Solving Big Issues

Rabbi Doniel Frank, Executive Director | HaRav Shmuel Kamenetsky, Rabbinic Advisor [Click HERE to access the full length article articulating the goals and programs of M.A.P. Seminars, Inc.] Broken engagements and early divorces are the most recent of a list of social challenges facing our community. Less obvious, but also troubling, however, are that many marriages are simply low on vitality, passion, and growth. Stress and pressure are among the factors that prevent families from experiencing close relationships and that can stymie happiness, in general. M.A.P.S. believes that we are merely witnessing the predictable consequences of fundamental problems. To properly address theses crises, a comprehensive plan that identifies and addresses those underlying causes must be developed and implemented early on in our culture and educational system. At the core of the crisis is a generation of boys and girls developing with poorly formed identities, lacking true self- and other-awareness, drive, and basic life skills. Our children are reaching chronological adulthood without the maturity and knowledge to deal with that new stage in life. As a community, we witness some of the most obvious symptoms and consider them normal. For instance, many young men and women decide to date simply because they have reached a certain age or stage (e.g. return from Israel), without feeling the need to have or express any coherent ideas as to who they are and where they are going. Without challenging them, we unwittingly allow these young adults to bring complacency and uncertainty with them to the chupah, rather than skills and purpose… and the consequences are evident. M.A.P.S. believes that the critical key to solving this particular crisis is not through “last minute” premarital classes. Rather, the solution necessitates a systemic approach, as offered by M.A.P.S., that incorporates the five core life skills into the yeshiva culture well before dating becomes a consideration. M.A.P.S. is confident that young men and women who will have graduated from our programs and shown proficiency in the core life skills we teach, will develop a healthy self concept and achieve clarity of purpose. They will be better armed to avoid destructive behavior patterns and able to confidently assert their readiness for dating, marriage, careers and life.

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