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A P R I L 2015

We Are All Junk Blessings

JACK BENDER AND BEIT T’SHUVAH TRANSFORM PERSONAL JUNK YARDS INTO WORKS OF ART

Refining Our Light MICHAEL WERNER, CO O,

DISCUSSES BEIT T’SHUVAH’S FUTURE AND WHY HE’S GIVING BACK

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{ FEATURED INSIDE } H I G H H O L I DAYS • BT S T H R IF T B O U T I Q U E • GA L A 2 015 R A B B I PAU L S T E I N B ER G • B E I T T ’S H U VA H E V E N T S

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APRIL 2015

MAGAZINE FEATURES CHAIR’S + PRESIDENT’S NOTE

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Dr. Bill Resnick and Annette Shapiro embrace the challenge of balancing the good and evil inclination.

HARRIET’S + RABBI’S NOTE | 05 An empowering message about wrestling with the opposing selves within.

NEW FACES, SAME HEART | 07 Introducing development’s newest team members and what to expect in 2015.

THE ELAINE BRESLOW INSTITUTE | 09 Rabbi Paul Steinberg uncovers the common thread in Judaism: brokenness, and discusses the Institute’s revitalization of Jewish education and spiritual learning.

WE ARE ALL JUNK BLESSINGS | 11 Jack Bender and Beit T’Shuvah are turning personal junkyards into works of art.

HOW TO POLISH A LIFE | 15 A look inside the thriving BTS Thrift Boutique and its remarkable social mission.

REFINING OUR LIGHT | 21

{ INSIDE } THE GAL A p g25 AROUND BTS p g33 HIGH HOLIDAYS p g29

Beit T’Shuvah’s new COO, Michael Werner, discusses the organization’s changes and why he gives back to the community that saved him four years ago.

CELEBRATING OUR JOURNEY | 27 An unveiling ceremony and dedication of the Saul and Joyce Brandman Campus and Elaine Breslow Institute.

ON THE COVER: Jack Bender ’s “M arriage”

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Dr. Bill Resnick Chairman of the Board Annette Shapiro President of the Board Harriet Rossetto Founder Executive Vice President Rabbi Mark Borovitz Senior Rabbi, CEO Michael Werner Chief Operating Officer Nancy Mishkin Warren Breslow Chairs Emeriti BOARD MEMBERS Lise Applebaum Heidi Bendetson Lynn Bider Joyce Brandman Emily Corleto Samuel Delug David Elston Jon Esformes John Fishel Pat Gage Mel Gagerman Carolyn Gold Beverly Gruber Salli Harris Roberta Holland Joyce Kamenir-Reznik Russell Kern Dr. Susan Krevoy Diane Licht Virginia Maas Bradley H. Mindlin Donald S. Passman Joan Praver Ed Praver Heidi Praw Avi Reichental David Ruderman Ronnie Stabler Frank Wurtzel Jill Black Zalben HONORARY BOARD MEMBERS Sheldon Appel Donald J. Berghoff Robert Felixson* Herb Gelfand Jeffrey Glassman Robert Gluckstein* Brindell Gottlieb Blair Belcher Kohan Shelley Kozek Chuck Maltz Cheri Morgan Mike Nissenson Jan Rosen Richard Schulman Rena Slomovic Craig Taubman Lisi Teller Greg Vilkin Dr. Howard Wallach* Brad Wiseman Hal Wiseman* Robert Wiviott * Deceased

MAGAZINE EDITORS IN CHIEF HARRIET ROSSETTO RABBI MARK BOROVITZ DESIGN EDITOR KENDL ULLMAN

ART DIRECTORS BRET LUGO KENDL ULLMAN

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS ALI GABLER STEPHANIE LAGER GENERAL MANAGER OF CREATIVE MATTERS ELIANA KATZ CONTRIBUTING WRITERS JACK BENDER JUNK BLESSINGS: A FILM RABBI MARK BOROVITZ RABBI’S NOTE BAILA DRUCKER INTRODUCING THE MIND-BODY DEPARTMENT JENNA GOLDMAN CELEBRATING OUR JOURNEY ALI GABLER NEW FACES, SAME HEART STEPHANIE LAGER GRATEFUL: SPOTLIGHTING THE ORDEN AND FLESH FAMILY; HOW TO POLISH A LIFE; NEW FACES, SAME HEART DR. BILL RESNICK BOARD CHAIR’S NOTE HARRIET ROSSETTO FOUNDER’S NOTE ANNETTE SHAPIRO BOARD PRESIDENT’S NOTE JENNY SHERMAN CELEBRATING OUR JOURNEY RABBI PAUL STEINBERG TEACHING JUDAISM THROUGH BROKENNESS MICHAEL WERNER REFINING OUR LIGHT CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS JUSTIN ROSENBERG CONTRIBUTING GRAPHIC DESIGNERS ALISON LOWENBERG GRAPHIC DESIGNER MARY FITZGERALD INTERN GRAPHIC DESIGNER

DONORS & ADVERTISERS THAT OFFSET THE COST OF THIS ISSUE MOSHE ELAD FIRST IN PRINTING | ELDERLINK HILLSIDE MEMORIAL PARK AND MORTUARY | DR. RANDY MARTIN RYAN LICHTERMAN | QUICKSILVER PRINTING

Please send comments, letters, and feedback about this issue of Beit T’Shuvah Magazine to: hrossetto@beittshuvah.org or contact the development office at 310.204.5200


BILL RESNICK,MD, MBA, CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF DIRECTORS

EMBRACING LIGHT AND DARK Beit T’Shuvah has had a busy few months full of excitement and change. In September, we hired a new chief operating officer, Michael Werner, whose long career as a hospital administrator is a perfect match for our needs as we further professionalize our program. This change allowed me to fully resume my role as chair of the Board, which I had put on hold while serving as the acting COO. In December, with our construction and remodeling project just about completed, we honored the donors who supported our capital campaign with a beautiful dedication ceremony chaired by Joyce Brandman and Annette Shapiro. It highlighted the amazing growth of Beit T’Shuvah over the past few decades. On the heels of this uplifting event, we hosted the bittersweet final Shabbat for our very talented cantor, Rachel Goldman, as she left Beit T’Shuvah to hone her cantorial skills.

“Being fully alive means being present for this range of experience and emotion. As we say, it’s not an “either/or”; it’s a “both/and.” This is one of the core messages of Beit T’Shuvah.”

This magazine’s theme of light and dark is particularly relevant. We talk a lot at Beit T’Shuvah of “yetzer hara,” evil inclination, and “yetzer hatov,” good inclination, and how we need to acknowledge and embrace both. This is not to say that we should never act solely on our yetzer hara, but rather we should acknowledge its existence and make sure we balance it with our yetzer hatov. In a sense, acknowledging our dark side, or our evil inclination, and accepting the existence of darkness around us, is a way of coming out of denial, which so many addicts and their families retreat into to avoid reality. By acknowledging and even embracing the existence of darkness in ourselves and others, the darkness loses its power. Light and dark can also apply to the contrasting emotions of joy and sorrow. We feel joy as we optimistically look forward to progress and growth; at the same time, however, we experience sorrow as we acknowledge what is lost. Being fully alive means being present for this range of experience and emotion. As we say, it’s not an “either/or”; it’s a “both/and.” This is one of the core messages of Beit T’Shuvah. Thank you to all who celebrate the gifts of Beit T’Shuvah, embracing the light and the dark of recovery and addiction.

