You are reading

UJA Federation of NY launches initiative to combat opioid overdoses in Queens’ Bukharian Jewish community

Aug. 15, 2023 By Carlotta Mohamed

In response to the rapidly growing opioid overdose crisis among the Bukharian Jewish community in Queens, the UJA-Federation of NY has launched a new initiative to provide 12 community-based institutions with free Narcan kits.

This first-of-its-kind initiative brings together The Jewish Board, a licensed Narcan provider, with the local institutions that will distribute the kits to community members. Each community site will have a point of contact responsible for training and for distribution of Narcan to any community member who may want or need a kit. 

The 12 community distribution sites include:

  • Bukharian Jewish Congregation of Briarwood 
  • LeFrak City Jewish Center (Corona)
  • Kehilat Sephardim of Ahavat Achim (Flushing)
  • Netzach Outreach (Flushing)
  • Anshey Shalom (Forest Hills)
  • Beth Gavriel Bukharian Congregation (Forest Hills)
  • Bukharian Jewish Community Center (Forest Hills)
  • Emet Outreach (Fresh Meadows)
  • Shaare Shlomo (Fresh Meadows)
  • Bukharian Jewish Congregation of Jamaica Estates 
  • House of Torah (Jamaica Estates)
  • Congregation Ner Mordechai (Kew Gardens)

Rivka Nissel, LCSW, director of Jewish community services at the Jewish Board, said the organization has supported those in the community struggling with addiction for over 40 years, and their commitment to “combating this crisis is stronger than ever.” 

“This partnership is a powerful step toward addressing the opioid overdoses that continue to rise and steal the lives of our loved ones,” Nissel said. 


Karl W. Klug demonstrates the use of Narcan in his office on Long Island on Sept. 14, 2012.Photo Credit: Ed Betz

David Aronov, special advisor community and external relations, UJA-Federation of New York, said that by “distributing Narcan kits at trusted and known community institutions, they’re making the kits much more accessible and hopefully helping prevent overdose deaths.” 

New York City Health reported 2,668 overdose deaths in 2021, an increase from 2,103 deaths in 2020. Also in NYC, for the fifth year in a row, fentanyl was the most common substance involved, present in 80% of overdose deaths in 2021.

Naloxone, for example Narcan, is a medicine that can help people who are overdosing on an opioid, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Opioids include prescription medications, heroin, and fentanyl. Sometimes other drugs, including cocaine and methamphetamine, are mixed, or laced with fentanyl. 

For more information on accessing Narcan, contact Devora Jaye at The Jewish Board at 347-735-0583 or email

Recent News

Port Authority announces JFK Airport traffic congestion plan as new terminal construction ramps up this summer

With construction ramping up over the summer on the $19 billion JFK Airport redevelopment project, the Port Authority opened a free drop-off, pickup and waiting lot at the AirTrain station at Lefferts Boulevard to help passengers avoid heavy traffic congestion at the terminal frontages.

The new lot will allow travelers to easily hop on to the free on-airport AirTrain with frequent service for an easy, eight-minute ride to the terminals, saving them time and anxiety from potential construction-related congestion.

Urgent manhunt underway for ‘animal’ who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl in Flushing park on Thursday: NYPD

The NYPD announced a $10,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of a Hispanic man who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl in a wooded area of Kissena Corridor Park on Thursday afternoon.

More than sixty investigators were at the crime scene late into the night. During a press briefing by NYPD brass on Friday, Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said that the manhunt was expanded city-wide and that the department would spare no expense until the suspect was apprehended.

Man sought for raping 13-year-old girl in Flushing park in broad daylight Thursday: NYPD

An urgent manhunt is underway in Northeast Queens after a Hispanic man allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl at knifepoint in Kissena Corridor Park in broad daylight on Thursday afternoon.

Police from the 109th Precinct in Flushing reported that the youngster was with a 13-year-old boy in the park near Kalmia Avenue and Colden Street at around 3:30 p.m. when a stranger approached and threatened them with a knife, forcing them both into a wooded section where he tied them up. The perpetrator proceeded to forcibly remove their cell phones before sexually assaulting the girl, police said, adding that he fled in an unknown direction.