Monday, August 4, 2008

JACS--a Source for Help

As a followup on the mention of JACS in the recent Newsweek Magazine article, I offer its contact information below. Everyone should go to the site and read across all their offerings. A real education, even for those of us who already believed that a problem existed that was not being given wider discussion in the frum community and wider Jewish community.

I found of interest all the different places where JACS meetings are held around the country. I noted where meetings were held, some a surprise to me, and where they weren't available--no surprise there (nothing in Lakewood for instance).

They also will go into schools and give programs/workshops on alcohol and substance addiction. I'm throwing this out for those of you active in your children's yeshivas that maybe we need to push for every yeshiva high school to have such a program as part of the curriculum.

And perhaps we could also make sure that each Rav of our various shuls should have this contact information. And yes, maybe the contact information should be posted in the various mikvehs, or on shul bulletin boards.

This quote, from the site, was particularly heart wrenching. "I'm the mother of a recovering alcoholic who sought help years ago from members of the rabbinate, who vehemently denied that there were Jewish alcoholics. She was fortunate that she found Alcoholics Anonymous and the help she needed. However, I'm saddened that she has turned from Judaism and found solace in another faith... Perhaps there is something more to do."

120 West 57th Street · New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 397-4197 · Fax: (212) 399-3525


queeniesmom said...

Jacs, Priority-1, Tova are all wonderful organizations that need everyone's support instead of being shunned. For a while a JACS group met in one of the local shuls but was driven out because "we don't want those people in our shul".

Many of our teens feel they can't compete or fit in, so they turn to those substances which make them feel better. How many of these teens are being driven out of their schools because they can't measure up, take the pressure placed on them or conform to a very rigid set of rules. No allowence is made for individual differences in learning, personality and outlook.

There is also a significant body of research re: self-medication (drgs &/or alcohol)by teens whose learning, attentional and/or psychological issues have been ignored. Once again, as a community we need to wake up and realize that much of what Rabbi Horowitz and others are saying is true. We need to stop shooting the messanger; unfortunately this problem will probably get worse before it gets better, as all to frequently the underlying causes are being swept under the carpet.

Also the mixed messages vis a vis alcohol needs to be addressed. It's ok to drink on..., or at ... (how many times have boys seen men drink to excess but were told it's ok because it's a simcha?!).

I'm all for your Adar campaign; I'll keep badgering my kids school to bring in/do a program for the students. Currently, the issue is only discussed in the HS, not in the elementary school or MS because "there's no need for it and besides we don't want to put ideas in their heads."

Anonymous said...

I only heard of Jacs recently and only because two men in shul were arguing about it. One is involved in yeshiva administration and he was arguing against Jacs because of their hashkafah. The fact that all Jews are included and that the spirituality aspect of the program is not yeshivish meant that he didn't want them coming into hi8s school to give a program and he wouldn't recommend them if he were asked for such a recommendation. I was expecting to hear him then say that no frum kids need the Jacs program but he didn't go that far.