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ANNETTE SHAPIRO, PRESIDENT, BOARD OF DIRECTORS

A DELICATE BALANCE Light and darkness, joy and sadness co-exist in the world and in all of our lives. Our challenge as Jews and as human beings is to keep them in balance. When we tip over into darkness, the negative voice within us cries out for relief, looking for it in all the wrong places—drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc.—which ultimately leads to self-deception, self-mutilation and self-sabotage. The main message of Beit T’Shuvah is to embrace light and dark, positive and negative. As a former chairman of the Board, and now president of the Board, I spend a great deal of time at Beit T’Shuvah. I am very involved in its daily life; my husband and I are at Shabbat services often. The Beit T’Shuvah staff work tirelessly because they believe in this program. We have seen many of the residents experience joy and sadness, and have witnessed broken people become whole. Because word of these personal accounts of transformation has spread throughout the community, we were fortunate to receive enough support to expand and remodel the facility. This was all initially made possible because Joyce Brandman generously donated the building next door! We are very proud to see everyone’s hard work come to fruition and to be able to offer the residents a beautiful, clean, safe place to recover. Words of appreciation cannot be expressed enough to everyone who has introduced others to the Beit T’Shuvah community as residents, volunteers, friends and donors. Everyone who becomes part of the community is impacted by the openness and honesty they experience, and the magic that transforms sadness into joy, despair into hope, and purposelessness into mission.

“The Beit T’Shuvah staff work tirelessly because they believe in this program. We have seen many of the residents experience joy and sadness, and have witnessed broken people become whole.”

I am grateful to all of you, those of you I know and those of you I haven’t yet met, for all that you give to Beit T’Shuvah—your time, your talents and your money. I hope that you receive in return, much more than you give … the same as I have.

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HARRIET ROSSETTO, FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT

“The search for a ‘right way,’ for a God that blesses those who follow your way and punishes those who don’t, is spiritual immaturity.”

the opposing selves, the dark and the light, to find wholeness and inner peace (shalom/shalem). I am constantly amazed and frustrated that this simple shift in thinking is not common knowledge! We live in an “either/or,” partisan world of warring camps… liberal/conservative, hawk/dove, spiritual/scientific.

FROM “EITHER/OR” TO “BOTH/AND” For much of my life I was tormented by two characters that occupied my body, mind, and spirit— one was fat; the other was thin. The thin one wanted to save the world. The fat one wanted to stay in bed. They read different books, listened to different music and fell in love with different boys. They hated each other. The fat one sabotaged the thin one’s world-saving efforts, bursting all her balloons with dark, despairing thoughts. What’s the point? Nothing matters anyway. I kept asking myself which one was the real me and how do I get rid of the other one? A few decades ago, I had an epiphany at a psychosynthesis seminar: they are both the real me. They are both here to stay so they better learn to get along with one another. I named one Girl Scout and the other Slug. I introduced them to each other and made a “shidduch.” They still talk to one another all day, fight and make up regularly. Accepting that I have to claim both of them and learn to love them was the turning point of my life—my most important lesson! This paradigm shift has given me staying power, resilience and the ability to sustain both my mission and my marriage!

Just this week I read an article in the L.A. Times by Kurt Streeter about Pastor Rick Bell, a Seventh-day Adventist pastor who was experiencing a crisis of faith. He realized that there are good, decent people who don’t follow all the Church rules; that following the rules doesn’t protect people from tragedy or guarantee righteousness. His conclusion was to “take a year off from God.” He went to Las Vegas to the sceptic/atheist convention where no-God resulted in revelry and strippers. The pastor didn’t feel that those were his people either. He felt “stuck in the middle.” I felt the urge to write him and explain that it wasn’t one way or the other. That in the words of Anne Lamott, “The opposite of faith is not doubt, the opposite is certainty.” The search for a “right way,” for a God that blesses those who follow your way and punishes those who don’t, is spiritual immaturity. It is the child’s need for security as he struggles to discover who he is. Am I good or bad? James Fowler, in his book Stages of Faith, says that doubt and critical examination of one’s beliefs is not the end of faith but the maturation of faith. Emotional and spiritual maturity requires us to tolerate paradox and ambiguity: the “both/and” of others and ourselves, the integration of light and dark, good and evil. It is the daily struggle to take right action no matter what you think or feel, to love and serve with no guarantee of reward or certainty that what we are doing is “right.” We accept our imperfections, admit our errors and make amends for our poor choices. This is the message of Beit T’Shuvah, of Torah and the 12 Steps of the Anonymous programs.

The last thirty years of treating addictions and other maladaptive behaviors has reinforced my belief that the most important ingredient for change is the paradigm shift from “either/or” to “both/and” thinking in all aspects of one’s life. Recovery at Beit T’Shuvah is integrative; a psycho-spiritual, communal experience that integrates

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RABBI MARK BOROVITZ, HEAD RABBI & CEO

“It is difficult to wrestle with changing old behaviors and even more difficult to wrestle with the growth of your own spirit.”

Yet, recovery is just that—wrestling.

THE DISEASE OF SELF-DECEPTION I believe that self-deception is the root of living in dark while believing you are living in light. Rabbi Heschel says, “The heart of the problem of human existence is to fight against mendacity, against lying.” He goes on to say, “One of the major inclinations in every human being is a desire to be deceived. Self-deception is a major disease.” I have wrestled with the problem of self-deception for the past 26 years, and I’m amazed that we continue to let it rule our lives. Let me give some examples: 1) We still believe our politicians when they have proved over and over to be interested in catering to the group that will re-elect them rather than doing what is necessary to move the country forward. I have listened to the name-calling, gridlock-producing, uncaring ways of our Congress for a long time and wonder: How do people continue to vote against their best interests and the best interests of the United States? Self-deception is the answer. People want to be deceived and don’t want to wrestle with the LIGHT/DARK within themselves and others. 2) Recovery: People believe that they can be in recovery by just not using and drinking, etc. They deceive themselves into believing that they don’t have to change their behaviors nor grow their spirits in order to overcome the ways of being that drove them into the waiting arms of addiction. It is difficult to wrestle with changing old behaviors and even more difficult to wrestle with the growth of your own spirit.

