Jewish faith-based addiction recovery guru HARRIET ROSSETTO mends broken souls.
Self-proclaimed misfit Harriet Rossetto, founder and head of the Beit T’Shuvah faith- based addiction recovery center, has spent 25 years fghting the myth that Jewish men and women do not use drugs.
Through her West Los Angeles-based organization, named for the Hebrew words “coming home,” she believes in the unlimited human capacity for redemption. She holds a masters degree in social work and is the author of the book Sacred Housekeeping.
Harriet is also a motivational speaker and the wife of Beit T’Shuvah Rabbi Mark Borowitz. She recently sat down for a chat with Fairweather magazine’s Nicole Goodman.
Nicole Goodman: People see you as a guru. How do you see yourself ?
Harriet Rossetto: I’m beginning to see myself as a wise elder, someone who has been very blessed to fnd a place where she belongs and makes a diference in the world.
NG: How is your life diferent now than it was fve years ago?
HR: First, the book was sort of a milestone, something I have always wanted to accomplish, and did. Also, I see mortality and I see that I’m not going to be exempt. I never really saw that before.
NG: What is your next big venture?
HR: The Elaine Breslow Institute. [We are making it] for purposeful living, where we plan on exporting what we’ve learned about treatment and reframing it for education and prevention to help people learn to live better.
NG: How have you constructed Beit T’Shuvah to run diferently than any other treatment facility?
HR: I created a model that ft me. I abhor the notion that [treatment] has to be the same for everybody, that if you do it for one you have
to do it for all. I have a very strong need to individualize myself and to individualize others.
NG: What is your defnition of success?
HR: Getting up every morning and doing it again.
NG: Has being married to the rabbi helped you run Beit T’Shuvah?
HR: That’s an easy one. Freud said: “Love and work are the two things that fulfll a person’s life.” We have very diferent energies and I think we balance one another. As he says, “I have the mission and he operationalizes it.”
Learn more about Beit T’Shuvah at beittshuvah.org.