Our next "Continue the Conversation" online event will be held on Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. EST
Alcoholism and Drinking in the Jewish Community:
Purim, Pesach, and Other Holidays & Rituals
Thank you for joining our Online Forum on
Mental Health and Addiction in the Jewish Community
October 18, 2020
Recordings of the event sessions are posted below.
October 18th Introduction by I Am Sarge
Self Harm and Suicide
Substance Addiction and Recovery
Alcohol and Jewish Ritual
ADHD and Substance Use Disorders
Miriam Ament, Founder and President of No Shame On U, has a B.A. in American History from Barnard College and an M.A. in Organizational Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. Over 15 years ago, Miriam was hospitalized three times for depression and encountered stigma and isolation. Miriam is dedicated to utilizing her life experiences in order to normalize the mental health conversation and end the stigma. She lives in Chicago with her husband, musician David Forman.
Jeff Berman, MD, DFASAM, is a Diplomate and Distinguished Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and has served as President of the NJ Society of Addiction Medicine (NJSAM). He specializes in the treatment of young adults suffering from substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders. Dr. Berman serves concurrently as Director of Psychiatric Services for SOBA College Recovery, Executive Medical Director for Discovery Institute for Addictive Disorders, and Senior Psychiatric Consultant for IHSC in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He is a member of the Department of Psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) and was co-director of the Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship program. He is a national speaker on the topics of medication-assisted treatment and co-occurring disorders. Dr. Berman created and facilitates a support group at the JCC in Tenafly, NJ, which serves parents of young adults who have substance use and mental health disorders.
Jeff Berman, MD, DFASAM
Dena Croog Cohen is the Founder and Executive Director of Refa’enu, a nonprofit organization that provides education about and support for those affected by depression and bipolar disorder and other related behavioral health issues. Dena is a trained peer-support group facilitator at the Mood Disorders Support Group of New York (MDSG) and provides mood disorder support groups for the Jewish community. A writer and editor in Northern NJ, Dena has worked in the medical, psychiatry, and mental health fields, as well as in the book publishing industry. Her first op-ed column in the Jewish Standard in February 2014—“I have bipolar disorder”—which addressed the need to speak openly about mood disorders in the Jewish community, won an Excellence in Journalism Award issued by the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists. More information about Dena’s editorial and mental health advocacy achievements can be found at
Dena Croog Cohen
Sharon Darack, Life Coach
Sharon Darack is the North American Director for OU Israel Free Spirit Birthright, managing Birthright Israel trips from North America. Ms. Darack is a professional life coach specializing in addiction, mental health, and works with families, teens and young adults. Prior to Israel Free Spirit Birthright, Ms. Darack worked for 15 years at The Jewish Boards’ JACS program (Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons and Significant Others) and is a leading contributor to raising awareness about alcohol and other drug abuse within the Jewish community. Ms. Darack is a graduate of Reading University in the UK in Social Work and has over 22 years of experience counseling families and running educational programs in the UK, Israel and the U.S.
Wendy Dolin, MSW, LSW, LCSW, is a certified family therapist with a private practice in the Chicago area. She is an internationally recognized health and safety advocate and the founder of the Medication-Induced Suicide Prevention and Education Foundation in Memory of Stewart Dolin (MISSD). Dolin started MISSD following the 2010 death of her husband, Stewart, who died after suffering from an adverse drug effect called akathisia. MISSD educates the public about akathisia in a wide variety of ways and is proud to be involved with advocacy groups such as the Consumer's Union, the Safe Patient Project, and the National Center for Health Research.
David Drapkin, LCSW, is the Executive Clinical Director of Strive Health, an Outpatient addiction and mental health facility in Paramus, NJ, for both adults and adolescents. Strive plans to open a new Jewish track in early 2021, offering culturally competent and focused clinical interventions for Jewish clients. David is a licensed Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) instructor, sits on the Board of Directors of Refa'enu and the Advisory Board of Communities Confronting Substance Abuse, and is a member of the Bergen County Alliance Steering Subcommittee (CASS) on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (LACADA).
David Drapkin, LCSW
Wendy Dolin, MSW, LSW, LCSW
Elana (or Ellie) Forman is the daughter of Lianne and Etiel Forman, the founders of CCSA. She’s also a member of the recovery community, with just under 3 years of continuous sobriety from opiates, amphetamines, and alcohol. Currently, Ellie is employed as the Community Liaison & Peer Recovery Specialist at Strive Health in Paramus, NJ, and is an incoming Master’s Student at UPenn, studying Liberal Arts & Public Culture.
