JACS: Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons, and Significant Others


JACS is dedicated to:

  • Encouraging and assisting Jewish alcoholics, chemically dependent persons and their families, friends and associates to explore recovery in a nurturing Jewish environment;
  • Promoting knowledge and understanding of the disease of alcoholism and chemical dependency as it involves the Jewish community; and
  • Acting as a resource center and information clearinghouse on the effects of alcoholism and drug dependency on Jewish family life.

JACS is one of the Rita J. Kaplan Jewish Connections Programs of the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services


  • Anonymity is the Spiritual Foundation of All Our Programs
  • Live and Let Live


Myth: Jews don’t drink or do drugs

Reality: Alcohol and chemical dependency do not discriminate; they affect Jews as frequently as they do any other group!

The guilt and shame that result from this false and dangerous myth keep many Jews from seeking the help they need and deserve.

JACS’ mission is to replace the myth with the reality and to help both individuals and the Jewish community at large effectively treat the problem of addiction where it exists, and prevent it where it doesn’t.

JACS provides a supportive network of Jews who are successfully in recovery and co-dependence, as well as the communal professionals, clergy and educators who help them. JACS is a Resource Center to which individuals, families, groups and community institutions can turn for helpful, comforting guidance and links to the “recovery tools” that have proved helpful to the thousands of people who make up our network.

JACS serves as an extraordinary meeting ground where Jews from across the spectrum of Jewish life can come together in a strong spirit of Achdus (Unity), to join forces in overcoming the scourge of addiction.


In 1978, Jewish members of AA were invited to join professional and leaders on the recently established UJA-Federation of New York Task Force on Alcoholism. They were able to put “a name and a face” to the disease in a way that the Jewish community hadn’t seen before. The Task Force had an ingenious idea: hold a weekend retreat for recovering alcoholics, addicts and family members — a kind of spiritual homecoming — a unique blending of Jewish tradition and 12-step recovery philosophy, together for the first time anywhere.

That weekend in 1978 marked the birth of JACS (Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons and Significant Others) and the start if a new self help/mutual support movement of recovering Jewish people empowering themselves, talking to their communities and advocating for services on behalf of addicted Jews and families.

For nearly three decades, JACS has been the central voice for alcoholic and chemically addicted Jews and their families. Since 1992, JACS has been a program of JBFCS (Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services) and a core of its Rita J. Kaplan Jewish Connections Programs.

JACS has helped to put addiction on the agenda of the Jewish community, advocated for the needs of Jews in treatment, and facilitated the involvement of clergy in meeting spiritual needs of Jews in recovery. Through its retreats, workshops and dialogues and other support programs, JACS has directly assisted thousands of alcoholic and chemically addicted Jews to find Jewish resources to assist them in recovery, and reached tens of thousands more through publications, community presentations and the media.


Support, Guidance, Contacts and Comfort in Times of Crisis:

  • Talk with a JACS staff member or volunteer, by phone or in-person
  • Get leads and advice about effective treatment and support services
  • Join the JACS email discussion group
  • Locate local recovery meetings through our Online Directory

Jewish Events that Promote Recovery:

  • Come to a weekend or all-day retreat
  • Celebrate a clean and sober Seder or Purim
  • Connect with a support network of Jews in recovery
  • Link-up with the JACS Teen and Young People’s Network

Awareness and Prevention Services for the Community:

  • Bring our Speakers Bureau to your synagogue, school, JCC or club
  • Get training and consultation through our programs for Rabbis, Educators and Jewish Communal Professionals


Become a Member!

Jewish Connections Programs