Jewish Recovery Community

Understanding addictions in the Jewish community and breaking the stigma. 

RCV training session on addiction.

The Rabbinical Council of Victoria’s (RCV) Rabbis and Rebbetzins recently attended a training session hosted at Caulfield Shule on the important topic of understanding addictions in the Jewish community and breaking the stigma.

One of Australia’s leading experts in the field, Dr Eli Kotler, Addiction Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist was the presenter on the topic, while Rabbi Velly Slavin, Director of Jews in Recovery Melbourne moderated the session.

The participants explored the nature of addiction, its effects, why it happens and how Rabbis and Rebbetzins can make a difference.

Dr Kotler uses a neuro-psychoanalytic frame to assist his patients gain an understanding of themselves. He is the Medical Director of Malvern Private Hospital, an addiction hospital that has gained an excellent reputation for uniquely allowing people with addictions to work through the underlying emotional difficulties and conflicts that fuel the addiction.

He commented, “It’s so important to understand the nature and effects of addiction, as this determines how we try and help those suffering. It was a pleasure to discuss these issues in depth with the engrossed Rabbis and Rebbetzins during my presentation.”

Jews in Recovery is the only Melbourne-based Jewish Recovery Community, where in total anonymity, recovering addicts meet fortnightly for spiritual growth, friendship, support, and guidance. The group is directed by Rabbi Velly Slavin, who has dedicated eight years now to the recovery community and has keen insight and experience in dealing with the nexus between recovery and Jewish spirituality. Both men and women, young and old, old-timers and newcomers, from Toorak to Rippon Lea participate in its meetings. This disease does not discriminate

Rabbi Slavin further noted that “…Rabbis and Rebbetzins in our community are often the first point of contact for families or individuals struggling with behaviour or substance addiction.  I am honoured to have facilitated this professional development session that focused on breaking the stigma and providing practical suggestions on how Rabbis and Rebbetzins can make a difference.

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