Winnipeg Jewish Review  
Site Search:
Home  |  Archives  |  Contact Us
 
Features Local Israel Next Generation Arts/Op-Eds Editorial/Letters Links Obituary/In Memoriam

Building confidence and self esteem

 
AN OBSTACLE COURSE FOR LEADERS

Sept 4, 2019

Jacob was a belligerent troublemaker from the minute he walked into his Boys Town Jerusalem seventh-grade class at the start of the school year. The reason for the wiry youngster’s behavior soon became clear: the situation at home for Jacob and his family, Ethiopian immigrants to Israel, was catastrophic. “Sadly, Jacob is one of our many students in distress,” explained BTJ Junior High School Principal Rabbi Yehudah Rosencrantz. “To give them a chance to advance, we’ve initiated a new program with a bold approach towards transforming these low-functioning students into confident, capable leaders.”

The newly-initiated Leadership Course, designated for a majority of the Ethiopian students as well as for other students in difficult home situations, takes 15 seventh and eighth graders straight to the great outdoors each week. Here, in forests surrounding Jerusalem, the youngsters are challenged by a three-level program of outdoor games, obstacle courses, and IDF-style army training to foster teamwork and personal empowerment.

Under the careful supervision of a trained instructor, the Boys Town Jerusalem students are thrust into facing unconventional situations in an unfamiliar outdoor setting. From “rope circle” balancing as a group, where one false move collapses the human circle, to survival skills and navigation, the boys are forced to invest major efforts in problem-solving and teamwork. From there, the path opens to developing communication and trust - and rising to excellence.

“No matter how weak a student may be in his social and educational life, he needs to experience success,” explains Rabbi Moshe Netanyan, the 11th grade BTJ teacher who coordinates the new program. “Working together in this challenging outdoor locale gives a boy that option, gradually helping him to open up, strengthen his character and develop his coping skills. This is what makes leadership!” According to the rabbi, placing these “special” students in a course clearly designated for leaders raised their low self-image from the start. Best, word of their great experiences circulated throughout the school, making “regular” students beg to join.

“Upcoming activities include rappelling, archery (making their own bows), and a variety of group-focused activities,” Rabbi Netanyan says. “Each demands physical, mental and emotional strength to overcome fears and go forward. I can also see that the bonds being forged between the boys are in themselves a source of healing and power.”

 
<<Previous Article       Next Article >>
Subscribe to the Winnipeg Jewish Review
  • RBC Royal Bank
  • Fillmore Riley
  • Jewish Federation of Winnipeg
  • Winter's Collision Repair
  • Gray Academy
  • Coughlin Insurance
  • Joyce Rykiss
  • CHW
  • Cantor's Meats
  • JCFS
  • Esther and Sid Halpern Shana Tovah
  • GTP
  • Jim Muir
  • Booke & Partners
  • Sobey's
  • Commercial Pool
  • CDN Visa
  • Jack & Debbie Lipkin
  • Daniel Friedman and Rob Dalgliesh
  • Rady JCC
  • The Bob Silver Family
  • Carol and Barry McArton
  • D'Arcy & Deacon LLP
  • Shinewald Family
  • Piston Ring
  • Bruce Shefrin
  • Munroe Pharmacy
  • Fair Service
  • Eddie's Gravel Supply Ltd.
  • John Bucklaschuk
  • Tyler Bucklaschuk
  • Kromar Printing
  • Daien Denture Clinic
  • Bob & Shirley Freeman
  • Protexia
  • Ixtapa Travel
  • Superlite
  • Brent Schacter Sora Ludwig
  • Dr Ted and Harriet Lyons
  • Amalgamated Drywall Systems Ltd.
  • Josef Ryan
  • Munroe Dental Centre
  • Chisick Family
  • Broadway Law Group
  • JLS Construction
  • Dakota Chiropractic Office
  • Maric Homes
  • Artista Homes
  • Southwynn Homes
  • Tradesman Mechanical
  • Imperial Soap
  • Winnipeg Drapery
  • JCFS
  • Western Scrap Metals Inc.
  • Taverna Rodos
  • Jim Gauthier
  • Capital Grill
  • CVA Systems
  • Stella's
  • Chochy's
  • Trevor Arnason Plumbing
  • Accurate Lawn & Garden
  • Dr. Gary Levine
  • Fetching Style
  • Lazar Family
  • Dr. Marshall Stitz
  • Michel and Danita Aziza and family
  • Ronald B. Zimmerman
  • Dimensions Insurance
  • HUB
  • Doheny Securities Limited
  • Orthodox Union
  • Allan Davies
  • City Sheet Metal
  • John Orlikow
  • Ross Eadie
  • Ambassador Mechanical
  • Winnipeg Prophecy Conference
  • Thorvaldson Care
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Total Lighting Sales
  • Miller's Super Valu Meats
  • Pitblado
  • Cavalier Candies
  • Erickson Motors
  • Bridges for Peace
  • Elaine and Bernie Lofchick & family
  • Cascade Financial Group
  • Sorrento's
  • Canadian Friends of Boys Town Jerusalem
  • East India Company
  • Nikos
  • Sean Fisher
  • Sarel Canada
  • Santa Lucia Pizza
  • Center for Near East Policy Research
  • Roofco Winnipeg Roofing
  • Center for Near East Policy Research
  • Nachum Bedein
Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.