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September 2, 2015 | 18th Elul 5775

Ways to Begin Recovery and End Addiction in your Synagogue

by Paul Menitoff, former Executive VP of CCAR

Ways to Begin Recovery and End Addiction in your Synagogue
  • Obtain at least a basic understanding of addiction and how to respond to addicts and their families
  • Understand the disease concept of addiction
  • Understand the ways in which addiction affects the whole person
  • In counseling sessions, ask the questions: "What part does alcohol play in your family life? What part do drugs play in your family life?"
  • Offer an educational discussion group for people who love someone with an addiction problem and develop list of members willing to offer support
  • Conduct prevention activities for your youth
  • Offer a discussion on "What Makes a Successful Parent" to educate parents how to talk to their kids about addiction
  • Have discussions about specific ways to build a relationship with God
  • Initiate a weekly meditation/discussion group that focuses on spiritual themes
  • Be familiar with the 12-Steps and be open to hearing someone's 5th Step: "Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs"
  • Talk about addiction from the pulpit
  • Hold a Recovery Shabbat once a year, perhaps on Shabbat Tshuvah, or on the Shabbat in Pesach
  • Include addicts and people in recovery in the misheberach prayer 

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