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Based on well-known results, 12-step programs based on Alcoholics Anonymous and branching out to narcotics and such, appear to be extremely effective. However, since Jews are roughly a 1:100 minority in most of the United States (densely populated cities being an exception, of course), it's unlikely a Jewish alcoholic will be able to find a fully Jewish AA group.

Since AA requires surrender of control of our lives to "G-d as we understand Him", as one of the steps, religiously there should be no problem with a Jew's joining a non-fully-Jewish AA group.

Moreover, because one of the main rules in AA is to never encounter fellow members socially, there should be no danger of intermarriage from this. Am I right?

Is there anything else I should be concerned with when deciding to join such a group?

  • many meetings are held in churches, which may be a problem. See judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/3666/voting-in-a-church and judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/1351/… and linked questions – Menachem Dec 1 '13 at 22:08
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    This article seems to imply that one can attend an AA meeting as long as this doesn't lead to participation in non-Jewish communal prayer (and it even endorses the communal recitation with non-Jews of Tehillim in English!): chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/848875/jewish/… – Shivaram Lingamneni Dec 2 '13 at 1:31
  • If you need a 12-step program, it's mamish pikuach nefesh. – Tatpurusha Mar 31 '14 at 5:15
  • Rabbi Shais Taub in his book has an appendix which provides 12 step programs to contact which are appropriate for Torah observant Jews. I don't have the book to check if he specifically lists issues to look out for, but I think it would be a good resource for your question. – Yishai Jun 16 '14 at 14:53
  • Not that an anonymous someone on the internet matters, but I weighed these issues and in the end I accompanied a close friend to a meeting run by the Caren institute which was held in a church. I was happy when I got there that the meating was in a basement room and not the main sanctuary but I had gone fully willing to go into the sanctuary too if need be. – user6591 Oct 19 '14 at 23:59
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Mingling with gentiles for a specific purpose that can't be accomplished with Jews is perfectly fine.

If you need the 12 step program, go for it.

However, I can not offer personalized, professional advice, and this website does not take the place of seeking such advice from your rabbi.

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    I don't doubt your first sentence, but editing in a source or argument for it would make your answer much more valuable. – msh210 Dec 1 '13 at 3:09

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