Rabbi Alan Kay Day of Learning with Beit Tshuvah

Thursday, December 4, 2014

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.

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 men and women for service to 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, 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. www.huc.edu