Crown Heights, שכונת המלך, is the neighborhood the Rebbe referred to as כאן צוה השם את הברכה. It is a hub of the most powerful ruchniusdike opportunities. One can gain unlimited inspiration and connection there – when visited responsibly.
I feel extremely fortunate that I spent almost all Tishreis of my life in 770, and I would encourage others to make it a priority for themselves and their families too.
However, there are serious, possibly irreversible physical and spiritual safety concerns that parents must be aware of. I will refrain from giving elaborate examples in this public notice, but urge you to ask around and research this matter thoroughly.
I’ll just mention one too common example of something parents might not know to consider:
A good innocent bochur is invited to a Farbrengen. He arrives and it’s all good. Then the host/bochur’s teenage sister or female cousins casually sit on the couch in the room next to the Sukkah/Farbrengen. With (possibly) no ill intentions, everyone becomes way too comfortable. At that Farbrengen, or randomly on the street, a friend’s friend shares a harmful substance with the others. In both cases, before he realizes what’s happening, the social pressure makes it too difficult for the bochur to politely leave the scene.
Sending bochurim of any age without solid adult supervision and guidance is strongly unadvised.
Relying on an older sibling or cousin is not practical; they mingle with different groups of friends and can not provide responsible supervision. “I’m with a Shliach” is not a guarantee or necessarily comforting.
If you are unable to provide constant and reliable on-sight supervision, it is probably not safe to send your son.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Wishing you and yours a גמר חתימה טובה.
Rabbi Mordechai Schurder
Menahel of Klurman Mesivta in Miami