JAAN is led by a collaborative advisory board comprised of professionals, clergy, and community members who bring diverse expertise, experiences, and a shared mission to support Jewish communities impacted by the addiction crisis.
Marla Kaufman is the Executive Director and Founder of Jewish Addiction Awareness Network. After her own family’s decade-plus experience of navigating resources to support their son’s journey from addiction to recovery, Marla has dedicated her life’s work to silencing stigma and raising awareness. Since beginning JAAN in 2016, Marla has traveled to Jewish communities across the United States to share innovative programs, proven strategies, and best practices to help communities collaboratively address addiction and related mental health challenges from a Jewish perspective. She also provides Jewish cultural sensitivity training to medical and treatment professionals, and supports Jewish families in crisis and those desiring to integrate their recovery with their Judaism.
Marla served as Chair of the Orange County (CA) Jewish Community Addiction Task Force for four years and is currently a member of BaMidbar Wilderness Therapy’s board of directors. She began her career as Director of Communications and Recruitment for a financial services company, followed by serving as Director of Development for a Jewish day school, and later worked for a therapeutic wilderness program for adolescents creating marketing strategies and family support programs.
Marla has a BA in sociology with a minor in American Studies from California State University, Fullerton.
Beth Fishman, PhD
Bringing a unique perspective of addiction recovery through Jewish tradition, Dr. Beth Fishman has worked with individuals and families impacted by a wide range of substance use disorders and other addictive behaviors for over 25 years. Beth is the Program Manager of addiction services JCFS Chicago. In this capacity, she offers education and support to Chicagoland Jews in recovery and their allies, provides training for communal and treatment professionals, assists Jewish communities around the country in developing programs to address addiction, and helps synagogues to create safe sacred spaces vis a vis alcohol use. Beth has presented at Limmud Chicago and at regional and national conferences on a variety of topics related to addiction recovery and Judaism.
Beth established the Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse at the University of Florida, and served on the founding board of the Oral Testimonies Project of the Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg, the Women’s Seder of Tampa Bay, and the Tampa Jewish Meditation Kehillah. She was the recipient of a Dorot Foundation Fellowship, which supported her study at both Modern Orthodox and Reform yeshivot in Jerusalem.
Beth received her PhD in Clinical Health Psychology at the University of Alabama-Birmingham and is licensed as a Clinical Psychologist by the State of Illinois.
Debbie Katz is the Director of Administration and Marketing for Bamboo Studio, a wholesale/import company focused on providing eco-friendly products to the hospitality industry. Her prior work experience includes managing the day-to-day operations and marketing of several small to mid-size companies in a variety of industries. Debbie’s expertise in marketing, accounting, team building, and problem-solving has contributed significantly to the growth and success of these companies.
Debbie immigrated to California with her family from South Africa when she was in high school. Both her children attended Jewish day schools in Los Angeles and Orange County, California.
Debbie has a BA in Communication Studies from U.C.L.A.
Joseph Kaufman is Chief Financial Officer at Robert Kaufman Fabrics, an industry leader and distributor of quality textiles for the quilt, sewing, and apparel markets. Joe has been employed by Robert Kaufman Fabrics, a company started by his grandfather, for 30 years. His prior work experience involved cost accounting and inventory control at a medical instruments company and a computer circuit board manufacturer.
Joe holds a BA degree from U.C.L.A. in economics, and has volunteered at a Jewish day school analyzing applications and making recommendations for financial aid awards.
Rabbi Paul Steinberg
Rabbi Paul Steinberg is a nationally recognized transformative educator. Currently, he proudly serves as Rabbi at Congregation Kol Shofar in Tiburon, California. Paul previously served as Principal of a Jewish day school in Dallas, and the Senior Educator at Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California. He has published many articles on Jewish thought and education, as well as five books including, Study Guide to Jewish Ethics and the three-volume series Celebrating the Jewish Year, which earned the National Jewish Book Award.
After completing treatment for alcoholism, workaholism, and depression, Paul served as the Beit T’Shuvah Community Rabbi (2014-2017), a synagogue community with an addiction treatment center. He then published his most recent book, Recovery, the 12 Steps, and Jewish Spirituality: Reclaiming Hope, Courage and Wholeness, which tells his personal struggles with addiction, as well as provides the first comprehensive approach to integrating Jewish spirituality with the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Paul has a BA in psychology and Judaic Studies from the University of Arizona, and several graduate degrees from American Jewish University (AJU) in Los Angeles, including a MA in Rabbinic Studies, and ordination as a Conservative rabbi from AJU’s Zeigler School of Rabbinic Studies. He is a doctoral candidate in education at Jewish Theological Seminary.
Rabbi K’vod Wieder
Rabbi K’vod Wieder is Rabbi at Temple Beth El of South Orange County in Aliso Viejo, California, a progressive congregation that is affiliated with both the Reform and Conservative movements. For over 25 years, K’vod has been teaching classes, leading retreats, and counseling students in meditation, prayer, and creative forms of Jewish spirituality. He previously served as the Assistant Director of Chochmat HaLev – a Jewish meditation center in Berkeley, Program Director for Sonoma County Jewish Federation, Director of the B’nai Tzedek Teen Philanthropy Program for the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, Program Director for Elat Chayyim Center of Jewish Spirituality, and trained and interned with Jewish Funds For Justice and One L.A in the area of congregation-based community organizing.
K’vod has a BA in psychology from UC Santa Cruz and a MA in Transpersonal Psychology (counseling) from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. He completed his rabbinic studies at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles at American Jewish University, earning ordination as a Conservative rabbi.
Addiction is a Jewish issue. We’re working to address it.