Beit T’Shuvah Immersion Program for Rabbis
The Board of Rabbis of Southern California together with Beit Tshuvah is hosting an immersion program for rabbis to learn about addiction and recovery. For the each of three cohorts, rabbis gather at Beit T’shuvah for intensive learning about their healing work.
The Immersion program includes teachings with Beit Tshuvah’s founders, Harriet Rossetto and Rabbi Mark Borovitz, who share their own journeys and approach to recovery. Sessions are also taught by Rabbi Paul Steinberg about “Tefilah (Prayer) and Spiritual Practice,” and Rabbi Matt Shapiro, Director of Spiritual Counseling, about “The Yetzer Ha-Ra (Evil Inclination) and Recovery tasks.” Baila Druker, the Assistant Clinical & Family Program Coordinator, teaches about Beit T’shuvah’s approach to working with families and Doug Rosen, Director of Youth Services teaches about Beit T’shvuah’s educational programs on addiction prevention. The rabbis also meet with residents of Beit T’shuvah and discuss together in chevruta texts about T’shuvah as well as joining with residents for Community Torah study.
Reflections from Participants of the first cohort:
I came to “The Torah of Brokenness” eager to learn. I was not disappointed.
Brokenness is inimical to human-ness—it’s a part of life. What’s different about Beit T’Shuvah’s approach to brokenness is that it doesn’t shrug off or hide brokenness--it embraces the reality of brokenness and offers a path of integrating it. The Beit T’Shuvah community operates on the simple premise that t’shuvah is always possible. T’shuvah incorporates the realities of our broken selves, families, communities and world. Beit T’Shuvah offers hope mixed with hard-headed practicality: it teaches that it is possible to acknowledge our flaws and work on them, mindfully, painfully, hopefully. It offers hope for overcoming the alienation that brokenness engenders and, provides a Jewish lens through which to see that setting about the hard work of t’shuvah, we can connect to our authentic, truest, most aspirational selves.
Whether through thoughtfully-designed and thought-provoking teachings, exchanges with my fellow rabbi-learners or through deep one-on-one text study with residents, brokenness provided me another way of understanding the Torah, the world and myself in new ways. And I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity.
---Rabbi Janet Madden, PhD
Reflections from Participants of the second cohort:
Dear Rabbi Mark and Harriet,
Thank you so much for organizing and facilitating the clergy Immersion Program over these past few weeks. It was an excellent seminar and opportunity to learn about recovery in a Jewish context. I enjoyed how you designed each day, from study to chevruta with a Beit T’shuvah resident to actual spiritual counseling for ourselves! The program was helpful, informative and truly inspiring. I even got some ideas for my High Holyday sermons from the material we studied and discussed. I deeply appreciate your reaching out to the Board of Rabbis in effort to bring in a broader network of people to understand and support Beit T’shuvah’s important work.
I look forward to participating in other learning sessions with you and supporting your amazing work.
Rabbi Michele Paskow