AA in Israel

"Alcoholism hits everyone. Men, women, religious, non-religious, even people in the Muslim community, where drinking is prohibited."

By DIANA BLETTER
July 16, 2008 15:52

According to Sy Greenfeld, the first group of Alcoholics Anonymous in Israel was started in 1976 in Tel Aviv by several immigrants from South Africa along with personnel from the United Nations. It was an English-speaking group. For Hebrew-speaking alcoholics in Israel, he says, "there was nothing-no literature, no translations, no other professional help." Greenfeld says that alcoholics were routinely placed in psychiatric hospitals. "There was no other help for them," he explains. Greenfeld joined the Tel Aviv AA group in 1977 and then started a group in the Haifa area with three other people. "Alcoholism hits everyone," Greenfeld said. "Men, women, religious, non-religious, even people in the Muslim community, where drinking is prohibited." He said that studies have shown that statistically, approximately 10 percent of adults in every country will abuse alcohol. Of that 10%, 1% will be alcoholics. There are now dozens of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings throughout the country in Hebrew, English and Russian.


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