While gearing up for Rosh Hoshanah, CTeen chapters across the country took this month’s theme, “Labels are for Clothing, Not People” to heart, and pledged to reach out to those who are judged and labeled by society through no fault of their own. They found a way to do this through joining up with Aleph Institute, an organization that gives aid to families of incarcerated individuals.
“Though it is obviously painful and agonizing for an incarcerated individual, perhaps the greatest brunt of the pain is shouldered by family members, particularly the children,” explains Rabbi Mendel Perlstein, director of CTeen in New York. “Shocked by the unfortunate turn of events, many family members feebly attempt to pick up the pieces and rebuild their lives. Ironically, at a time when they are most weak and desperate, they are suddenly faced with rejection and labeling.”
Sarah S. was only seven when she watched her father getting arrested. Since then,