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3) “Magic Pill”: Science today is trying to make everything about the brain. Doctors are medicating people so they feel good, pay attention, and are numb to the suffering/problems of human existence. We have a nation of pushers, and they are called doctors. It is not their fault. Insurance companies give them a hard time about taking enough time to get to know a patient. They tell them what medications to use and what tests to give. Who is making these decisions? Accountants! We have allowed ourselves to be deceived that accountants know what medical treatments are best for individuals based on what? Money, not care. What a joke, right? Yet, we don’t initiate a singlepayer system. Doctors and insurance companies are making everything about a pill. If you are sad, you must be depressed, and here is a pill to take away your sadness/depression. WE SHOULD BE SAD when we look at the world today. We should be sad when we look at how some people live such shallow lives, that the difference between the 1% and the 99% is so vast, that people are starving and we, as a country, are not finding solutions to this problem. We should be sad in order to “fail forward.” Buddhists say, “All life is suffering.” Yet, we keep trying to medicate the suffering away. There is essential pain that we have to face in every choice we make and there is no way to truly escape the emotional and spiritual work necessary to deal with life on life’s terms. Science is trying to give us a quick fix because people want to be deceived! We have to stop deceiving ourselves and being deceived by others. Living in accordance with our spirits and growing our inner life is essential to living well. Without doing this work, we continue to live in darkness, while believing we are in the light. This is the work of Beit T’Shuvah and the work of religion. Please join all of us here at Beit T’Shuvah in doing this work and promoting it throughout our communities and world.

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DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT

“And if you are getting married, celebrating a simcha, having a bar mitzvah, or just planning a party, consider renting our stunning new space for any type of soiree!”

LA Marathon team, taking care of everything the team needs to get across the finish line. And, as if two new hires weren’t enough, the Development Department also welcomed Amy Abrams as its newest assistant. Needless to say, they have been busy working with all of these changes, a growing budget, and a growing belly on Development Manager Ali Gabler, who has just departed for maternity leave. She and her husband, Daniel (both BTS alumni) are expecting a baby boy mid-April 2015!

NEW FACES, SAME HEART By Ali Gabler and Stephanie Lager The close of 2014 brought many changes to Beit T’Shuvah and particularly to the Development Department. After eight years of managing countless events and raising millions of dollars for Beit T’Shuvah, Barbara Friedman has moved on to serve as our human resources manager. To fill her enormous shoes, Avia Rosen, the wife of Youth Services Director Doug Rosen, stepped up in September 2014 and jumped right into planning events. Avia not only fits in perfectly here, being a long time member of the Beit T’Shuvah community, she also brings 10 years of experience as the director of marketing from Goldrich and Kest as well as a positive attitude and can-do spirit. Another wonderful addition to our development staff is someone who is not new to Beit T’Shuvah, Nicole Goodman. Nicole started in our Youth Services Department in 2012 and always had an interest in the fundraising she knew was necessary to keep the mission of Beit T’Shuvah alive. When a position in development became available, Nicole was the obvious choice. Nicole’s focus within the department is now as grants manager and Elaine Breslow Institute administrator. Nicole is also serving as the passionate leader for Beit T’Shuvah’s

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We are excited to announce that our renovation and construction project is 95% complete! We have officially moved into the new building at 8847 Venice Boulevard. The sanctuary is beautiful and full of ruach (spirit). We invite you to join us for our weekly Shabbat services at 6:30pm on Fridays followed by our famous Shabbat dinners, which are finally back after a long hiatus. And if you are getting married, celebrating a simcha, having a bar mitzvah, or just planning a party, consider renting our stunning new space for any type of soiree! As part of our venue offerings, we are happy to help with catering, music and clergy services for your event. Still in the afterglow from our successful Gala and LA Marathon season, it is now time to gear up for summer and fall 2015. Both the BTS Golf Tournament and the Circle of Majesty Luncheon are right around the corner in May/June. Over the summer you will also receive annual membership renewals for Congregation Beit T’Shuvah and invitations to numerous summer events from interesting speakers to exciting performances. As the development team works hard to ensure that no one who comes to Beit T’Shuvah for help is ever turned away for financial reasons, they also work hard to support the community and help create a place that all of you can be a part of—a place where you can always know that you matter.

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If your mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, cousin, grandparent or friend isn’t a real estate agent, call me.

Don’t let an inexperienced agent represent you! Contact me to discuss in depth your Real Estate needs, or for a complimentary market analysis. I look forward to speaking with you, and being of service. As a member and supporter of the community, I will donate 5% of all commissions earned through you or your referrals to Beit T’Shuvah.

Ryan Lichterman / ASSOCIATE 323.353.7632 ryan@barcodeproperties.com CalBRE # 01470501


By Rabbi Paul Steinberg

udaism was born from brokenness. The Jewish nation, as the Torah tells us, arose from the brokenness of slavery and depravity. The Rabbinic tradition emerged from the brokenness of the destruction of the Temple. The State of Israel came about on the heels of brokenness and tragedy. Even the world itself, says the Torah and Jewish mysticism, was created out of the brokenness of chaos and darkness. Brokenness, pain, and travail have always preceded great creativity and advance in Judaism. Indeed, brokenness is one of humanity’s great teachers. Brokenness, however, is easily masked and frequently ignored. Broken imperfection is commonly despised for the immediate discomfort that accompanies its necessary vulnerability. So it is that the veil of perfectionism, material grandiosity, and “selfie” plastic smiles often win the day over the truth of brokenness in American culture. For the last century, however, American Jews have not had to face brokenness as we did before. American Jews have found success and social leverage through the spirit of Maccabean perseverance and strength. Amidst America’s securities, there has been remarkable Jewish achievement through great synagogues, schools, camps, federations, agencies, and universities. Yet, despite this, Jewish education and engagement struggle today. Synagogue affiliation rates are dropping, school enrollment is diminishing in both day schools and synagogue schools, teen engagement in youth groups is decreasing, and many scramble to keep college and young singles connected to Jewish communities.

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This contemporary Jewish educational struggle is not due to lack of effort. In its essence, the struggle is a matter of spirit. It may have taken Maccabean courage to build a community and life, but building a community and sustaining one over time demand different aspects of spiritual energy. The former requires the courage of a full heart, while the latter requires the courage, as the prophet Jeremiah described, of a “circumcised heart.” After all, the journey of life, whether of an individual or a people, will eventually crack and break the heart, and it is precisely then that the journey transforms into a pilgrimage of the soul. The Jewish spiritual test today in America is therefore not of industry, but of integrity. And there is no integrity, no truth without utilizing one of humanity’s great sources of inspiration and learning–brokenness. At Beit T’Shuvah, we treat and educate those who are among the most acutely broken in our society. They respond to labels such as junkie, criminal, alcoholic, gambler, and thief. Nevertheless, what we have learned at Beit T’Shuvah is that the destructive behaviors of addiction and crime are truly the most severe symptoms of a deeper spiritual malady. These symptoms live on the spiritual continuum of a division of self or brokenness. Addiction, as we have come to believe it, is ultimately a painful expression of a profound existential angst, affecting both psyche and soul. Accordingly, our treatment goal is more than sobriety alone; it is psychic and spiritual transformation. We have also learned that this brokenness does not always manifest in such acute and destructive behavior. It is, in fact, experienced in every corner of society. Today, we live in a world of repressed stress, anxiety, and depression. The result may not be addiction or crime, but certainly we see it in rampant workaholism, sleep deprivation, prescription drug abuse, obesity, caffeine consumption, spend-aholism, pornography obsession, compulsive social media obsession, eating disorders, and self-mutilation. Surely the pains of being a human being in an imperfect, stressful world somehow touch each one of us. Our teens are perhaps the ones most affected, demonstrated by alarming rates of anxiety and depression, and the subsequent acting out and self-destructive behaviors. At Beit T’Shuvah, we lean into the brokenness of our experience in the world. In doing so, our experience has been that Torah, prayer, and Jewish tradition have come to mean more and hold greater significance to those we serve. We teach Judaism as a spiritual response to the human existential condition and, even though its stories were of those long ago, they are happening to us now. Here, Judaism is refreshed, revitalized, and re-mythologized daily, meeting our community amidst today’s real-life struggles. This past year, Beit T’Shuvah launched The Elaine Breslow Institute. The Institute is the bold expansion of Beit T’Shuvah’s vision of a relevant and restorative Judaism that shines light into the dark crevices of every heart. The Institute is the vehicle through which we seek to transmit