Rabbi Zvi Gluck, son of Rabbi Edgar Gluck, grew up in a home where public service was paramount. By the time he was 19, Rabbi Gluck was involved in a Brooklyn drop-in center for victims of abuse and addiction, and was later certified as a paramedic. He became the chaplain for the Port Authority Police of NY and NJ. Rabbi Gluck founded Amudim Community Resources in 2014, and, in just a few short years, Amudim is fielding thousands of phone calls from people in crisis, providing comprehensive clinical case management, ensuring that clients get the support and services they need, and promoting education and awareness through Narcan trainings with the NYPD and community “Awareness” events.
Rabbi Zvi Gluck
Arnie Goldfein, has been in the “Jewish” recovery world for close to 35 years and is in a unique position to understand the feelings of stigma, hopelessness, remorse, shame, guilt, and fear associated with Substance Use Disorder. He has served as President of JACS (Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Person and Significant Others), a program of the Jewish Board of Families & Children’s Services, for over 7 years, and subsequently as Co-Executive Director of Rodfei Shalom, Inc. Both organizations are dedicated to the recovery of people with substance use issues. As a NYS Certified Peer Advocate Recovery Specialist (CPRC) he has helped hundreds of people to get their lives back on track to live a long-term, self-sustained, healthy life.
Ariel Mintz, MD
Eta is a clinical social worker in West Orange, NJ, specializing in the health, mental health, and special needs fields. She has held positions as the assistant director at the National Jewish Council for Disabilities/Yachad and a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University School of Social Work. Upon the death of her son, Eric, in February 2016, at the age of 28, after a 14-year battle with mental illness, Eta has become a strong advocate for mental health awareness and suicide prevention.
Eta Krasna Levenson, CSW
Ariel Mintz, MD
Ariel Mintz, MD, is a board-certified, fellowship-trained psychiatrist in Cleveland, Ohio. He founded Refuat Hanefesh, a non-profit organization creating a Jewish community that is more aware, respectful, and empathetic to people living with mental illness. He has won awards for academic achievement, research, and service to the Jewish community. He has authored over 40 articles and lectured on a wide range of mental health topics.
Ariel Mintz, MD
Tzivia Moreen, MD
Tzivia Moreen, MD, is a geriatrician in Connecticut, specializing in the care needs of hospitalized older adults. Her focus is on helping patients and families understand complex decision making and symptom management. When not at the hospital, Tzivia enjoys time with her four wonderful kids, as well as bike riding, baking, and hiking.
Tzivia Moreen, MD
Tzachi Rosman, PsyD
Tzachi Rosman, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of issues related to addiction, trauma, and self-esteem. Since 2008, Tzachi has worked at VA Hudson Valley HCS in Montrose, NY, serving as Staff Psychologist on the hospital’s residential Substance Abuse and PTSD units. Tzachi has a private practice in Teaneck, NJ, enjoys writing articles about mental health, and likes free-building Lego sculptures. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tzachi Rosman, PsyD
Rabbi Larry Rothwachs has served as rabbi at Congregation Beth Aaron in Teaneck, NJ, since August 2002. Rabbi Rothwachs is a graduate of Yeshiva College, the Azrieli School of Jewish Education, and received his semicha from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. From 1998 through 2016, Rabbi Rothwachs taught Talmud at Yeshiva University High School for Boys and the Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey, and he currently serves as head rabbi of Camp Morasha. In April 2016, he was appointed Director of Professional Rabbinics at RIETS at Yeshiva University.
Rabbi Larry Rothwachs
Matisyahu Shulman, MD, is a clinician-scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute Division on Substance Use Disorders and an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Along with his work in clinical research, Dr. Shulman is actively involved in efforts to increase awareness and treatment quality for substance use disorders. He frequently lectures for both lay and clinical audiences and is on the advisory board of the Communities Confronting Substance Abuse.
Matisyahu Shulman, MD
Arnie Wexler is a Certified Compulsive Gambling Counselor (CCGC) and was the Executive Director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of NJ for 8 years. He is one of the foremost experts on compulsive gambling in the U.S. Arnie has presented workshops and training seminars nationally and internationally, having spoken to gaming industry executives, Fortune 500 corporations, legislative bodies, and on college campuses across the nation. Arnie has also done trainings for the NFL. Since 1994, Arnie and his wife, Sheila, have trained hundreds of professionals working in addiction treatment centers, including Sierra Tucson and Betty Ford Center. They also trained US Army Addiction Counselors at Camp Zama, Japan. In addition, they have provided extensive training to casino personnel and have written Responsible Gaming Policies for major gaming companies. Together, they have authored many articles on the subject of Compulsive Gambling, and authored "All Bets Are Off," a book on gambling addiction.
Thank you to the sponsors of our
2020 Mental Health and Addiction Forum
Yosepha & Yitzie Solomon