Regina Benshimon was busy preparing for Yom Kippur last September, but she stopped as the sun set the evening before the Day of Atonement would begin to celebrate the Sabbath. After dinner with her husband and the five of her seven children who lived at home (the two eldest were already married) she went to bed early.
It was to be the 44-year-old chasidic woman's last Shabbat.
Programs to combat domestic violence and drug abuse in the Jewish community were among the items in the state's $73.3 billion budget adopted last week by the state Legislature.
"Drug abuse is becoming an increasing problem in the Jewish community," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), who noted that he helped secure for Ohel Children's Home and Family Services in Brooklyn a $50,000 federal anti-drug grant, as well as several hundred thousand dollars in state money.
At-risk Orthodox Jewish teenagers in Brooklyn (involved in everything from credit card fraud to sexual promiscuity and drug abuse) have created their own informal support network that attracts similarly troubled youngsters from across the city and seeks to recruit "regular youngsters" to their ranks.