Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Tassi Helps Teens Connect and Cope

(Reprinted from Edition 50 of Tikun Olam, November 2009) is an online community where teens can share advice, suggestions, support, and information on a variety of topics that are of concern to teenagers. It has been established by Agence Ometz as an on-line safe haven, where teens log on to express themselves and discuss issues they often find difficult to address. These include sexuality and dating, bullying, problems with parents, body image, depression, as well as Jewish life, and practical matters such as help with homework and career planning.

Users of the forum help one another, share opinions, ask questions and discuss anything teen related. It is a place where they are made to feel comfortable and where trust is encouraged. is the brainchild of Neal Caminsky, who, upon completing the West Island Leadership Development program offered by FEDERATION CJA, was looking to pursue a project that would help young members of the community. He lent the expertise of his Red Dream Studios, a website design, graphic design, and multimedia production company located in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, to get the project up and on the web. The Volunteer Services Department of Agence Ometz provides training and supervision for a group of young adults, between the ages of 19 and 23, who act as volunteer peer moderators on the site. Ometz professional staff offer additional support, stepping in to back-up the moderators or handle diffucult situations. They can also assess when kids are in genuine distress and refer them to professional resources.

Kids are encouraged to log on and take advantage of, using it as a resource, a place to speak freely, and a chance to help one another out.