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onto Jewish educators and clergy (as well as medical professionals) decades of the same hard won wisdom that has motivated thousands of people who have passed through our halls. Essentially, The Elaine Breslow Institute functions as an educational arm of Beit T’Shuvah to serve Jewish professionals who stand on the front lines of encountering brokenness. It is the means to provide immersive educational experiences, wherein we offer a novel lens with which to address the psychological and spiritual pangs of living broken. During this inaugural year of The Institute, through a process of study, personal introspection, and group work, Jewish educators, rabbinical students, and clergy opened up to their own personal brokenness. As a result, like our approach to counseling and teaching here at Beit T’Shuvah, they learned to integrate soul and role, inspiring their own spirituality and learning, as well as their connections with others. Again, brokenness births new life, new inspiration, and new opportunity.

The Elaine Breslow Institute affords Beit T’Shuvah the infinite possibility of positive influence as participants pass on what they have learned to their own colleagues, staff, students, and communities. To be sure, what The Institute pursues is no less than offering a powerful lens with which to revitalize Jewish education and engagement in America. It is a lens that points to blessing amidst curse, hope amidst despair, resilience amidst hopelessness, and deep meaning amidst vanity. • w w w. b e i t t s h u v a h . o r g | B E I T T ’ S H U V A H | 1 0


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JUNK BLESSING: A FILM ON A BLACK SCREEN THE FOLLOWING LEGEND APPEARS IN WHITE: “LOS ANGELES, 1959” FADE IN: EXT. ALLEY - DAY CLOSE - a Sandy Koufax BASEBALL CARD held by a close pin flaps against the spokes of a spinning bicycle wheel. ANOTHER ANGLE - CAMERA MOVING with a 10-year-old boy, call him JACKIE, as he rides his bike down the alley. Wearing a white t-shirt and faded blue jeans, Jackie steers his bike around the potholes like a downhill Olympic skier. As he rides, Jackie checks out the backside of the buildings with their thrown away trash. Spotting a pile of rusty pipes and a bent fan sticking out from under a pile of wood and cardboard, Jackie quickly stops his bike. JACKIE’S POV - MOVING IN on the pile of trash. ANOTHER ANGLE - as his eyes light up anticipating the hidden treasure he’s found. Lifting up the cardboard, Jackie picks up a few of the rusted pipes. He could be Bluebeard discovering a treasure of timeless beauty. I would then tie the found junk to the back of my bike and drag it slowly home. In the magic of our garage, I would hammer and paint the objects into something I called . Whether that transformation was something that pleased other people was not my business. I hoped it did, but it was the doing of it, the transformation that was my secret joy. It still is.

art

I was no Edward Kienholz or Robert Rauschenberg in the making. Those were the masters. But it was who I was. And still am. Looking back on those innocent days, I see that was my first art. I even sold some to friends of my parents. That is until they returned a mixed media painting of a pregnant woman with a three dimensional box between her legs, complaining that people hit their heads on it getting up off the sofa. My dad, God love him, would not let me return the fifty bucks they paid for it. My first sale. Another thing I did at that age was make rides for kids in my neighborhood. Fast, scary, slow or suspenseful, I’d load them into my wagon or on my FlexiFlyer and pull them through some kind of adventure. I am blessed to say that I am still doing that today. Whether on TV or canvas, I am still trying to take people somewhere. Still telling stories that matter to me and hopefully will matter to them. It’s more than how I make my living. It’s how I live. I need to do it. Making something out of nothing.

Out of junk.

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Which brings me to JUNK BLESSING. What it is and how Rabbi Mark Borovitz and I have come together to make something out of it. Ever since our younger daughter spent some time at Beit T’Shuvah, my wife Laura, who is also a Rabbi, and I have had the good fortune to become good friends with Rabbi Mark and his brilliant wife and Beit T’Shuvah founder, Harriet Rossetto. The love and admiration we feel for these two remarkable people inspired me to create the art book “2 Broken People” using my art to tell their story from brokenness to redemption. The lives they save everyday is a miracle to behold. And, one of the things I love best about both of them, they get the joke. They get the junk and transformation that turns it into something good. December 17th, the second night of Chanukah, we held our first “Junk Blessing” event in the Beit T’Shuvah sanctuary. It celebrated both the art from “2 Broken People” and the idea that we all have the power to transform the junk in our lives into something beautiful. The event was attended by over a hundred people and I admit, having had many one man shows in galleries, I was a bit apprehensive to have one in a temple where art had to lean against the white walls instead of being hung. But Rabbi Mark kept telling me it would work, and it did. Junk Blessing could not have gotten off to a better start. I feel particularly honored to connect JUNK BLESSING with Beit T’Shuvah because it is a place where people can come when they feel like junk or drowning in the junk in their lives. By entering this house and “holding on,” they can rediscover their authenticity and TRANSFORM. It is my hope to have many events with artists, authors, actors, filmmakers, and a variety of creators of all kinds of beauty. They all have spent time

in their own private junkyards.

Harriet, Rabbi and I are taking JUNK BLESSING on the road. Coming to a soul near you. Now I pass you to my dear friend and partner in this endeavor, Rabbi Mark Borovitz. Jack’s description is perfect. We all feel like we have junk in us or around us or in our houses. Junk Blessings comes to remind us that sharing, giving, and healing our junk with others allows us to be part of the blessings that are of this earth! Thank you Jack and Laura, thanks to all who have brought their junk to Beit T’Shuvah and made them into Blessings. Thank You God for showing Jack the way to make art and blessings out of everything in his life and teach the rest of us how to do the same.

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It all started with a silver tea set. Mr. and Mrs. Cohen met because of it some 50 years ago; it was their most valued treasure, the symbol of their love. Now Anne, a single mother who just moved to L.A., is admiring that same tea set. As she delicately handles each piece she notices it could use a good polish, but she can’t let it go. Fond memories of after school tea with her grandmother come trickling into Anne’s mind.

