Single-Parent Families: Alone No More

Exciting things are in store for children living in single-parent homes in our community.

My Extended Family (MYEF) will be opening its doors in Crown Heights to provide support to these children as well as their parents and educators.

“A man is a tree,” says Rabbi Yosef Vigler, founder and rabbinical supervisor of MYEF. “It needs to be watered, nurtured, loved and cared for. Too many children are growing up in a way that they feel uncared for untended.”

This is where My Extended Family steps in. The organization’s goal to help kids build a foundation of self-confidence, self-assurance, and contentment to set them on a positive track for the future. To this end, it offers weekly club meetings, seasonal trips, family events, practical parenting workshops as well as professional and financial support.

Director of educational programming, Mrs. Tzippy Vigler, explains: “The goal is really that the child should feel they are IT, that they are a star and when a star grows everyone gains. When a child feels successful and that he counts and that the world cannot be the same without him – that’s what makes it.”

Weekly club meetings are already in place in Crown Heights and are currently held for girls aged 5-11, led by Batya Vigler and Mrs Sinaya Kanofsky. Each consists of dinner followed by homework and a fun activity – either crafts, woodworking, games or sports. Plans to expand services for boys are in the pipeline.

Mrs. Chana Blonder, clinical director of the girls division, describes the positive effects of the club meetings: “When you take a child who is withdrawn socially because of the situation … and you give them [time] when they can just be themselves and be comfortable- that can carry them through the rest of the week.”

“We fill that void that comes naturally when one of the most important people in a child’s life is out of the picture,” says Rabbi Doniel Drandoff, clinical director of the boys’ program. “There are problems we can’t solve but we have been very successful in providing tremendous support and love. I’ve seen hopeless situations become absolutely beautiful.”

MYEF’s open house and welcome event will take place this Wednesday, November 27th at 5:30 PM at the JCM’s basement hall. The event is geared for parents and children aged 5-12 and will feature the “Parrot Rebbe,” a light buffet-style dinner, raffles, prizes and snacks.

To register for the event click here.

My Extended Family thanks its sponsors and supporters: Mendy’s restaurant, Levi Feigenson, Buncho Bagels, Sauce and Cheese, an anonymous donor, and Beis Gimpel Chaim.

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