I met Harriet Rossetto while I was incarcerated at the California Institute for Men - she in a relatively new position as the social worker helping Jewish criminals, and me, a Jewish criminal. But we didn't recognize our fit at first: she thought I was loud and brash, and I thought she was cold and uptight. Our journey together is a testament to the power and beauty of giving people a second chance!
When I was released from prison in 1987, I found it difficult to find work because of my background and I took her up on a challenge to see if I knew how to help with rehabilitation and reentry any better than she did. I found myself knocking on the door of Beit T'Shuvah - at the time, a small halfway house for men - neither one of us really knows to whose greater surprise.
Harriet Rossetto is a rebel spirit. A self-professed misfit, Harriet answered a fierce calling: helping broken souls and changing a broken system. Harriet’s belief that addiction is a malady of the soul that requires 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 my ezer k'negdo, my help meet. And I am honored beyond words to be hers.