JFCS excited to announce launch of Jewish Community Addiction Services

By Becky Lyle Sulkin, MSW, LGSW • Jewish Community Addiction Services Coordinator


JFCS is excited to announce the launch of Jewish Community Addiction Services. In developing these initiatives, we have been guided by a community survey and the Jewish Community Addiction Services Advisory Committee. This committee includes people from the Jewish community who have been affected by addiction and/or work in the field of addiction services, and we are grateful for their help in expanding JFCS’ capacity to support people in the Jewish community who are affected by alcohol or other drug addiction. Jewish Community Addiction Services will seek to promote recovery and reduce stigma for individuals affected by substance use disorder and their families by providing knowledgeable, confidential, and culturally-sensitive supports and services.


I am pleased to bring my clinical skills and experience to my new role as the Jewish Community Addiction Services Coordinator. This includes skills I developed as a JFCS Mental Health Targeted Case Manager – supporting people with serious and persistent mental illness, many of whom have co-occurring substance use; and as a crisis intervention clinician – answering crisis line calls and performing clinical intake assessments for chemical dependency treatment centers. To enhance my knowledge around addiction and available supports and services, I recently attended Treatment Coordination for Substance Use Disorders training provided by Wayside Recovery Center.


We are working to develop training curriculum that will improve our staff’s capacity to identify addiction challenges in our clients and promote confident and appropriate staff responses to these challenges. These trainings will cover topics such as drug use trends; recognizing intoxication and withdrawal; risk assessment and harm reduction; the disease model of addiction; and family involvement in addiction/recovery. Staff from across the agency—in both direct service and administrative roles—look forward to attending these trainings.


We also plan to offer one-to-one peer support to both individuals in recovery and their families. Peer recovery coaching will focus on accessing resources to achieve and maintain recovery, while family support will focus on social support for Jewish community members with a loved one who is managing addiction and recovery. We plan to collaborate with Jewish Family Service in St. Paul on these initiatives. With Passover approaching, we are getting the word out about the annual Freedom from Addiction Seder in conjunction with the Jewish Recovery Network. This year’s Seder will take place on Monday, April 22, at 6 p.m. at Beth El Synagogue. For more information and to register, view the flyer.


If you have questions about Jewish Community Addiction Services, please call 952-542-4835 or email me at bsulkin@jfcsmpls.org.