Bialik hosts Youth Alcohol Project

August 23, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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“I learnt a lot tonight about what alcohol can do to me, my body, especially my brain this is not the way I want to have fun with my friends.”

This was the comment from a Bialik College student after a Year 6 and 7 YAP session at the school, attended by over 200 parents and students.

Guests at the conference

Kirsten Cleland Manager of Headspace with a Bialik family


Guest speakers included Kirsten Cleland, Manager of Headspace, Michelle Kornberg, a Family Educator and Counsellor, Danny Elbaum, Operations Manager Chevra Hatzolah. The main message of the evening was that “It’s OK to say no!” Kornberg explained “when a parent says no to their child, whether it is related to alcohol or any other issue, it must mean no and no is not may be. Furthermore, youth should not feel pressure from their peers to drink; youth have the power and the right to say no too.”


Danny Elbaum, Operations Manager Hatzolah with a Bialik family

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria continues to address the problem of alcohol abuse, and in particular, the problem of underage drinking. An Evaluation Report by Debbie Zauder, the Project Manager, underlines that the JCCV Youth Alcohol Project’s (YAP) has created awareness on the issue of alcohol misuse within the Jewish community and that parents and students find the program extremely valuable

YAP aims to educate students and their parents about the short and long term effects of alcohol, the legal aspects relating to the supply of alcohol to minors and offers strategies for managing peer pressure in relation to alcohol.

Zauder states “At YAP sessions both students and parents are increasingly interested in understanding what effects alcohol has on the teenage brain. Most YAP participants are surprised to hear that the teenage brain is not fully developed until you are in your mid 20’s. Current research confirms that alcohol can seriously damage a teenage brain permanently.”

Since YAP’s inception in 2010, over 2000 Jewish families have participated in a YAP session. YAP has developed and orchestrated a diverse number of events and activities in school and community settings, raised awareness of the issue of youth and alcohol, produced and disseminated resources, publications and a JCCV youth and alcohol policy.

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