Just like the hand-painted plates and crystal glasses that surround it, that tea set had a story. And now that tea set is generating a new story for someone else, all while helping broken addicts and determined interns rewrite the course of their lives. Enter the pink and white structure of the BTS Thrift Boutique and you’ll find yourself engulfed in a mesmerizing wonderland. Musky aromas of antique leather goods and polished china will compete for your attention, but you will find yourself lost. Where to turn? Moose heads, oriental rugs, designer clothes, delicate china, large oil paintings, rows and rows of chachkies and structured sofas will all be calling your name. Behind the organized chaos that is the BTS Thrift Boutique, there is a true family committed to recovering and repurposing goods as much as souls. This compassionate mentality can be traced back to its roots, which began in 2004 when Hal Wiseman purchased the building framing Washington Boulevard and Motor Avenue. He donated the entire structure to Beit T’Shuvah because he had a vision—one where previously broken, recovering addicts could rebuild their lives in a safe environment while gaining valuable work experience. In the past 10 years, the Thrift Boutique has grown tremendously and now occupies almost the entire block. Much of its success can be attributed to the hard work and dedication of its employees, many of whom come in on their days off because they’re that committed. Over the past five years, Helen Murray, the donations manager, has spearheaded an extensive outreach initiative that includes phone calls, mailings, door-to-door introductions, as well as developing relationships with manufactures, estate sales, and flea markets. A P R I L 2 015

To top it all off, Andy Slavkin, who has over 20 years in the appraisal business, will know the worth of any item you bring in, no matter how obscure. But Helen and Carlton Knight, the store’s general manager, attribute the success to their tremendous donor base—the very reason their doors remain open year after year. The store’s philosophy has changed since the early years and is now geared towards acceptance. “We take everything,” Carlton and Helen say, almost in unison. “There’s an important balance we need to maintain,” Carlton says, “a teetertotter of how much merchandise is coming in and how much buyers are purchasing.” But the main difference is obvious. “We’re more of a family now,” Helen says. “Yes, we are all brothers and sisters, even residents feel at home when they come here. We flipped over the ‘m’ and went from ‘me’ to ‘we,’” Carlton says. Helen found herself interning at the Thrift Boutique over five years ago while a resident at Beit T’Shuvah. After earning her Master’s Degree in Psychology, she never imagined spending her days in an office. But Helen fell in love. And, as with most love, it was blind; it was her wacky, indefinable home. It wasn’t just because of the rare merchandise, overly warm-hearted people, the feeling of being of service and doing her part—it was because she found the intersection of her passion and purpose; and coincidentally, Helen was able to use the tools she learned in school in a completely different setting. Helen often finds herself holding a grieving widow in her arms or helping someone talk through their pain on the phone. “I love dealing with customers,” Helen says and explains how they often call the thrift store for help. w w w. b e i t t s h u v a h . o r g | B E I T T ’ S H U V A H | 1 6


“They don’t realize it’s not Beit T’Shuvah because they get our number from the Jewish Federation or online,” she says. Helen refers them to Beit T’Shuvah or other resources and puts them in contact with social workers. “I get to make a real difference,” one that she gets to witness before her eyes almost every single day. Talk about finding a treasure. Carlton elaborates on how the store is committed to making a difference in the community. Just the other day Carlton saw a homeless man and gave him shoes and socks, free of charge. Last year the Thrift Boutique donated three pianos to a local church, 20 walkers to an assisted living home, and lots of bedding and toys to Vista Del Mar. “We help families in need because we are a family within our community—we help each other,” he says. It’s this “pay it forward” mentality that makes donors so eager and willing to contribute, while simultaneously keeping employees thoroughly motivated. Mickey Baer, who has been working on the thrift store’s truck for over two years, found his miracle at Beit T’Shuvah in 2011 when they picked him up from jail. “I’m a direct result of the fruits of my labor. The people before me allowed me to get treatment and build a life that I can be proud of, where I can be a father to my daughter. I can never give enough back to Beit T’Shuvah for what they’ve given me, but I try to do it for the next person.” Undoubtedly, a key component of the BTS thrift mentality is repurposing. As Carlton puts it, “Every donation is a seed. We harvest the seed by reselling it, then the funds rejuvenate and help restore the residents at Beit T’Shuvah.” By repurposing one person’s junk as another one’s treasure, repurposing donated items that aren’t “sellable,” and repurposing the lives of those who come beaten down and lost, the thrift store is an integral part of keeping the Beit T’Shuvah mission alive and well. It’s so integral, in fact, it’s the reason most employees choose to work there. Jonathan Titcher, who has been working on the thrift store’s truck for three years says, “Interacting with the residents 1 7 | B E I T T ’ S H U V A H | w w w. b e i t t s h u v a h . o r g

and watching their growth first hand, seeing them develop purpose… that’s the most meaningful part of my job; it’s the reason I love coming to work every day.” The last fiscal year was the best the Thrift Boutique has ever seen, and while it’s easy to measure success monetarily, it’s harder to measure one’s impact on the community, another area where the thrift store can’t stop prospering. “It’s an oasis for the community,” Carlton says, “there is something here for everyone.” “And,” as Helen says, “It’s so important to have a safe space where residents can face society and pick up the pieces necessary to move forward.” It’s not just the social mission that makes this shopping experience unique—it’s the merchandise too! Through some intimate merchant relationships, certain wardrobe staples hit the racks straight from warehouses, without ever being worn. But their truly best, most unique finds are donated; the store recently sold three Salvador Dali paintings! As is required in all great treasure hunts, finding that gold mine or diamond in the rough will require some tender love and care. Most Beit T’Shuvah community members know this metaphor well—the process of revitalizing and repurposing that which can sometimes be so easily forgotten. Beit T’Shuvah views each person that walks through its doors as a holy soul. When you throw out someone you’re throwing out someone’s daughter, someone’s brother, someone’s parent. You’re throwing out a life that has the potential to be as beautiful as it used to be—just like that antique rocking chair or silver tea set—it needs someone who can see past the wear and tear, someone who can see exactly how to polish its beauty. Perhaps it’s a bit crazy to view these possessions like a person, but crazy is exactly what these thrift-ers are…crazy about the lives they’re passionately saving. A P R I L 2 015


The following are alumni of the Beit T’Shuvah program that we lost in 2014. Their spirit will forever live in our hearts. Alex Aiello Lee Beberman Yis Polstein Steven Sands David Severson Erin Viselman Steve Warnick

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w w w. b e i t t s h u v a h . o r g | B E I T T ’ S H U V A H | 1 9


More than 90% of people with involving prescription painkillers now kill more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined. Americans die from a prescription drug overdose every 19 minutes. 1

The United States consumes 80% of the world’s

while only having 6% of the world’s population. 2

began smoking, drinking, or using other drugs before age 18. 5

During the past 30 years, the number of

in federal custody has grown by 800%, and half of them are serving sentences for drug offenses.6

In the United States, In 2013, 120 people died on average every day from from pain medication abuse are outnumbering deaths from traffic accidents in young adults. 3

There are more than 12 million

in the U.S. 4

overdose.7

In 2012, there were an estimated 5.77 million disordered

in the U.S. in need of treatment. 8

1. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [cdc.gov] 2. ASIPP American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians [asipp.org] 3. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention[cdc.gov] 4. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence [ncadd.org] 5. National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse [casacolumbia.org] 6. National Institute on Drug Abuse [drugabuse.gov] 7. Office of National Drug Control Policy, The White House [whitehouse.gov/ondcp] 8. National Council on Problem Gambling [ncpgambling.org] 2 0 | B E I T T ’ S H U V A H | w w w. b e i t t s h u v a h . o r g

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3,957 Addicted adults have been through Beit T’Shuvah’s residential

program.

