Rami Elzas and JACS Toronto Release Rami’s Survival Guide to Pride
Date: June 2023
Rami Elzas, the 2023 Pride Toronto Sober Ambassador, and the JACS Toronto team are proud to share Rami’s Survival Guide To Pride. This guide was created by Rami to support members of the rainbow community who may be struggling with substance abuse and addiction – as well as the community at large.
In their role as the 2023 Pride Toronto Sober Ambassador, Rami wants to give back to the community that provided so much for them during their struggles with substances, sexuality, and gender. Coming from an anti-oppressive standpoint and a trauma-informed practice, Rami’s guide embodies community work at large and a sense of care for all people. Rami is grateful to be sober and to be able to share this guide in the hope that it helps others navigate the festivities safely.
As both a member of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and a full time employee at JACS Toronto, Rami co-facilities a weekly Rainbow Support Group that provides a welcoming and safe space for people who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+ and are seeking support.
Rami’s Survival Guide To Pride is available to download for free here and will be distributed throughout Pride. In addition to being a distinguished honoree marching during the 2023 Pride Parade, Rami will have a home base at the Pride Sober Oasis throughout the Festival Weekend. Rami is humbled to have been selected as the 2023 Pride Toronto Sober Ambassador, and they are looking forward to representing both the sober and 2SLGBTQIA+ communities for Pride Toronto 2023.
ABOUT RAMI ELZAS
Rami struggled with substance use for many years while growing up in Toronto, Canada.Like many, discovering their own identity and sexuality was difficult. Rami turned to alcohol at a very young age to cope with adverse social challenges, a difficult educational environment, and lack of acceptance from family members. For over a decade, Rami’s substance use continued to spiral out of control.
Until they were able to fully accept themselves as a non-binary queer individual, they were unable to get the support and assistance they truly needed. Through addiction and counseling support from JACS Toronto, Rami was able to get back on track. Now, over four years sober, Rami has gone back to school to get their GED Certification, and they are now finishing their last semester of George Brown College to become a Community Service Worker.
Rami’s story is incredibly inspiring. Rami is giving back to the community and helping those in need. Rami works at JACS Toronto both as the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO and as a co-facilitator of the weekly Rainbow Support Group. Rami created the 2SLGBTQIA+ group at JACS, recognizing the need to provide community members with a safe and supportive environment to discuss their challenges and build a community.
When asked about their opportunity to be the 2023 Sober Ambassador at Pride Toronto, Rami said; “I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to represent the 2SLGBTQIA+ community as the 2023 Pride Toronto Sober Ambassador, and to have my journey from addiction to recovery help others in need.”
About JACS Toronto:
Jewish Addiction Community Services (JACS) is a registered charity and is Toronto’s only substance use and addiction organization with a Jewish lens, offering support for the Jewish community and beyond. Our mission is to deliver unified education, programming, care, and support to all those affected by addiction in the Jewish community and beyond. JACS Toronto offers both individual and group therapy for individuals from all backgrounds who are suffering from any type of addiction, whether that is substance use or process addictions. JACS approaches support groups with a unique lens by offering groups based on what the community needs at the current time. JACS Toronto takes pride in supporting anyone in need and, with Rami’s help, those suffering specifically in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.
“All those affected by addiction” includes family members, friends, or anyone in a support network who cares for a loved one with substance or behavioral addictions, and who seeks resources to support them. “And beyond” includes all individuals, regardless of their background or belief. We offer barrier-free access to our programs and services for anyone who needs them. There is no waitlist to meet with a clinician for individual or family counseling, which is offered at a reduced fee or free of charge for those with financial limitations, and all support groups and outreach workshops are free to attend. Learn more about JACS at: www.jacstoronto.org.
As a non-profit charity, JACS offers sliding scale support for those in need, and relies on donors to continue our life-changing work. To make a donation to JACS Toronto and support our vision, please visit:
For media inquiries please contact:
President & CEO JACS Toronto
Vice President of Marketing