In response to the growing awareness of the dangers of technology and smartphone usage, particularly with teens, Yeshiva Toras Chaim Toras Emes (Jewish School in South Florida) decided to undertake a bold initiative to stop and hopefully reverse the tide. YTCTE founded a TAG office for the South Florida community and simultaneously launched a program aimed at educating the Dr. Abe Chames High School (DACHS) talmidim and working with them to help fight this cultural and addictive smartphone trend. As Rabbi Yaakov Dreyfuss, Assistant Principal of DACHS, explained “It’s not just about smartphones, it’s about how we view ourselves in relation to the pressures and temptations of the world around us. We wanted to create an environment where people feel comfortable removing themselves from technology. It becomes the “In’thing”.
As a culmination of many weeks of discussions with the talmidim more than half of the DACHS talmidim either completely gave up their smartphones or committed to not purchase one at all. One eleventh-grade talmid, Sammy Saka, described the change he saw immediately in his carpool when tow boys gave up their phones, “We see how its a more active carpool, and we learn, we talk and relax. Its much better than kids glued to their phones. Carpool is a whole different experience.”In celebration of their impressive accomplishment, the Yeshiva High School of Miami rewarded these talmidim with a weekend skiing trip and Sahbbaton in Tennessee. Over 60 boys took part in this historic and unforgettable trip, accompanied by several Rebbeim and members of the hanhalah. The boys flew out early Thursday morning to Tennesse, where some went snow tubing, while others traveled on to Cataloochie Ski Resort in North Carolina for the skiing trip which lasted until late into the night. They returned to Skyview Mansion, located high up in the Smoky Mountains, where they would be spending Shabbos in luxury accommodations with breathtaking balcony views of the mountains.
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