Grayson Cohen, Esq. LCSW-C
Child / Adolescent Outreach
Jewish Family Services
Fine is a unique person who is able to combine his spirituality,
training in family systems, and experience with life on the streets,
into programs that have a profound impact on teens, parents and
professionals working with teens.
"During his work in Baltimore, he touched teens by his stories, values,
and straight talk. In turn, those teens were inspired to encourage
their parents to attend a parent symposium with Rabbi Fine. These
programs were conducted in both public schools and Jewish Day Schools.
Our parent symposium was truly a historical event in the community
because it attracted Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, and unaffiliated
Jews, as well as Russian Jewish emigrants.
"Our entire Jewish community benefited from these superlative and
Fine may be the only rabbi who trained on the fringe of civilization.
Today a family therapist and lecturer on drugs, depression, sexuality
and spirituality, he spent ten years as the 'Times Square Rabbi,'
nightly patrolling New York, reaching out to druggies, runaways, and
first clue that Yehudah Fine is not your every day American rabbi is
the NY Yankees baseball hat. He introduces himself as Yehudah,
insisting, 'Please don't call me rabbi. There are too many titles in
"For over 10 years his congregation was a gritty mixture of white,
black, Jewish, Christian, wealthy, and inner city homeless teens in New
York's Times Square. He is articulate, soft-spoken and scholarly, yet
he loved prowling the dark, rat infested subway tunnels and garbage
piles to reach teens no one else wanted."
Jewish Family Services
Fine really connected beautifully with the teenagers he talked to. We
were amazed to see how mesmerized the kids were coming from the gamut
of the socio-economic spectrum. Some Jewish kids, some not, some from
runaway shelters with their counselors. They just sat in complete
attention. Yehudah has a great talent of connecting with those kids, by
talking right to them."
Grace Webb High School
just tuned in to our high-risk kids and could pinpoint their problems
right away. Suddenly he blended with them. It was so powerful to watch
these kids open up. At the end of two days, they were amazed by how
much they had bonded to him.. They didn't want him to go. They each
wanted a little piece of him."
National Coalition of Alternative Community Schools & Clonlara
Ann Arbor, MI
students were spellbound by the frankness of the accounts of 'lost'
kids their own age, and of the candor of the tale-teller, Yehudah Fine.
'Yehudah tells the story in a way that holds my attention completely.
He doesn't drag it out and go 'round and 'round with it like lots of
other people do,' commented one young student. 'This is real life; you
can tell it by Yehudah's direct, no nonsense reporting of things,' said
another. 'The way he talks and writes makes me feel like I am right
there on the scene, witnessing things firsthand,' a young woman added."
Central Agency for Jewish Education
as a writer and as a speaker, Rabbi Fine shares his message pointedly
and with clarity allowing each of us the privilege to define the way in
which we help others. Yehudah is selfless, indefatigable, and as helped
more people in need then any other single person I know."
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit
Fine's honesty resonated with the parents in the audience, but what I
really liked about Yehudah was his realistic approach in acknowledging
the difficulty that parents go through with their teens. All while
drawing on his own experiences with his children."
Family Life Education
Jewish Family and Children's Service of Minneapolis
700 teens, parents and professionals came to hear Yehudah address the
issues facing teens in today's world. His was a message of hope,
endurance and love. His presentations ignited a community commitment to
The Enneagram and Kabbalah: Reading Your Soul and
Show Me Your Way: The Complete Guide to Exploring Interfaith Spiritual
made Yehudah's work a part of our family education program. Our parents
and teens were so moved by his compassion. It's very clear that he has
been listening carefully to the thousands of young people with whom he
Community Forum Leader
Addiction & Recovery Forum
is a healer. He has an energy that we don't see often in our lifetime.
His forgiveness conferences replace a negative idea with a positive
attitude. People leave with hope and optimism for a better life."
Jewish Family Services
Fine's insights and sound advice on reaching our youth are honest and
refreshing. He is genuine, provocative and thoughtful. Best of all,
he's touchable. In my own youth, I would have referred to him as 'one
JCC of Greater Pittsburgh
of us learned a great deal from Yehudah's stimulating programs, and we
now have a deeper insight into teenagers and parenthood. We are very
pleased to be beneficiaries of Yehudah's wisdom."
Fine provided a forum for teens to talk about the tough issues of our
time. Only in listening to these teens does Yehudah discover the
answers to every parent's dilemma. His compassion may only be out done
by his enthusiasm and genuine concern for all who attend."
Journal for Living
years Yehudah Fine's one man mission was to throw runaways a lifeline
to help them find a way off the streets and back into the daylight
world of the living. Today Yehudah crisscrosses America staging
workshops for both teenagers and their parents in public schools,
national alternative schools and homeschool conventions while he is
putting on the final touches on his latest book of advice to parents of
Help for the Hard Times: Getting Through Loss and other books for
Fine's work is an invitation to us all. The rabbi is modeling a path
for healing the wounds of denial and unexpressed love we carry. The
Rabbi teaches us that when we truly become engaged in life, our
appreciation for being alive grows. He shows us a road that passes
through others' lives and leads us back to ourselves. But we arrive
home enriched, in touch, and with a larger heart as a result of the
Founder and Medical Director,
Gateway Rehabilitation Center
is for people who wish to avoid going to hell. Spirituality is for
people who have been there. Yehudah Fine is a spiritual rabbi who has
dedicated his life to helping young people emerge from hell, and to
prevent their reentry into it."
JCC of Davie, Florida
meaningful stories about teens thoroughly fascinated our audience. His
heart warming presentation was well received as could be seen by the
response of those present."
Saving Souls In Times Square
The Jewish Week
Fine shows up looking exactly like the photograph on his book cover:
baseball cap; neatly trimmed beard; dark rimmed glasses; casual
clothes; atypically rabbinic, if he's to be compared to any sort of
rabbinic stereotype. After all, how many rabbis can show up at techno
clubs and receive preferential treatment from tank-sized bouncers?"
Wurzweiller School of Social Work
Yeshiva University, New York
has a spiritual glow about him, but you have to understand that he's a
dynamic trained family therapist as well as a rabbi. Truthfully, he
stands head and shoulders above everyone else. Teens can tell when
someone is real - you can't fool them. Every kid who meets him says
he's someone special."
Berman, Director of Adult Services
JCC of Greater Baltimore
want to thank Yehudah for the spectacular job he did. The feedback from
the staff training and lecture has been extremely positive. We hope to
schedule another event with him in the future."
Jewish Family & Children's Service of Southern New Jersey
was a pleasure to have Yehudah Fine speak to our staff and community
members. We were joined by many community social workers and rabbis.
Much understanding was gained from his direct approach, information,
and his straightforward way of hitting sensitive issues."