2,420 Outpatient clients have sought and found

at Beit T’Shuvah.

10,515 Inmates in jail have received emotional,

and advocacy services from Beit T’Shuvah.

1,580 Non-addicted people struggling with life stressors have found

through our counseling and therapeutic services.

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10,830 Family members have learned about addiction, received therapy that provided

and built healthy relationships with their addicted loved one.

58,000 Adolescents have

how to make informed choices through Beit T’Shuvah’s Youth Services Program. 79,500 People have had their spirits

in the audience of Beit T’Shuvah’s original musical “Freedom Song.”

110,100 People have been infused with the essence and love of

through Beit T’Shuvah’s annual High Holiday and weekly Shabbat services.

w w w. b e i t t s h u v a h . o r g | B E I T T ’ S H U V A H | 2 0


refining our light My name is Michael Werner and I am one of the many thousands of people who have received treatment at Beit T’Shuvah since its inception by Executive Vice President and Founder Harriet Rossetto in 1987. Prior to my arrival in 2010, I can’t remember a time where even the thought of needing treatment for an addictive disorder crossed my mind. Yet there I was, in a room called 9500 (named after a block in LA County Jail) with five other men who had also arrived at a very dark place in life with altered perceptions of reality, an inability to differentiate between good and bad decisions, and a heart full of debilitating, malignant shame due to behaviors we all regretted. I was like someone groping about in a very dark room, looking for a lightened exit, but banging into all the furniture and continuously falling down. I was stuck. I was also frustrated, angry, and growing more and more miserable. I hated being at Beit T’Shuvah. I hated even the idea of being at Beit T’Shuvah. I was also so very lucky, but I didn’t know it at the time. Due to the many great people that I met over my time in treatment—including the counselors, my therapist, the Rabbi, Harriet Rossetto, community members, and all the unique residents I encountered—I regained proper perception, began to understand myself much better, and learned about the human condition in general. Over time my shame turned into guilt. My guilt led to amends. My amends led to proper thoughtout action. When I eventually departed, it was as a healthy, much happier, very-focused adult that was able to re-enter the world in a well-rounded, focused, and determined manner. 2 2 | B E I T T ’ S H U V A H | w w w. b e i t t s h u v a h . o r g

By Michael Werner, COO Last July, life came full circle. Just as I never thought I would end up at Beit T’Shuvah as a resident, I also did not perceive the possibility that I would someday return in an administrative capacity, much less over four years later. I am now the very proud chief operating officer of Beit T’Shuvah.

I’ve been granted the opportunity to give back to the community that helped me so much, with the mandate to prepare Beit T’Shuvah for the future. A P R I L 2 015


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Over the last five months, and in a manner that embraces collective wisdom, Beit T’Shuvah’s leadership has systematically assessed all areas of the organization to create a vision for the future that actively embraces and builds on its prestigious past. In general, the focus has been on four major areas:

Quality & Safety Staff training Implementation of new technology to enhance care Preparations toward formal accreditation of the residential treatment program The major construction efforts have essentially concluded, and most of the internal renovations of the north and south buildings, as well as all associated offices, have been completed. Many minor projects to enhance staff, resident, and visitor safety and security have been completed. Our incomparable staff has received extensive training in many areas to include patient privacy laws (HIPAA), fire training, ergonomic safety, CPR and first aid, cultural diversity, quality and risk hazards reporting, handling of hazardous materials, harassment training, and emergency preparedness & response. Our information systems infrastructure has been upgraded and the entire organization successfully migrated over to Microsoft 365 over the last several months. In November, approval was given to purchase and implement the first electronic health record system, KIPU, in Beit T’Shuvah history. This will further enhance Beit T’Shuvah’s ability to care for our residents in a thoughtful and integrated manner. We expect to have the new system operational by the end of January 2015. Preparations for an on-site behavioral health care survey by JCAHO (an abbreviation for Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) have been ongoing with excellent progress towards meeting all the many required standards, including complete revision of our policy and procedures manual. Beit T’Shuvah has been an innovative leader for almost 30 years, leading the way for those needing a spark of light that illuminates a way out of the darkness of addiction.

*That spark is growing brighter * A P R I L 2 015

w w w. b e i t t s h u v a h . o r g | B E I T T ’ S H U V A H | 2 2


AROUND BEIT T’SHUVAH

“Hold On,” an art piece created by community member, Susan Trachman.

Marathon Training

Beit T’Shuvah embraced the arts this year with exciting community screenings of Aftermath, The Poet and the Con and Urban Fruit, as well as an impressive display of inspiring performances during our annual Talent Show and Redemption Song. Jack Bender’s exquisite art adorned our walls for “Junk Blessings” and congregants and residents alike renewed their spirituality on Simchat Torah.

BTS Marathon Team

Michele Mazovz & EJ James

The Rabbinic Split

Eric Trules and Rabbi Mark

Rabbi Bradley Artson, Stuart Matlins, Rabbi Paul Steinberg Aryeh Robbins & Nicole Goodman

Naot Shoes Trevor Davis, Harriet Rossetto, Tricia Nykin, Eric Trules, Rabbi Mark

Nina Jo Shapiro

Family Weekend

2 Broken People Art Show

Rabbi Mark, Rabbi Haim Beliak, Tricia Nykin, Neil Friedman, Heidi Oshin

Todd Bird & Jonas Eisenberg Shai Blakeney & James Fuchs

2 4 | B E I T T ’ S H U V A H | w w w. b e i t t s h u v a h . o r g Joan Praver Craig Taubman

Simchat Torah

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Urban Fruit Premiere


SPOTLIGHTING THE ORDEN AND FLESH FAMILY BY STEPHANIE LAGER How do you turn a broken life into a beautiful one? Some might say hard work and diligence. Others might say compassion and will power. Ted and Hedy Orden will tell you without question that it’s gratitude. In 1959 Hedy and Ted Orden were finally free. They arrived in the U.S. from Romania after surviving the torture of WWII and communism. They were truly broken. They were physically, mentally, and emotionally tortured. Their world was overtaken by an inescapable, impenetrable darkness. Despite all the terror, heartbreak, and inconceivable brutalities, one thing was certain: they always had hope. With two little girls in tow and nothing but one small suitcase and no knowledge of English, they began to build their new life in a foreign land. Miraculously, through a Romanian friend and classmate, Hedy landed a job as a bookkeeper for a dress shop in downtown L.A. “I was working hard, learning English, cooking, cleaning, taking care of my young daughters, but I was so happy to be here! To be free and to have choices,” Hedy says with a noticeable spark in her eyes. After settling in the United States, her husband, Ted, started a new business and Hedy gave birth to their third daughter. They worked tirelessly and never complained. Ted and Hedy were introduced to Beit T’Shuvah through the wonderful work their daughter, Judy Flesh, was doing as a volunteer. In 1999 Judy heard about Beit T’Shuvah through a friend and wanted to get involved; she soon became one of their first volunteer therapists. Equipped with a comprehensive background in clinical art therapy, Judy provides a therapeutic outlet for residents to express themselves and reconnect with their feelings in her weekly group. Although Judy was never personally exposed to addiction, she witnesses the way Beit T’Shuvah’s treatment program changes lives. “It’s a great program because it gives you a new chance at life,” Judy says. When people are so beaten down that they can’t imagine a future for themselves, and then they shift and see that it is possible, “that’s the most meaningful thing…it’s very touching,” she says. Judy understands the transformation the residents’ experience at Beit T’Shuvah because it’s reminiscent of the struggle her parents went through. “It’s a tale of redemption and renewal. Both require the philosophy to never give up, to always have hope, and to understand that there is always the possibility to start anew,” she says. A P R I L 2 015

