The Community Confronts Substance Abuse

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13 Feb 2020

After they finally saw the cues that they’d been missing for years, after they realized that their second child, their brilliant daughter Elana, who had appeared to be dealing with a series of issues for years but seemingly was able to handle them, was deep in the grip of substance abuse, after they helped her — and it wasn’t easy, but they are strong and tough and loving, and so, after many false starts and bad times, Elana got off drugs and has been drug-free for two years now — Lianne and Etiel Forman of Teaneck saw themselves as having a stark choice.

Go big or go home.

As anyone who has met a Forman must know, that’s not much of a choice. The Formans went big.

In April 2018, they organized a community meeting at the Torah Academy of Bergen County that brought out a huge cross-section of the county’s Orthodox communities; local rabbis, heads of school, and other leaders had urged people to show up, and they did.

Since then, the Formans have continued to grow the group, which they’ve incorporated as Communities Confronting Substance Abuse.

In January, it was named as one of four start-up ventures that the Orthodox Union has chosen as the second cohort of its yearlong Impact Accelerator, “a mentorship program for growth and early-stage funding for Jewish nonprofit entrepreneurs,” as its press release puts it.

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The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.