Addiction is a symptom of divided self; an unhealthy dependence on substances or compulsive activities to provide a temporary sense of wholeness and well-being. Through a community rooted in the spiritual principles of Judaism, authenticity, and transparency, Beit T’Shuvah members are taught to live in concert with their own inner value, dignity, and Kedusha—Holiness. Using both traditional and nontraditional approaches, Beit T’Shuvah believes everyone has the right to redemption, and practices never turning a single soul away due to their inability to pay...allowing for all who wish, to make T’Shuvah.
Beit T’Shuvah’s vision is to raise a new generation. One in which the paradigm of human understanding shifts, so that families can see each member as autonomous and unique. Helping individuals to live well can penetrate both the incidence of addiction and beyond…to any family who struggles at all. The model, based on authenticity and wholeness, can be applied not solely to treatment centers and family units, but also to any community organization that is willing to look within. The vision is ultimately to be international educators with a curriculum based on how to live well.
In 1986, Harriet Rossetto, a social worker with a strong Jewish identity, in her quest for doing the next right thing answered what would be a lifealtering classified ad in the Los Angeles Times. The ad read “looking for a person of Jewish background to help incarcerated Jewish offenders.” Compelled to learn more, Harriet soon recognized that most of the Jews in jail committed crimes as a byproduct of what she’s coined the “disease” of addiction. Frustrated by the lack of resources, she embraced an unpopular cause—fighting the widespread denial that “nice Jewish men and women” could be addicts and criminals in need of rehabilitation. Harriet instinctively knew that jailing these broken people neither “fixed” them nor protected society. Again and again their untreated efforts to change returned them to jail within months of release. It was a vicious cycle. Harriet’s frustration with the cycle of recidivism prompted her to envision what has become Beit T’Shuvah: The House of Return.
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