JUDY FLESH AND HEDY ORDEN At 88 years old, Hedy is a petite, warm, lively woman filled with love and generosity. She continues to use her story of triumph as inspiration for many who are suffering. People who are tormented by suicidal ideations reach out to her and she helps them work through their pain by changing their life outlook. “Being able to help those who couldn’t imagine living and now have a life is very, very rewarding,” she says. Starting broken and shattered and then mustering the courage to rebuild one’s life—it’s the story of survival. And, it’s the story of sobriety. As Hedy puts it, “Everybody has bumps, you always have to find the light and look for the good parts. You must never give up hope. No matter how dark your past is, and mine couldn’t be darker.” Ted and Hedy donate a generous sum to Beit T’Shuvah every year. “It gives me the best feeling possible. I want to do as much as I can because it’s such an important organization that changes people’s lives. I am so appreciative and grateful that I’m in this position to help,” she says. Despite the pain and struggle Hedy has endured in her life, and continues to endure with her ailing husband who is 93, she consistently says, “I’m the most blessed person in this world.” Her face lights up and her delicate arms grow animated and full of life as she says, “I wouldn’t change places with anyone in the world. I have such a good life and good family.” She has 16 beautiful grandchildren and three great-grandsons. More than anyone I’ve ever met, Hedy is an exemplar of gratitude. She is living proof that anything in life is possible; any amount of pain can be turned into joy when you commit to a life of appreciation and generosity. Overcome with the innumerable blessings in her life, Hedy says, “Why shouldn’t I smile so much?” And that’s exactly how we feel about her. w w w. b e i t t s h u v a h . o r g | B E I T T ’ S H U V A H | 2 4


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1. The Shanis and the Levins 2. Mory Benperlas, Tricia Nykin, Ashtar Goldreich 3. Authentic Recovery Center 4. Heather Garrett and Justin Rosenberg 5. Jennifer Gendel and Laura Bagish 6. Jenna Goldman and Nessa Feinstein 7. Applebaum Family 8. Cantorial Soloist Shany Zamir and Ben Foster 9. Jack Bender and wife, Rabbi Laura Owens 10. Cantor Shira Fox 11. Gala co-chairs Lise Applebaum, Avia Rosen, Meryl Kern, and Janice Kamenir-Reznik 12. Jon Esformes, Ryan Russell, Maia Russell, Lisa Esformes Russell, and Chris Russell 13. Jon Esformes and Annette Shapiro 14. BTS Alumni 15. Cantorial Soloist Shany Zamir 16. Rabbi Mark Borovitz, Alex Bort, Ginger Bort, Harriet Rossetto 17. Dr. Bill Resnick 18. Emily and Shai Blakeney w w w. b e i t t s h u v a h . o r g | B E I T T ’ S H U V A H | 2 6


By Jenny Sherman and Jenna Goldman MOVING FROM DARKNESS INTO LIGHT IS A JOURNEY.

It requires courage, persistence, and an unwavering commitment to be better, not just for oneself, but for the sake of all who are still plagued by darkness. On December 7th, 2014, Beit T’Shuvah celebrated this journey with the dedication of their Saul and Joyce Brandman campus and the opening of The Elaine Breslow Institute.

donations come to life; the first time they were physically inside what began as just an idea years before. Rabbi Mark Borovitz said, “What we have here is a group of people gathered who believe in, and live a life of, T’Shuvah; more importantly, they believe in and live a life dedicated to T’Shuvah— to the wrestling and to the return of all people.”

By Jenny Sherman and When Jennaplanning Goldman the ceremony, Rabbi Mark and Harriet Rossetto

The ceremony honored the many generous donors responsible for this new structure, which signifies an expansion of Beit T’Shuvah's addiction treatment model. As the communal educational arm of Beit T’Shuvah, The Elaine Breslow Institute seeks to disrupt, renew, and inspire awareness about the social conceptions of addiction and human brokenness through dynamic and research-based educational programming. Working with therapeutic, medical, and Jewish professionals, as well as families and student groups, The Institute is designed to meet a variety of constituents, imbuing within them skills and confidence to address addiction and brokenness in their own personal and professional lives. With this expansion, Beit T’Shuvah has been given the room to grow in leaps and bounds as a community, a goal that never would have been realized without the initial generous $3 million donation from Joyce Brandman and the Saul Brandman Foundation. On December 7th, guests sat in awe of what the furniture-store-nextdoor had become. For many, this was the first time they witnessed their

discussed finding the right person to open the ceremony, concluding that the right fit would be “Someone who has a deep, deep love for Jewish people, someone who can also relate to brokenness and broken people.” Rabbi Mark acknowledged this person as Council General for the State of Israel, David Siegel. When Rabbi Mark asked David if he would be interested in participating, he simply replied, “Heneni.” Translation: “Here I am.” Siegel explained that Beit T’Shuvah is one of the only organizations in L.A. helping people on the ground floor; taking Jews that have been thrown away and helping them rebuild their lives. As Siegel says, “Freedom means that we have to live a life of courage,” and that commitment to courage is exactly what accounts for Beit T’Shuvah’s success in terms of its residents’ sobriety and its status as a pioneer in addiction treatment. Harriet and Annette Shapiro, the president of the Board of Directors, each reflected on the story of Beit T’Shuvah and its inception. The new campus represents a culmination of a thirty-year journey that started

2 8 | B E I T T ’ S H U V A H | w w w. b e i t t s h u v a h . o r g Annette Shapiro Joyce Brandman and Avi Reichenthal

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Council General for the State of Israel, David Siegal


with three people in a little house on Lake Street in downtown Los Angeles. Today, Beit T’Shuvah is a state-of-the-art facility covering almost an entire block on Venice Boulevard. Harriet stated that, “Beit T’Shuvah is (now) an essential and permanent part of the Jewish community of Los Angeles,” and thanks to the generous support of so many in our community, Beit T’Shuvah won’t be going anywhere. The landmark building stands proud, empowering its residents and reminding them that they no longer have to hide. Finally, its elegant outward appearance matches the benevolent work happening on the inside, echoing the strength of the individuals who occupy the facility—all who work tirelessly to ensure their actions match the holiness of their souls. “For so many years, addicts have lived in shame. This represents a coming out for addicts because they don’t have to hide. We’re proud of who we are and what we’re doing,” Harriet said. Left Side: The fragments of a broken life represents what we repair at Beit T’Shuvah

