Moment of Silence
IT’S A SILENT REVOLUTION, orchestrated by a single person on a part-time basis, but it is already seeing success in the U.S., in Israel, and in a dozen more countries. Here is the fascinating untold story of the Rebbe’s inspired Moment of Silence initiative. In 1983 the Rebbe called for every public school to begin its day with a Moment of Silence, in order to instill a sense of reverence for the Eye that sees and the Ear that hears: “As many parents have not given their child the proper moral upbringing…schools need to become more involved in this process.” And then there is the matter of crime which is a direct result of lack of morals and not, as some would say, a direct result of poverty. The Congressional record of June 13, 2000, finds that “violent criminals are overwhelmingly those who grew up without fathers.” Boys growing up without physical fathers desperately need at least a spiritual Father, or a terrible lawlessness, a lack of self-control and lack of conscience, is often result, G-d forbid. Boys growing up without fathers need a connection with their Father in Heaven and how, other than through a daily Moment of Silence, will they get it? As Rabbi Avraham Frank says, “What will guarantee that our children will go in the correct path? We must raise them with the awareness of a Higher Authority, a Higher Being to whom they must answer, to ensure that they grow up to be moral citizens.”
We are working with Rabbi Frank on an international scale. There are now schools in British Columbia, Mexico, Trinidad, Australia, Nigeria and Ireland, practicing the daily Moment of Silence. A principal in British Columbia implemented MOS with the students, and contributed 120 letters towards his upcoming book. The principal was so enthusiastic that he called the local radio and television stations to report the success of MOS. This television presentation was so successful that the neighboring TV station in Vancouver wants to follow up and explore this further. Unofficially, we were told that over 800 schools have implemented it in South America. In Argentina IELADEINU has taken some 300 children under its wings in a way that has drawn the attention of UNICEF and become the subject of a book by UNESCO.
As the director of the Moment of Silence program around the world .We currently have over 1100 schools implementing this free program. The goal of the program is to promote morality and uplift the educational and psychological well-being of every student. Indeed, the program is successfully doing just that, as evidenced by the letters the children have written where they say that it calms them down, increases their focusing, makes them happy, and increases bonding with siblings and parents.
The dynamics are simple: Every day before school starts an announcement is made that the school will be having a minute of silence. The parents are notified to please discuss with their child what they should think about. About two weeks later, the children are asked to write memos about what the Moment of Silence means to them. Then, an assembly is held, where each child who wrote a letter, is awarded with a certificate and a prize.
I have had the honor of working alongside Rabbi Yakov Cohen, who has been most instrumental in spreading this program to places where it would not ordinarily reach. Through Rabbi Cohen’s influence at the United Nations, I was asked to speak and was a panel member on the topic of: how we can prevent terrorism around the world, in front of anti-terrorist groups. I made the acquaintance of Ugogi Ugoji A. Eze, Esq. President & Founder of the Eng. Aja Eze Foundation, who introduced me to Emmanuel Ande Ivorgba Director of the New Era Educational & Charitable Support Foundation, Nigeria URI West Africa Regional Coordinator, Project Happiness. I telephoned Mr. Ivorgba, and convinced him to implement Moment of Silence. He was more than obliging, and has implemented Moment of Silence in several schools already.
Rabbi Cohen, in light of his prestige, will be continuing his campaign to introduce Moment of Silence to several more African nations in the near future.