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Waronker Endowment Weekend with Rabbi Mark Borovitz & Harriet Rossetto

Friday, February 2, 2024 23 Sh'vat 5784

All Day for 2 Days

Con Man and Thief Turned Advocate for the Soul

A weekend of storytelling and soul repair with Rabbi Mark Borovitz and his wife, Harriet Rossetto. He was an alcoholic drinking a gallon of whiskey a day, in jail for writing bad checks and insurance fraud. She was a divorced social worker who once had her stomach pumped after trying to take her own life by overdosing on valium, and was battling food and sex addictions. Then she got a job visiting Jewish inmates in California's prisons, and met Mark. He would go on to become a rabbi and founder of Beit T'shuvah, one of the most exceptional addiction treatment, rehabilitation, and reintegration facilities in the world, through a uniquely Jewish lens. Join us for a very special weekend as we get to know these remarkable people and join them through their fascinating story of despair and redemption.

Harriet Rosetto will be a guest speaker at our Friday evening Shabbat service. Rabbi Borovitz will then lead Torah study on Saturday morning, and come back for a very Havdalah event where we will screen their feel-good true story movie The Jewish Jail Lady and the Holy Thief followed by a panel discussion and Q&A. On Sunday, will have a special program for high school teens.

Friday, February 2
5:45 pm Kabbalat Panim
6:30 Shabbat Service with Guest Speaker Harriet Rossetto

Saturday, February 3
9:00 am Torah Study
5:30 pm Havdalah - The Jewish Jail Lady and the Holy Thief Screening & Discussion: There will be a wine and dessert reception preceding the screening/discussion. RSVP Here

Sunday, February 4
11:00 am Teen Pressures - Navigating Life's Choices: A special program open to all teens in Grades 9-12 and their parents

This weekend event is generously sponsored by the Brian Waronker Memorial Fund for Addiction & Recovery. 

Harriet Rossetto and Rabbi Mark met while Mark was incarcerated at the California Institute for Men—she, in a relatively new position as a social worker helping Jewish criminals, and Mark, a Jewish criminal. But they didn't recognize their fit as kismet at first: she thought he was loud and brash, and he thought she was cold and uptight. Their journey together is a testament to the power of giving people a second chance.

When Mark was released from prison in 1987, he found it difficult to find work due to his checkered background. He took Harriet up on a challenge to see if he knew how to help with rehabilitation and reentry any better than she did. Mark found himself knocking on the door of Beit T'Shuvah, which was at the time a small halfway house for men—it’s unclear who was more surprised. 

Harriet Rossetto is a rebel spirit. A self-professed misfit, Harriet fiercely answered an urgent calling: helping broken souls and changing a broken system. Harriet’s belief that addiction is a malady of the soul, requiring spiritual healing, inspired her to create the Beit T’Shuvah community that, for nearly thirty years, has supported the process of recovery.  

Since founding Beit T’Shuvah, which now boasts over 150 residents and 115 staff members, Harriet has become a model of authentic living, a heroic activist, an insightful friend, and a relationship “guru.” She mentors countless social workers and therapists across the nation, and, in 2015, was selected by the White House’s Office of National Drug Policy as one of seven honored “Advocates for Action” for her groundbreaking innovation and influence.  

Harriet is an educator, a counselor, a consultant, and an advocate for the soul. Her book, Sacred Housekeeping: A Spiritual Memoir, which recounts her incredible personal and professional story, is part of the nationally recognized core curriculum of Beit T'Shuvah. 

Harriet Rossetto is Rabbi Mark’s ezer k'negdo, his “help meet.” And he is honored beyond words to be hers. 

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Wed, April 24 2024 16 Nisan 5784