2008-04-18 / Community

West End Temple A 'Safe Haven' Once Each Month

By Howard Schwach

The West End Temple has become a "Safe Haven" for youth one Saturday night each month, with a program that brings dozens of kids from all over the area to the temple building for a night of healthy activity. The temple, located at 147-02 Newport Avenue, runs the program for grades 3, 4, and 5 at 5 to 7 p.m. and for grades 6, 7 and 8 from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Pictured, two younger students play ping pong.
One of the major complaints about Rockaway is that there are no recreational activities outside of sports for the peninsula's young people.

Police say that many of their calls, particularly in the evening deal with young, disorderly teens who hang out on the steps of local institutions or on the beach wall.

Now, one Rockaway temple is attempting to deal with the problem by opening its Neponsit building to youth and young teens one Saturday night a month.

Called "Safe Haven," this game night for "teens" and teens, has brought dozens of teens each month to the West End Temple, located at 147-02 Newport Avenue in Neponsit for a night of crafts, movies, games and snacks.

Noc-Hockey is always one of the favorites of any age group.
"We really believe that our youngsters need a place to go where they can get together and just have some safe fun," the program's director said. "This is the beginning of an attempt to do that."

Rabbi Marjorie Slome, the temple's spiritual leader, says that one of the major goals of the institution is to provide a place of assembly, where people can come for activities and discussion.

The program will run May 10 and June 21 and then will stop for the summer months, to resume in September.

For students in grades 3, 4 a 5, the program runs from 5 to 7 p.m. For students in grades 6, 7 and 8, the program runs from 7:30 to 10 p.m. There are plans to perhaps add programs for older youth next year.

The program is non-denominational and open to all of the community's young people, the director says. There is a small charge each month and there is a discount for temple congregants.

Some of the older students work and talk together.
The arts-and-crafts sessions are always popular. The program is non-denominational and members get a small discount.

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