Tekumah is an umbrella organization
with many different programs.
Our focus is on providing one-on-one counseling to help teens deal with their deepest concerns. Often, troubled teens have experienced trauma or come from broken homes which leads to further instability. In addition, there are many situations they feel uncomfortable discussing with their parents or relatives. We step in and prevent a situation from getting any worse. By delving into the root of the cause we are able to help teens, boys and girls, emerge from their pain and rebuild.
Our staff not only provide professional help. Rather, they act as mentors and develop personal relationships with each teen. Our goal is to give personalized attention so teens come to recognize how much value they have and how important they are. Issues which require further help are dealt with on a larger scale. We take whatever steps necessary to help each teen regain stability, in order to lead productive lives.
When applicable, we act as a bridge with the teen’s parents and update them with the progress of their child or if necessary to guide to seek further help. Many times teens are not connected with their parents for a period of time and the parents assume an organization is helping their child (although they’re still worried). However, the reality is many are slipping through the cracks.
Tekumah is dedicated to rebuilding the lives of as many teens as we can on a deeper level.
After providing counseling to many teens, we realized there were so many others that we weren’t reaching. Either, teens are afraid they don’t have a large enough concern to contact us directly, or, they’re anxious about losing their confidentiality about a serious matter.
But any question, no matter how big or small is important. That’s why we set up a crisis line. The crisis line is open for boys and girls of all ages, and parents of troubled teens. All calls are confidential. Callers are encouraged to seek advice or request emergency intervention, in a non-judgemental environment.
The crisis line, a division of Tekumah, is coordinated by the Regesh Network and consists of 10 staff members, including 5 experienced therapists. Our staff answer questions and refer teens or parents for further help, when necessary. Through the crisis line, urgent matters are brought to our attention by anxious callers in emergency situations. Many of the callers joined our program and continue to benefit from our mentoring.
In the short 6 weeks from the crisis line launch, we received over 500 callers with a range of serious concerns.
In addition, to the tremendous endorsement and guidance we receive from Rabbanim, R’ Yehuda Jacobs is a member of the crisis line team and is available at designated times.Read more about the Regesh Network
Often we are called upon to help in the worst situations. At the point when teens, parents, or mentors reach out to us for help, many teens already require significant help from psychological resources. We spend many hours researching the best facilities for each teen and ensure they will be comfortable and secure. Although the funding is enormous for these programs, there is no option for pushing off enrollment for the fear that any wasted time can cause further damage.
Often, we are responsible to lay out the funds until insurance covers the programs, which can run into the thousands of dollars for just 10 days. Imagine the costs for a few months of recovery!
Search for Truth
After establishing the mentor programs, crisis line and a range of other programs, the next step was to build upon what we had accomplished and bring them to the next level. However, this is complicated because often, even though the teens are in a good place and are happy they still aren’t interested in living a Torah life. That’s why we established the program “Search for Truth.” This program focuses on helping them become better people on a day-to-day basis. This encourages participation in group activities and contributing in a positive way. The ultimate goal is to reconstruct their lives in a Torah setting but we accomplish this by giving them the outlet they need and support they wish for, in a low-pressure setting. We don’t impose cultural standards, dress codes or schedules. Just unconditional support and guidance for living a productive life.
A productive life includes the ability to keep a steady job, build relationships and be successful. Many are talented and want to live happy lives but need guidance to help them figure out what their strengths are and how to use them.
Eventually, we guide them back to a Torah life they come to appreciate and enjoy.
One of our more touching and inspiring programs is the community’s concern for our teens. This program was initiated by a mother whose son, unfortunately, died due to an incident. His mother suggested setting up a Tehillim group program in the Z’chus of her son. This program is dedicated to saying Tehillim and having our troubled teens in mind. We hope these Tefillos (prayers) will prevent further incidences and help teens develop into healthy, happy adults.
There is a designated time each week for the Tehillim conference call. The group recites Tehillim together and finishes with a heartfelt Tefillah.
In addition to providing help for serious matters, we also provide teens with a place to form connections with other teens and mentors in a lighter environment. We organize various get togethers, Shabbatons, road trips, and ski trips. We even organize an inspiring summer program. Our goal is to give these teens a chance to relax and enjoy a productive activity.
Our programs are designed to provide a pleasant experience, a chance to show our teens how enjoyable and geshmak a Torah life can be. Through our various events we form deep connections with each teen. We show them we care about them unconditionally. When they feel secure then we’re able to step in and help them on a deeper level. Eventually, we show them how productive a Torah life can be and bring them back to a life of Torah and mitzvos.
Our staff has been influential in helping teens when they get into complicated situations, such as getting in trouble with the law. We have dealt with local situations and situations in upstate NY or out-of-state. Once we bail them out, we continue to work with the teens and provide further help.
Unfortunately, our staff has also been involved in coordinating funerals for incidences of fatal overdose or suicide. Our goal is to ultimately prevent any further incidences.