as it has affected Israeli children and youth in the south of Israel who have experienced many rocket attacks, see similarities between the Israeli experiences and the experiences of our children in the past few weeks. Many of our youth are still struggling with the fears that overcame them along with the storm. Young people in our communities continue to feel the instability that followed the hurricane due to disruptions in school, within families, and the loss of homes and valued possessions.
TOVA Mentoring, founded 15 years ago by Richard Altabe, Dr. Blumenthal, Allan and Fran Ganz, and Neil Rosen, a’h, has been working tirelessly for years to help young people whose lives have been impacted by family crises, school problems, and other difficulties. Yehuda Klinkowitz, TOVA’s hardworking and devoted director, is committed to increasing the organization’s activities on behalf of our youth who need help in coping with the posttraumatic effects of the hurricane. In many cases, these are young people who were already in a state of crisis, which has been exacerbated by the storm. In other cases, the aftereffects of the storm have increased the number of youth who need the services of TOVA Mentoring.
In order to better serve our community and particularly the youth impacted by Hurricane Sandy, TOVA Mentoring has retained the services of Eliezer (“Zezy”) Fuld as their new director of development. Eliezer Fuld has earned an enviable reputation through his many years of service to the youth of the Far Rockaway and Five Towns communities. He has spent many summers at Simcha Day Camp in several capacities including rebbe and as a popular and creative division head. During those summers he became one of the top fundraisers for Chai Lifeline for their summer campaigns.
Fuld has experience working with teenagers both as a teacher in Mesivta Ateres Yaakov and as a mentor in Madraigos. For several years, he also served as a mentor for developmentally disabled young adults in Brooklyn, as well as fundraiser for that program. He is presently the youth director at the White Shul in Far Rockaway, a program that has grown and flourished under his direction. He resides in Far Rockaway with his wife, Chana, and children, Michoel Yehuda and Liba Tova.
For more information concerning TOVA Mentoring’s programs, activities, and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Eliezer “Zezy” Fuld at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 516-295-0550.