JOIN US: On Sunday, April 22, the Teaneck community and Amudim invite the Greater Bergen County Jewish population to an evening of awareness and education about the growing epidemic of substance abuse and addiction within the community. Amudim, a not-for-profit organization, is a confidential resource center that provides direct support and referrals for individuals and families affected by addiction. Rabbi Zvi Gluck, director of Amudim, and his compassionate staff of expert clinicians, are dedicated to serving the community in times of crisis.
Lianne and Etiel Forman have been members of the Teaneck community for many years. Their eldest daughter, Elana, has been dealing with addiction for some time. In their quest to find ways to deal with the issues this illness causes, and to find support for their entire family, Lianne noticed that no one in the surrounding community ever talked about facing addiction challenges themselves. “We have been dealing with this crisis for a year and a half and throughout that time we have not heard of or met one local family dealing with substance abuse,” said Lianne. The absence of community support caused Lianne and her husband to feel quite alone on their journey to get their daughter the help she needed.
As they struggled to find resources to support themselves and their daughter, Lianne knew there must exist other local families dealing with substance abuse, just not openly discussing it. “Unfortunately, addiction is a subject surrounded by stigmas and misconceptions. One of the best things we can do is to educate ourselves as to what addiction is and gain an understanding of what those struggling with addiction are going through and how we can help,” Lianne articulated. Issues related to drug addiction are too vast to be handled independently. People need a support system that will allow them the opportunity to discover options and learn from others that are battling this disease as well.
At age 19, Rabbi Gluck sustained the loss of two close friends, one to suicide and the other to an accident as a result of using drugs. This prompted him to become involved at a local drop-in center that focused primarily on drug and alcohol abuse, issues not openly addressed back in the ‘80s. As time passed, Rabbi Gluck became more educated and more involved in crisis management. Raised in a family of public service providers, with his father a founding member of Hatzalah, Rabbi Gluck obtained semicha and became a liaison for the police department in New York. This opportunity enabled him to help at-risk teens who were continually getting into trouble with the law.