Addiction & Substance Abuse Education & Resources

Addiction is a Jewish issue and affects everyone—the individual with an addiction, his or her family, our entire Jewish community.

Upcoming Events
















This transformative performance brings to life the family experience of addiction within our community.  Appropriate for adults and teens, Freedom Song weaves together personal stories of addiction and a family's Passover Seder. An informal Q&A with cast members, all of whom are in recovery at Beit T'Shuvah, immediately follows the performance.


Open to the public!  Free admission   Reserve Your Seat Today

Tu b'Shevat Recovery Seder

Sunday, February 12, 2017

1:30 - 3:30 pm

Anshe Emet Synagogue

3751 North Broadway, Chicago


Tu b'Shevat is the holiday that symbolizes rebirth and renewal of the earth and of natural life. Join Mishkan & the Jewish Center for Addiction at JCFS as we merge and blend these ideas with stories of addiction and recovery through the rituals of the Tu b'Shevat seder with offerings of fruits, nuts and juices associated with the traditional seder ritual. This is a space for people who are in recovery, are thinking about recovery, love someone in recovery or are simply curious about jewish rituals that speak to processes of human transformation. This is an alcohol free event and all are welcome. 

Register @

The Jewish Center for Addiction: Prevention, Help and Hope

The Jewish Center for Addiction: Prevention, Help and Hope was created to build a caring community that is aware of and responsive to the problem of addiction, and supports individuals and families who struggle with addiction. We strive to open multiple avenues of access within and outside the Jewish community. Our efforts combat denial and stigma, helping Jewish community members across all denominations understand that addiction is a disease that impacts our community and a disease that can be treated.

There is a pervasive myth that Jews do not engage in addictive behavior. Unfortunately, the Jewish community does experience alcoholism, drug abuse and addiction. No one is immune, from the least Jewishly involved to the most religious among us. The myth that Jews are somehow protected from addiction only reinforces shame and isolation and can inhibit Jews from seeking the help they need. The goal of the Jewish Center for Addiction is to ensure that Jewish individuals and their families who are impacted by addiction seek help. Our programs address specific needs of Chicago’s Jewish community and reflect best practices from across the country. Many tools may be required to find healing and wholeness; to this end, the Jewish Center for Addiction offers the following services:
Community Education
Creating community awareness and a culture of compassion reduces isolation and stigma, thereby encouraging affected community members to seek help. JCA activities include:
  • Speaker’s Bureau brings Jewish volunteers who are in recovery from addiction to community groups to speak about their experiences
  • Annual Tu B’shvat Recovery Seder creates a sense of community as participants celebrate new beginnings, learn about addiction in the Jewish community and experience how creative Jewish practices support sobriety 
  • Community Partnerships allows the JCA and many community organizations to work together to broaden support and access for Jews working to achieve and maintain abstinence.
Youth Drug Prevention
The JCA , in partnership with Response, offers the Partners in Prevention program (PIP), a youth drug prevention curriculum created by Beit T’shuvah, the trans-denominational Jewish addiction treatment program in Los Angeles.
Information and Referral to Treatment
  • Telephone-based brief assessment
  •  Information on addiction
  •  Information on local and national treatment resources
Jewish Resources for Recovery
  • Spiritual Programs

    - Chesed Meditation enhances equanimity through a guided Jewish
      meditation that acknowledges G-d as the Source of All Healing

    - Writing Healing Prayer explores the creation of one’s own
      prayers in ways that are both deeply personal and Jewishly informed

    - Mussar Workshops introduce this centuries-old form of Jewish spiritual
      development which can generate shleimut/wholeness in one’s life

  • Supportive Education Groups provide a safe place for Jewish individuals
    and families to share experiences and learn to set healthy boundaries,
    improve self-care, and prevent relapse
  • Pastoral Counseling with our rabbi/chaplain to explore Judaism and sobriety
  • Retreats for Jewish young people in recovery bring teens and young adults
    in recovery from addiction together for a weekend of community building,
    support, leadership training and Jewish learning
  • Peer Recovery Program Support
    - 12-Step Meetings in Jewish Communal Locations JCA encourages
      Jewish Communal Organizations to open their buildings to 12-Step and
      SMART Recovery meetings and maintains a current list of meetings in
      Jewish communal locations 

    - Jewish 12-Stepping Workshops examine how the spirituality of 12 Step
      recovery can be sustained, supported and enriched by Jewish study,
      thought, prayer and practice
    - 12-Step Torah sessions link a concentrated Torah study experience to 12-
       Step recovery

  • Advanced clinical training on evidence-based practices
  • Education for clergy and Jewish communal professionals on recognizing at-risk congregants, formulating safe policies regarding alcohol use, and creating welcoming communities for families in recovery from addiction
  • Jewish cultural and religious competence training for clinicians.

The Jewish Center for Addiction is supported by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, the Jewish Federation's Fund for Innovation in Health (underwritten by the Michael Reese Health Trust, and other generous supporters.)

JCA Staff Team
Beth Fishman, Ph.D., JCA Program Manager
Nina J. Henry, LCPC CADC, Addiction Specialist