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Jewish Schools commend JCCV's Youth Alcohol Project

Jewish Schools commend JCCV's Youth Alcohol Project

19 October 2010

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) Youth Alcohol Project (YAP) has been presented at the majority of Jewish Schools in Melbourne with great success and interest from students, parents and teachers alike.

The YAP is primarily focused on the Year 6 level although some schools have involved their Year 7’s. The YAP delivery model offers students a class session with the Senior Alcohol and Drug Counsellor from Odyssey House Rene De’Santanna, and another with Victoria Police Senior Constable Lisa Prince, Glen Eira Youth Resource Officer. Another session only for parents is offered at each school, giving them the opportunity to hear what their children have learnt and to discuss a variety of strategies they too can embrace and utilise.

Both Rene and Lisa have been warmly received by the schools.  As a teacher at Mount Scopus College commented on Rene’s student session “….Year 6 staff and students found today’s alcohol education session presented by Rene De Santanna very relevant, informative and engaging. Rene is a great presenter. He was knowledgeable, friendly and interested in what the students had to say. Rene’s passion for raising young adolescents’ awareness of the impact of alcohol on people’s lives, society and the brain was very evident. Thank you again to the JCCV for offering this to our Year 6 students.”

The response from the larger Jewish community has also been positive. Danny Elbaum Operations Manager Hatzolah advises that protecting and safeguarding our youth is vitally important and educational projects like YAP are critical components of this strategy. “We must all take responsibility for the health and wellbeing of our youth and the YAP program has achieved this by bringing together experts in the field and delivering a practical program to all the schools in the community.”

Danny reports that it was pleasing to note that attendances by Hatzolah Responders to young intoxicated patients over the Yom Tov period were down substantially this year compared to previous years.  “Continual attendances over the years to young intoxicated patients cause much anguish to Hatzolah Responders, so this Yom Tov was a happier time and it also allowed my Responders to be with their families instead of assisting young people lying unconscious, or vomiting profusely in the gutters of our local streets. However we must continue to be vigilant and ensure that programs like YAP become entrenched in the curriculums of all the Jewish Day Schools, so that we protect our youth, and the future of our community.”

YAP is currently organising a major community Alcohol Awareness Forum to be held at 7.30pm, Tuesday 16 November 2010 at Beth Weizmann. A variety of speakers will be on the panel and the audience will be invited to participate. Members of the community, parents in particular, are encouraged to attend the Forum, which will build on the work that the JCCV and our partners in this project have done to date. Further details will be advertised in the Australian Jewish News over the next few weeks.

The JCCV Youth Alcohol Project is a collaborative project including representatives from the JCCV, Jewish Schools, Hatzolah, Jewish Care, the Rabbinical Council of Victoria, the Jewish Taskforce Against Domestic Violence and interested community members.

For any further details please contact Debbie Zauder, YAP Project Officer on 0413 263 673 or


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