New Jewish Center for Drug & Alcohol Treatment and Education Opens

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Some needs facing the Jewish community are perennial: caring for the elderly, exciting young people to create a strong Jewish future; other needs may have existed since time in memorium, but we’ve only recently realized it or started talking about them. Perhaps that is the case with substance abuse. 

As it does on a continual basis, the Federation recently asked all Jewish organizations in the heart of NJ to share their observations about local unmet needs. While many pressing issues came to light, the process of analyzing short- and long-term impact resulted in the Federation helping to launch a crucial new program.

This winter, Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Monmouth County (JFCS) announced the opening of The Jewish Center for Drug & Alcohol Treatment & Education. The center will be housed in Morganville and is open to people throughout Monmouth and Greater Middlesex counties. 

“This initiative was established to address the difficult circumstances of those within the Jewish community, who struggle with addiction or overuse of alcohol and other drugs,” said Paul Freedman, Executive Director of JFCS. “Coming to terms with addiction is difficult enough — but is compounded for those within a community that has long perceived itself as having a cultural immunity to the disease. In addition to treatment there will be an educational component for the broader community.”

The program will employ an approach combining 12-step and therapeutic methods enabling each client to reach his or her goals of sobriety or reduction in consumption. An emphasis will be placed on anonymity as guided by the HIPPA privacy rules. 

“The Federation enables this community to address urgent, unmet needs faced by Jews, whether Orthodox, Reform, in between, or “just Jewish,” Ashkenazi or Sephardic, married, single, gay, straight, affluent, or just getting by,” said Susan Antman, Federation Executive Director. “Substance abuse does not discriminate; it’s a growing threat to the wellbeing of individuals, families, and the Jewish community as a whole. We are proud to partner with Jewish Family & Children’s Service in its launch of this treatment program.”

In addition to this new, Morganville-based, professional treatment program for drugs and alcohol, Jewish Family Services of Middlesex County (JFS) conducts JRecovery in Milltown. JRecovery is a Jewish self-help group to complement 12-Step programs, for substance and behavioral addictions. Call 732-777-1940 or email office@jfsmiddlesex.org confidentially. 

While the approach for the new Center for Drug & Alcohol Treatment and Education, located in Morganville, will be culturally-sensitive, JFCS, as always, provides non-sectarian services and welcomes people of all faiths and cultures. The agency is pleased to partner with the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey, which is underwriting this important program. For more information, call confidentially 732-774-6886 x16. 

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