Youth Alcohol Project (YAP)

Background

Jewish Youth as young as 12 and 13 are involved in binge drinking and associated risky behavior on a regular basis.

The JCCV considered it imperative to facilitate a community approach to tackle this alarming and increasing issue. In 2009, YAP was initiated with a seeding grant from the Government and a Project Manager was employed to develop an educational package.

Aims

  • To tackle the issue of underage drinking by utilising a collaborative approach involving schools, community organisations, synagogues and health services
  • To reduce the level of underage drinking taking place in the Victorian Jewish Community
  • To increase awareness among parents and the general community of the harmful effects of underage drinking and its risks
  • To develop a long term educational campaign that will be embedded in the curriculum of the Jewish day schools in Victoria

Format

Year 6 Educational Sessions

An educational program has been developed focusing on Year 6 students and their parents. The program is facilitated by drug and alcohol experts combined with members of the Victoria Police Force. Year 6 level has been chosen as it is the pre bar/batmitzvah age, when Jewish youth are frequently and regularly exposed to settings where alcohol is served.

The focus of the program involves educating both students and their parents with skills, knowledge and power to combat underage binge drinking issues that are widespread and appear to be increasing from that age bracket within the Jewish Community.

Year 7 Drama Workshops

Drama Workshops were introduced in 2011 to educate Year 7 Jewish school students with techniques on how to handle peer pressure, specifically towards alcohol misuse. The Workshops offer a unique, challenging and creative atmosphere for students to learn, a fun activity for the students, whilst an important message on alcohol misuse is absorbed. The Drama Workshops were developed and are facilitated by Elinor Zetlin of Shine Brightly.

Other YAP Activities

  • Community Forums
  • Raise awareness in the community of issues relating to issues of alcohol misuse
  • Production and distribution of the JCCV Drug and Alcohol Resource Book for Parents
  • Development and endorsement of the JCCV Policy Youth and Alcohol
  • Representation of YAP at conferences and events

Personnel

The YAP Committee meets on a bi-monthly basis and comprises of representatives from the:

  • Australian Jewish Psychologists Association
  • Chevra Hatzolah
  • Jewish Care
  • Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV)
  • Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV)
  • plus interested individuals

 

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