By Dr. Evie Rotstein
On October 21st, the New York School of Education sponsored the Rabbi Alan A. Kay Day of Learning for students, alumni and educators in the field. The day has been dedicated to the memory of Rabbi Kay, the late husband of Jo Kay, former director of the NYSOE.
This year the learning was facilitated by the founder of Beit Tshuvah, Harriet Rossetto along with other professionals from the center. Beit T'Shuvah is a residential treatment center that approaches addiction and other destructive behaviors with a model that integrates Jewish spirituality, psychotherapy, addiction counseling, 12-step philosophy and creative arts. In addition to the text sessions, there was a presentation of Freedom Song. Freedom Song, a musical created by and starring young Jewish adults who are recovering from addiction at Beit T'Shuvah. Freedom Song is a transformative piece that exposes the truths about substance abuse and the challenges of addiction–shattering the myth that Jews are immune to addiction. One of the students commented, " The honestly, vulnerability, and willingness of the residents to share their pain and secrets with the audience was both inspiring and humbling."
At the end of the day, small group discussions were led by Leadership Institute mentors who trained at Beit Tshuvah last April.