Comments from Teens
“It helped me get a self-image of myself and learn about myself.”
-Students from Stephen S. Wise
“Your story was a wake up call to us Jewish, sheltered kids, that the same situation could easily happen to us, and we need to wrok together to prevent it.”
-Student from King David High School/Vancouver
“I learned that I have to stick to my values and stay strong even at the hardest times.”
-Student at Sinai Temple
“It made me think about who I really am.”
-Student at YULA
“An interactive drug and personal exploration program. It was good!!!”
-Student from Stephen S. Wise
“A truly worthwhile and explanatory program that gives real understanding behind different issues relating to relationships, drugs, alcohol, and life.”
-USY student camper
“I liked the way the instructors make me feel like their peers, not a student.”
Testimonial from an Educator
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Billy Planner and I run educational/travel programs for Jewish teens. I have groups in Los Angeles about 5 times a year and our visit to Beit T’Shuvah is always the most powerful and insightful stop on our journey. The Prevention Program at Beit T’Shuvah reaches these teens in a way that no other anti-drug program can. The teens are able to look at the presenters and see themselves. The presenters are Jewish young adults who, mostly, lived the lives that these teens are living. The fact that the presenters just talk about their lives is more powerful than any of the statistics that are in the stereotypical don’t do drugs talks.
At the end of every trip, I have the teens process their experience. Without fail, every group finds that the time spent at Beit T’Shuvah the most powerful of the many experiences they have. The most common statement made by the teens is that the Beit T’Shuvah Prevention Program is much more effective than the D.A.R.E program they get in their schools. As one of the teens from Boca Raton said on our most recent trip, and this statement is echoed with every group, “This is so much better than any other anti-drug talk I have listened to. D.A.R.E just shows us statistics that drugs are bad, and it actually makes me curious to experiment with drugs. With Doug and Scott (Beit T’Shuvah’s presenters) telling their life stories, I see how harmful and hurtful drugs can be and how easy it is to get in real life trouble with them. I do not want to go through what they went through.”
As an educator, I cannot recommend the Beit T’Shuvah Prevention Program enough. When the Jewish community is ready to admit that many of our teens have drug problems, it is good to know that we have a tool in our midst to help solve the problem and that is the Beit T’Shuvah Prevention Program. I wish every community would take advantage of this incredible resource.
Notes From the Field
Notes From the Field is a collection of anecdotes based on FJC staff member’s visits to camps and conversations with Jewish camp professionals.
While visiting Camp Yavneh, I had the opportunity to learn about a special program that they were offering for 2-daus that was truly amazing. Doug Rosen, of Beit T’Shuvah (in L.A.) was running a “Partners in Prevention” program for the older campers, counselors and staff. Beit T’Shuvah is the only Jewish in-patient facility while is based on faith-based recovery and emphasizes the values of the Jewish community. Each morning they begin with Torah study and really become deeply connected to Judasim through their recovery. Doug is a recovering heroin addict who was once an up-and-coming L.A. producer. His parents sent him to Beit T’Shuvah for recovery. Needless to say, his story is FASCINATING!
The Partners in Prevention program was developed based on their finding that drug use decisions are influenced by the way teens perceive themselves, their families and their role in the world. The curriculum really incorporates Jewish practices, event, text study, etc. and talks to the audience about the risk of getting involved with drugs, alcohol, cutting, etc.
The program has been used a lot in schools and synagogues also throughout BBYO. There was a lot of positive buzz about the program at camp and I was so impressed by Doug. He has a wonderful way about him. Doug was very open to speaking at more Jewish summer camps. I am sure that you will find him to be incredibly knowledgeable and as compelling as the kids at Yavneh (and I) did.
-Amy Kruglak, Director of Operations-Executive Leadership Institute
Testimonial from a Heath Teacher
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Joey Levin and I am the Health Clerk at Calabasas High School in Calabasas, California. I started a Parent Education Series at our school called R.A.P., which stands for Resolve And Problem Solve. I started this series to inform our parent population in a safe, non-judgemental atmosphere, about the challenges and pit-falls all of our kids are exposed to, in one way or another.
I had heard Doug Rosen speak to an audience of students who were mesmerized by him. He’s youthful appearance, hip language, and almost surgical honesty , allowed them to form a bond that other speakers do not achieve. He was accepted by them!
I wanted to bring him into speak to the parents and hoped they too would respond. Doug was sensational. He was savvy enough to slightly alter his vernacular so as to not offend. Gone was the “street lingo”, but still present crystal clear honesty. He was personal, polite, appropriate BUT no one got away with anything...a wonderful balance. They felt here was a young person who had gone through it…remembers it. He was credible!! The Q and A went on for so long that we had to beg them to stop.
Doug Rosen is a marvelous speaker. He brings to the table his own, gut wrenching truth, his intelligence, empathy, and deep desire to reach out to kids in crisis. You cant buy a better package. While he is in the process of furthering his education and obtaining his degree, his “life-education” is more than adequate to reach the minds and hearts of our kids NOW!!!!
Health Clerk, Calabasas High School
Testimonials from Educators
In partnership with Beit T’Shuvah, we have created oppurtunities for our middle school students to reflect, think, and challenge themselves to be the best person and friend they could possibly be. With meaningful discussions students are able to look deeo within themselves and develop ways that they can reach our for themselves and to one another when needed.
Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School, California
Doug understands our teens and what they are going through—the stress, the emptiness, the pressure to succeed in and at everything. He has the amazing ability to build instant trust with a room full of teenagers and he makes it ok and even “cool” to open up about the struggles our teens are facing. If you ask our teens, Doug’s visits have been some of the most memorable experiences they have had at Adas Israel. In the age of “A Race to Nowhere,” these Jewish life skills programs are the most important programs we can provide for our teens.
-Joshua W. Bender, M.A.J.E
Director of Education
Adas Israel Congregation
Douglas Roden is a valuable member of our school community and a campus favorite amongst our students. He is respected and trusted by our parents who look forward to his presentations and the guidance and words of wisdom that he offers them.
Middle School Director at Sinai Akiba Academy
"Since making the Partners In Prevention curriculum an integral component of the course offerings of the High School of Jewish Studies, I have become more and more convinced that it needs to become an integral component of Jewish education everywhere across the country. Having seen first hand the reaction to the curriculum and your young spokespeople by students, parents, teachers, funders, and members of the Board of the Agency for Jewish Education in San Diego, I am convinced that there is a great need NOW to raise awareness of communities as to the relevance and timeliness of the program."
Mickie Targum -
Principle of the High School of Jewish Studies, Agency for Jewish Education San Diego