M.A.S.K. Celebrates 20 Years of Saving Kids

M.A.S.K. , Mothers and Fathers Aligned Saving Children, celebrated its 20th Anniversary on Feb 12, at the new Bison & Bourbon on 7th Street in Brooklyn, hosted by Jay Buchsbaum.  N.Y.C.’s First Lady, Chirlane McCray, was the guest speaker.  Many community leaders and elected officials were in attendance, as well as many grateful parents.

In the 1990s, silence, denial and stigma enveloped the community when it came to issues of addiction and mental illness. In 1997, Ruchama Bistritzky-Clapman broke new ground, creating M.A.S.K. Mothers and Fathers Aligned Saving Kids, in her Brooklyn home for 27 families.

20 years and over 45,000 families later, M.A.S.K. is still leading the way with its confidential helpline, referrals, support groups, in-school programs and community awareness events. MASK offers staff training in school and camps, including distributing free Naloxone. MASK focus is on PREVENTION and AWARENESS of at risk behaviors. All ages, all stages.

A M.A.S.K. mother expressed HaKoras HaTov, describing her family’s ordeal and how M.A.S.K. supported and guided members of her family heal. Another couple shared openly the journey and support they received from MASK.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a pioneer in the at-risk landscape who collaborated with the Pataki administration to bring funding into Brooklyn’s critically under-served community, described his first experience with M.A.S.K. 17-18 years ago. “That night changed my life,” he said. “Ruchama was and continues to be a tireless and devoted heroine. She is someone I don’t hesitate to turn to for guidance with struggling families. MASK’s motto is, “If you change the music in your home your children’s dance steps can change. Many of these kids are so sensitive, and often times turn out to be SUPER STARS!”

Therapist appreciation awards were presented to Rabbi Benzion Twerski, Ph.D and Basie Rosenblatt, LCSW.

Shloimy Dachs sang a very moving song written by Heshiy Rubin for MASK.

Honoring the organization at their event was Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, along with Assemblyman Hikind who awarded them with a Citation. New York State Senator Martin J. Goldin recognized them with a Proclamation.

M.A.S.K.’s confidential referral helpline can be reached at 718-758-0400 10am-10 pm. To donate, please visit www.maskparents.org.

1mask no 2 17 2mask no 2 17 3mask no 2 17 4mask no 2 17 5mask no 2 17 6mask no 2 17 7mask no 2 17 8mask no 2 17 9mask no 2 17 10mask no 2 17 11mask no 2 17 12mask no 2 17 13mask no 2 17 14mask no 2 17 15mask no 2 17 16mask no 2 17 17mask no 2 17 18mask no 2 17 19mask no 2 17mask-cit-1 mask-cit-2 mask-proc-1

3 Comments

  • 1. Kol hakovod wrote:

    Ruchama saw a need
    And with dedication and much effort, met it
    I was present at the celebration and it was truly an inspiring and meaningful event

    Reply
  • 2. Anonymous wrote:

    Wonderful article about an incredible organization! Thank you, MASK, for all that you do for our community!

    Reply

Leave Comment

Comment moderation is in use. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear shortly.