Beit T'Shuvah and the Leadership Institute Create Training Program for Addiction First Responders - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Beit T'Shuvah and the Leadership Institute Create Training Program for Addiction First Responders

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Beit T'Shuvah and the Leadership Institute joined together this April for the inaugural training program for Addiction First Responders, a course created by Beit T'Shuvah's Elaine Breslow Addiction Institute to train first responders in the community, including physicians, clergy, educators, law enforcement, and parents, to recognize and respond to the incipient symptoms of an addiction before it becomes a disaster.  Beit T'Shuvah is dedicated to using Jewish teachings, spiritual direction,  psychotherapy, and the power of community to help individuals discover their passion and recover their purpose. 

The one-year Addiction First Responders program began with a five-day immersion program of text study at Beit T'Shuvah's campus in Los Angeles, CA. Led by Dr. Evie Rotstein, Director, New York School of Education, six members of the Leadership Institute mentor staff, including HUC-JIR alumni Ira Wise, RJE (RHSOE '91) and Yonni Wattenmaker, RJE (NYSOE '96) and former regional NFTY advisor Grace Gurman Chan, learned with lead members of Beit T'Shuvah's staff. Together, they immersed themselves in Jewish learning from Beit T'Shuvah's unique community. 

The former Leadership Institute was guided by the vision of the New York School of Education at HUC-JIR and the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at The Jewish Theological Seminary and is fully funded by the UJA-Federation of New York. This historic opportunity enabled HUC-JIR and JTS to join together to further the leadership capacity, pedagogic skills, and Judaic knowledge of congregational school educators. This program was open to candidates from all denominations in the New York, Long Island, Westchester, and the greater metropolitan area. Learn more >

Beit T'Shuvah's mission is to restore lost souls and return them to themselves, their families, and the community through a healing community of Jewish spirituality, 12 Step recovery and psychotherapy. Addiction is a symptom of divided self; an unhealthy dependence on substances or compulsive activities to provide a temporary sense of wholeness and well-being. It is a "dis-ease" of body, mind, soul, and spirit. Recovery therefore requires an integrative approach. The Integrative Recovery Model at Beit T'Shuvah is a unique blend of Jewish spirituality, cognitive behavioral therapy, 12-step philosophy and the creative arts. Learn more >


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates leaders to serve North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.