Closing the ceremony, Rabbi Mark and Board Member Avi Reichental presented a one-of-a-kind, 3D-printed mezuzah to Joyce Brandman. The .925 sterling silver and 18 karat gold mezuzah was created by Avi’s company, 3D Systems and inspired by Beit T’Shuvah’s unique version of the Kedusha. The formation of the Saul and Joyce Brandman campus is a miraculous gift not only to help treat addicts with substance abuse problems, but to reach all people who are broken and seeking wholeness. At Beit T’Shuvah, residents have “This home (that) is a secure place,” as Joyce Brandman said, to step out of their dark pasts and into their bright futures. Harriet believes that people deserve a place that reflects the holiness of their soul. After embarking on that journey some 28 years ago, today Beit T’Shuvah is proud to say that it is that place.

Seeking Wholeness: A Process of Transformation

Commissioned honor of Bruce Konheim by his friends for the new lobby. Created A P R I L 2in015 by Laurie Gross Studios © 2014, Co-designers Laurie Gross and Elisha Schaefer

Right Side: The fragments made whole again represent the Torah we teach at Beit T’Shuvah

w w w. b e i t t s h u v a h . o r g | B E I T T ’ S H U V A H | 2 9


HIGH HOLIDAYS At Beit T’Shuvah, High Holidays are about embracing the music within—the music of pain, repentance, and redemption. Exploding instrumentals, heart wrenching melodies, personal tales of tragedy and triumph were accompanied by exceptional choral performances and uplifting rabbinic sermons. Over 1,000 souls gathered inside Agape’s International Spiritual Center to make T’Shuvah and commit to a more righteous life in 5775.

Tashlich

Shai blows the shofar

Opening the gates

Rabbi Mark

Yom Kippur

James Fuchs & Laura Bagish

Tricia Nykin & Sam


Tashlich

Tashlich

Yom Kippur

Blowing of the shofars

Ben Green

Delug

Lara Kamen

Aaron Delug & Paul Marr

Ali Gabler & Lexi Nolte

Aliyah

Hariett Rossetto & Avi Reichental

Eliot Godwin


T

he end of 2014 has seen the launch of the MindBody Department, comprised of a comprehensive range of treatments, services and activities designed to restore clients’ bodies and spirits that have been ravaged by addiction. The current, albeit ancient, thinking regarding the human being and the human condition is that it exists and experiences life on multiple dimensions simultaneously: emotional, physical and spiritual. Since addiction is a human experience, it is a disease of the body, mind and spirit, and best practice dictates that to provide effective treatment, all of these components need to be addressed. The “both-and” paradigm, a cornerstone of Beit T’Shuvah’s treatment philosophy, suggests that healthy thinking and living is found in balance; incorporating both our higher and shadow selves, integrating both the light and the dark. Mind-body treatment is all about “both-and” balance. As clients embark on a journey of recovery, their minds are deeply engaged in the therapeutic process; it’s imperative that their bodies are engaged equally in recovery as well. The Mind-Body Department reflects Beit T’Shuvah’s commitment to staying on the cutting edge of developments in the field, providing integrated and holistic treatment for addiction as well as Founder Harriet Rossetto’s dictum that clients have fun in sobriety—“mandatory fun.” Deliberately designed with a range of options, the mind-body programing is informed by the deep awareness that all clients are unique and therefore need various opportunities to find their niche and recover their passion. Through experiential engagement, clients learn to adopt a healthy lifestyle, manage stress and become empowered to achieve their potential. Clients are given opportunities to recover their passion and unleash the healing power of their minds and bodies. The department works with many service providers from diverse backgrounds, many of whom are in recovery themselves and share their expertise and wisdom with clients.

Below is a look at some of the program’s exciting offerings that fuse physical activity with healing, therapeutic processes. Beit T’Shuvah’s signature surf therapy program, a biweekly, sunrise excursion to beautiful El Porto beach, continues to be a source of peace, healing and empowerment for clients. Taught by a pro-boxer, our martial arts training program offers high intensity sessions that give clients increased self-efficacy, an outlet for self-expression and a felt sense of strength and power. Equine assisted therapy is facilitated by a venerable horseman and compassionate therapist in an idyllic corral nestled in the breathtaking bluffs of Pacific Palisades. In this gentle yet powerful treatment, the horses are used as a therapeutic tool with which clients learn new ways of being, interacting and relating. Weekly flag football and basketball games are forums for clients to work together as a team, exercise discipline and feel empowered. On its very own grounds, Beit T’Shuvah has a flourishing community garden as well as a variety of projects and


activities as part of a thriving therapeutic horticulture program. Horticultural therapy provides numerous benefits for mental health issues and an evocative metaphor for the process of recovery. Clients learn to practice yoga and meditation from seasoned practitioners and guides. These mindfulness-based activities can be highly effective for stress reduction, emotion regulation and general well-being. Certified fitness professionals provide group and individual fitness instruction and training in Beit T’Shuvah’s on-site gym as well as in off-site, outdoor recreational facilities. In early recovery, clients are often emaciated and undernourished or unhealthily overweight as a result of their drug use. Working out restores their bodies to health and strength as well as their sense of self-esteem and positive body image. Nutritional guidance is also available to clients to support their return to health. The wilderness program, which includes hikes and overnight trips in the many national parks and trails that beautiful California has to offer, allows clients to connect with themselves, each other and the world around them in fresh, new ways by teaching them valuable and empowering survival skills. Clients can avail themselves of a broad spectrum of alternative

treatments, including acupuncture and chiropractic. The programing continues to develop and grow with a deep dedication to our clients’ holistic health and wellness. The


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ONE PEOPLE. MANY CHOICES. As a service to the entire Jewish and inter-faith community for over 70 years, Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary offers the largest variety of cemetery choices of any Jewish memorial park. We recognize that times, lifestyles and people change and so do their desired choices when it comes to funeral services. As the interest in cremation has increased, so too have our cremation options. Hillside is a name you have trusted for many generations and as your family creates new traditions, we will be here to honor them. Please contact Rebeca Smoller, liaison to Beit T’Shuvah, for more information, including the Hillside/Beit T’Shuvah Partnership Program. (800) 576-1994 x108

Paul Goldstein, General Manager 6001 W. Centinela Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90045 hillsidememorial.org FD 1358 A Community Service of Temple Israel of Hollywood

facebook.com/hillsidememorialpark


Beit T’Shuvah 8831 Venice Boulevard Los Angeles, California 90034-3223 www.beittshuvah.org

R e c o v er Your Pa s s i on D i s c o v er Your Purpos e To get involved, contact the Development Department at 310.204.5200.

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage

PAID

Los Angeles, CA Permit No. 672

BTS April 2015 Magazine Dark vs Light  
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