The Jewish community has come a long way in acknowledging addiction and supporting those who have struggled and those in recovery. JCFS Chicago and the Chicago Board of Rabbis invite you to continue this forward momentum.  Serenity Shabbat: In Solidarity with Addiction Recovery is an important way to lift the veil of shame and secrecy of addiction and extend support to our community. On Serenity Shabbat, during Shabbat Naso or another Shabbat of your choosing, the blessings of addiction recovery are celebrated by individuals, families, and congregations throughout Chicagoland. 

What is Serenity Shabbat?

Serenity Shabbat: In Solidarity with Addiction Recovery is a celebration of the blessings of addiction recovery throughout Chicagoland on Shabbat Naso,10 & 11 June 2022/11 Sivan 5752. In Parshat Naso, we find a spiritual basis for living that involves abstaining from intoxicants; the Torah teaches that one of the pathways to be close to God involves abstinence from mood altering substances.  

Participants in Serenity Shabbat choose from a variety of observances such as:

  • using grape juice instead of wine to make kiddush
  • incorporating addiction recovery-related supplemental prayers and/or readings
  • including those facing addiction during healing and memorial prayers

JCFS Chicago has created materials for these and many more Serenity Shabbat observances to support a rich, meaningful experience.

View our Serenity Shabbat Resource Guides for synagogues and for the home

We encourage you to celebrate addiction recovery in the Jewish community on another Shabbat if Shabbat Naso is unavailable, as many parshiot are amendable to recovery themes. All participating congregations will be listed on our Serenity Shabbat webpage.

Communication Considerations on Serenity Shabbat

It is important to consider how we refer to people facing addiction and those in recovery.  Person-first language places the person before other identities, particularly those that are potentially stigmatizing.  Examples of person-first language include “a person with an addiction” or “a person in recovery.” There is an online Addiction-ary for those interested in engaging with the most current usages in the recovery community. 

If you have questions at any time during your planning process or following Serenity Shabbat, please contact: Beth Fishman, Program Manager, JCFS Chicago Addiction Services.

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