Beit T'Shuvah Blog » Education

Embracing the Broken in Our Communities

Embracing the Broken in Our Communities

The one thing I surely know about myself and the Jews that I serve is that we are Americans.  Yes, we love baseball, apple pie, and Hollywood.  We have unequivocally benefited from all of the rights and security that America has granted, and we appreciate them.  And, in a way, every time a survey or poll about Jews in America comes out, we seem to learn much more about ourselves as Americans in this moment … Read entire article »

Filed under: addiction, Beit T'Shuvah, Community, Education, Judaism, Sobriety


By Matthew Greenwald 2013 was one of the most eventful years in Beit T’Shuvah history, marked by tremendous growth, unity, and the strengthening of our overall mission. While the construction of our new temple and the Elaine Breslow Institute dominated the year, we also achieved several other milestones. Here’s a list of the top 10 moments of 2013: Construction- The construction of our new building next door commenced. In conjunction with this, our main building was radically renovated. The bridge connecting the east and west ends of our facility was torn down in concurrence with the overall makeover and the new Synagogue next door. The bridge had a long and colorful history at Beit T’Shuvah, to say the least. Shirley’s Patio, long known as a place for residents to congregate, was completely … Read entire article »

Filed under: Beit T'Shuvah, Community, Current Events, Education, Family Wellness, Featured, Judaism, Mark Borovitz, Sobriety, Spirituality, T'Shuvah

Digital Drugs: Cyberhigh

By Stephanie Lager and Matthew Greenwald There is a current trend permeating today’s youth culture. It is alarming to some, and ridiculous to others. It’s not quite a drug epidemic, but it might be the next addictive, mind altering component on the minds of curious teenagers. But you can’t get it from a drug dealer; it’s digital. In a nutshell, digital drugs are 10-30 minute tracks of sound, music and white noise, which claim to be designed to induce states of altered consciousness, mirroring those of drugs such as Psychedelics, Ambien, Marijuana and others. For a fee (usually $10-20, but “the first one’s free”) tracks are available on sites such as I-doser. Unsurprisingly, the whole “first one’s free” marketing ploy effectively mirrors how kids experiment with drugs in the first place, … Read entire article »

Filed under: addiction, art, Community, Current Events, Education, Internet, Sobriety

Judaism and The Arts

BTS Communications is excited to announce our new Judaism and The Arts Blog series. Posts in this series will cover various aspects of visual, musical and written art as it pertains to Judaism, and specifically, Beit T’Shuvah. Through historical and current examples, we hope to give a panoramic view of the arts in the Jewish community The articles will feature historical and critical points of view from figures in the entertainment world, as well as staff and residents of Beit T’Shuvah who are working closely with the arts. With this series, we hope to encourage dialogue with our readers, provide engaging insight on the subject of Judaism and blues music, and help familiarize the reader with the personalities that are the driving forces in this area of recovery and art. The series will be … Read entire article »

Filed under: art, Beit T'Shuvah, Community, Education, Freedom Song, Judaism

Questions From a Normie #5

By Chris Alvarez What Do You Do in Those Meetings? “Those” meetings also know as AA meetings or 12 step meetings are private. So for me to tell you what exactly what happens in them would be wrong. However I can give you an overview, and touch on the reasons why we do what we do. Basically AA meetings are places where people who want to stop drinking or using can go to get help. They are also a great way for those who have stopped drinking to maintain their sobriety and serenity. In the meetings people  come in and share their experience strength and hope.  Cakes and chips are given to celebrate and acknowledge milestones in sobriety and show newcomers that it is possible to stay sober. A meeting is a place where … Read entire article »

Filed under: 12-Steps, addiction, Alcoholics Anonymous, Community, Compulsive Gambling, Education, Gratitude, Sobriety

David in Krakow

By David Gole Having just arrived back from my trip to Poland, I have several experiences I am still reflecting on. While Warsaw was a very exiting city, Krakow is a different story. When I picture Poland I envision a lot of old buildings and snow. Krakow fulfills that exact stereotype in a way that it glorifies the past. During World War II, Krakow was virtually untouched by the Nazis with only a few of the monuments being rebuilt. In retrospective, my experience in Krakow was both joyous and emotional. Part of my trip was to learn about Forum for Dialogue Among Nations, which runs a program to educate high school students about Jewish culture in their town. The first day in Krakow, we traveled to the near by town of Wadowice, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Community, Education, Gratitude, Incarceration, International, Judaism, Spirituality

Jewish Heritage: Spending A Week In Poland

By Davide Gole When people think of Poland, things that often come to mind are the old country, a site of horror during the 1940s’, and Jewish ancestry. Although many of these stereotypes about Eastern Europe being old and having a lot of Jews may have applied to Poland over 70 years ago, today life in Poland is different. Before the World War II, around 3.5 Million Jews lived peacefully in Poland, which made up more than 30% of the Polish Population. Today, only 8,000 Jews remain in Poland and the culture is all but lost. During the Holocaust, the Nazis built most of their death camps in Poland. Camps like Auschwitz and Treblinka still stand in an effort to never let anything like the holocaust ever happen on this planet again. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Community, Current Events, Education, Judaism

Questions From a Normie #4

By Chris Alvarez What is a sponsor? A sponsor isn’t a friend. A sponsor isn’t a therapist. A sponsor isn’t a parent. A sponsor is something more. A sponsor is someone who has something you want.  They help those who desire sobriety regain a life worth living by taking them through the twelve steps. Well… that’s what they are supposed to do but most of the time they end up doing a lot more. Although a sponsor is supposed to be a guide and help keep their sponsees on a path of sobriety, the sponsee ends up helping the sponsor more than they will ever know. It’s been my experience that when I let someone help me, it also helps them. A sponsor ends up becoming so close to their sponsees that secrets cease to … Read entire article »

Filed under: 12-Steps, addiction, Alcoholics Anonymous, Compulsive Gambling, Education, Gratitude, Sobriety, Spirituality, T'Shuvah, Uncategorized

Questions from a Normie

  By Chris Alvarez Us addicts and alcoholics like to call people who don’t suffer from the disease of addiction “normies” or “normal” people.  Recently I began to think that these normies might have questions about what it’s like to be an addict/alcoholic.  So I began asking some of my “normie” friends if they had any questions. Here’s the first in a series of questions they had for me: A NORMIE ASKS: What bothers me most about not being able to drink? There are little things that bother me about not being able to drink.  I miss the taste of a cold beer on a hot day.  I miss going to bars with friends and bonding over a couple drinks.  But mostly I’m not really that bothered that I can’t drink.  However this being said, what … Read entire article »

Filed under: 12-Steps, addiction, Alcoholics Anonymous, Education

What the **** is Kugel?

By Josh Silver Kugel has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  Usually reserved for those special Jewish holidays with the family, my mom does it all: noodle kugel, potato kugel, carrot kugel.  So last week after Erev Rosh Hashanah dinner with my family, I happily returned home with an extra large portion of left over noodle kugel (my favorite.)  As I was showing this noodily delight to a friend of mine he asked me, “What is kugel anyway?” I was completely stumped.  My mouth opened automatically as if my brain thought it knew what to say but then nothing came out.  How do you define something that takes so many different forms?  I tried describing the kugel before me as “sort of a sweet casserole … Read entire article »

Filed under: Education, Judaism, Uncategorized

[b:2zyu2pzt]By: Rabbi Igael Gurin-Malous[/b:2zyu2pzt] There is an adage commonly attributed to Pres ...(read more)

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