February 15, 2007
Peers give Orthodox teens lesson in drug use and abuse
(Page 2 - Previous Page)More than 40 rabbis -- shul leaders and some school principals -- saw the video before the Feb. 3 Shabbat of Awareness, and on that Saturday many of them discussed the problem of teenage drug use in their shuls.
Rabbi Gershon Bess of Kehillas Yaakov near Hancock Park, who is one of the most highly regarded halachic advisers in the city, openly spoke of a young congregant who died of an overdose. He spoke of the halachic obligation to take action if you know someone is engaging in high-risk behaviors.
Chabad women gave classes to other women on the topic. Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky at B'nai David Congregation spoke of a former congregant in New York he had recently run into whom, when asked about her family, reported with great pain that her 16-year-old son had fallen into drug use. Rabbi Elazar Muskin at Young Israel of Century City spoke of the prevalence and the urgency of the problem.
All the rabbis encouraged their congregants to attend the Feb. 18 seminar so they, too, could feel the impact of the boys' firsthand accounts of their own experiences.
Parent workshops will take place at two locations Sunday, Feb. 18: 11 a.m. at Congregation Shaarei Tefila, 7269 Beverly Blvd; 8 p.m. at Beth Jacob Congregation, 9030 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles The educator workshop will take place at 2:30 p.m. at 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.
For more information, call (323) 761-8816 or go to www.aleinujfs.org. For information on Aish Tamid go to www.aishtamid.org.
Contributing writer Jay Firestone contributed to this story.
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