The world as we know it has changed drastically over the past few years, and it seems as if everywhere we turn our children are surrounded by unprecedented dangers. Since its inception in 2014, Amudim has been working around the clock to spread awareness and to educate our community members about the dangers of substance abuse and addiction, a problem that starts not only with drugs purchased in darkened alleys, but also with the misuse of prescription drugs from a friend or family member’s medicine cabinet and alcohol consumption that is still taking place in many of our homes and our shuls.
In the days prior to Succos, the heads of five yeshivas in the Lower Merion area took it upon themselves to issue a joint statement, warning parents to keep a watchful eye on their children during Simchas Torah, as well as other times where unsupervised alcohol might be present. While there are many who prefer to bury their heads in the sand and to pretend that our communities are immune to these problems, the facts of the matter prove otherwise. Taking a courageous approach to the problem, Caskey Torah Academy, Cheder Chabad of Philadelphia, Kosloff Torah Academy, Kohelet Yeshiva and the Mesivta of Greater Philadelphia sent a letter to their respective parent bodies warning them of the dangers that lurk at various simchas, Friday night tisches and Shabbos kiddushes, as well as on Purim and Simchas Torah, with many youngsters taking their first steps downwards towards alcohol misuse, abuse, and addiction at the holiest of times. That letter also appeared in this newspaper and included guidelines for parents to follow to prevent their children from becoming trapped in the web of substance abuse, alcohol addiction, or even worse.
We applaud these five schools for their vision, seizing an opportunity to educate and safeguard their students over the Yomim Tovim and all throughout the year. Having run a local awareness event two years ago, conducted training sessions in community schools, and worked with clients from the area, Amudim has had a long and positive relationship with Philadelphia’s Jewish community. We extend our gratitude to Caskey Torah Academy, Cheder Chabad of Philadelphia, Kosloff Torah Academy, Kohelet Yeshiva and the Mesivta of Greater Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Jewish Link for acknowledging the year-round problem of unsupervised alcohol consumption in minors and for taking a proactive stance on an issue that can and has destroyed lives.
We hope that other communities will follow the example set in Philadelphia and, as always, help is just a phone call away at 646-517-0222 (our office) for any individuals, families, communities or schools in need of our services.