On Tuesday, November 29, the Yeshiva of Central Queens welcomed Moshe Cohen, LCSW, to YCQ. He presented information to our Grade 7 and 8 students on responsible technology use.

Mr. Cohen is a teacher and therapist working with adolescents and adults, teaching the skills necessary to successfully navigate the ever-changing modern world. Moshe served on the staff of Project Safe for eight years, working with elementary school through high school students. He has developed curriculum plans for several school programs and is a frequent guest speaker at yeshivos and day schools where he presents on various topics such as adolescent challenges and obstacles prevalent in our community. Mr. Cohen has a private practice, where he works with adolescents and adults struggling with anxiety and stress, depression, relationships, and addiction.

The participating students learned decision-making skills to use when faced with developmental challenges, especially that of cell-phone and Internet use.

“It was so special to present and discuss social media and technology use with Grade 7 and 8 students. The energy in the room was great, and the students were really open to understanding the importance in learning to use our devices in a healthier, more mindful way,” Mr. Cohen reported.

“Our main concern is the safety of our students,” stated Mrs. Esther Lowinger, YCQ JHS Assistant Principal. “We need to keep them informed on how to use the Internet safely.”

When asked, “Which facts do you want our students to keep in mind when online?” Dr. Elana Dumont, PsyD, YCQ Director of Psychological Services, replied, “Keep in mind that you are actively creating a digital footprint each time you post or message anything that is permanent. In addition, be mindful of how you are using social media, and that it does not become a ‘digital pacifier.’”

“It is unrealistic to think that we could give our children addictive devices and trust that they will not make mistakes when their ability to make good decisions is not fully developed,” Dr. Dumont continued. “The YCQ Parent Workshop will help parents learn how to set boundaries around Internet and phone use while still helping our children enjoy the benefits.” The Zoom workshop took place on Monday, December 5, at 8 p.m.