Rabbi Mark Borovitz was officially ordained in 2000 at the University of Judaism with a master’s degree in Rabbinic Literature. He combined his knowledge of Torah and street smarts to shape his calling: helping recovering addicts find their way in the world. Spiritual leader, author, ex-con, recovering alcoholic, and overall anomaly, he is able to reach both the addict and the congregant, and de-stigmatize this life- threatening disease. After being released from prison in 1988, he began his work at Beit T’Shuvah. Over the past twenty-eight years, he has co-created one of the most exceptional approaches to addiction treatment and criminal rehabilitation and reintegration in the world. Community members, addicts, educators, dignitaries, and executives all seek his wisdom; working with people, he is living proof that change is possible; when speaking to the congregant, he stands for the hope that every man has a higher purpose. As the organization has grown, Rabbi Mark’s unique take on addiction treatment has solidified him as an expert and visionary in the field. His biography, The Holy Thief: A Conman’s Journey from Darkness to Light (Harper Collins), tells the story of his life from hopelessness to redemption, for which the rights were recently optioned. He also recently released his newest book, Finding Recovery and Yourself in Torah: A Daily Spiritual Path to Wholeness (Jewish Lights Publishing). Rabbi Mark Borovitz’s tireless efforts have not only been the driving force behind the robust and growing movement that is Beit T’Shuvah, but also instrumental in redefining the recovery model; helping all people, both in recovery and not, find their path to wholeness.
SCHOLAR IN RESIDENCE
Rabba Yaffa Epstein serves as the Director of the Wexner Heritage Program at The Wexner Foundation. She received Orthodox Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshivat Maharat, earned an additional private Semicha from Rabbi Daniel Landes, holds a Law Degree from Bar-Ilan University, and has studied at the Talmud Department of Hebrew University. Yaffa formerly served as the Director of Education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, where she also taught Talmud, Jewish law, and Liturgy for over fifteen years, and served as the Founding Director of the Beit Midrash at the Dorot Fellowship in Israel. She has lectured at Limmud Events around the globe, has written curriculum for the Global Day of Jewish Learning and has created innovative educational programming for Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, and Moishe House. She has participated in numerous Think Tanks on Adult Jewish Education and has trained Rabbis and Educators from every Jewish denomination.
Rabbi Hazzan Marcia Tilchin is the founder and spiritual leader of the Jewish Collaborative of Orange County, an emergent non-profit that aspires to build community through collaboration with houses of worship, schools, non-profits and community leaders. A signature of Rabbi Tilchin’s spiritual leadership and service is her passion for helping people find meaning in Judaism at every age and stage of life.
Rabbi Tilchin graduated from the Jewish Theological Seminary as a Cantor with a Master’s Degree in Sacred Music. She was ordained as a Rabbi from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies with a Master’s Degree in Jewish Studies. She has served congregations in Upper Nyack, NY, and Tustin, CA, and established the Kesher Program at Camp Ramah in the Poconos for families with deaf children and/or parents.
Deeply committed to interfaith collaboration and dialogue, Rabbi Tilchin is a past president of the Interfaith Council of Central Orange County, a co-founder of the Orange County Alliance for Just Change, and currently sits on the directorial boards of several non-profits, including Music in Common, the Interfaith Youth Alliance, and the Faith Leaders Council for United to End Homelessness. Her husband, Scott Spitzer, is a professor at California State University Fullerton. They are the proud parents of Avi, Sheindl, and Yaira.
Beth Fishman, Ph.D. has worked with individuals and families impacted by a wide range of substance use disorders and other addictive behaviors for over 25 years. Dr. Fishman is the Program Manager of addiction services at JCFS Chicago. In this capacity she offers education and support to Chicagoland Jews in recovery and their allies, provides training for communal and treatment professionals, assists Jewish communities around the country in developing programs to address addiction, and helps synagogues to create safe, welcoming sacred space vis a vis ritual alcohol use. Dr. Fishman is licensed as a Clinical Psychologist by the State of Illinois.
Rabbi Ilan Glazer is passionate about ending the stigma of addiction in the Jewish world, and helping Jews in recovery and their loved ones find recovery and serenity one day at a time. He believes that life is a beautiful journey of learning and growth. Suffering can be transformed into joy and everyone is a miracle. Rabbi Ilan is the author of the number one bestselling book, And God Created Recovery: Jewish Wisdom to Help You Break Free From Your Addiction, Heal Your Wounds, and Unleash Your Inner Freedom. He’s the Founder of Our Jewish Recovery. He teaches widely about healing recovery happiness spirituality and success in all areas of life. Rabbi Ilan is a freelance recovery and transformation coach, and host of the Torah of Life podcast. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife Sherri and their cat Taylor.
Ori Goldstein’s first exposure to JACS was walking through the door as a client in the summer of 2006 as he was dealing with a drug, alcohol and gambling addiction. On September 27, 2006, Ori began his road to recovery and has been sober ever since. Upon completing treatment, Ori’s passion for helping others grew and by July 2010, he had completed certificate courses in Addiction Studies and Counseling Skills at Centennial College. Shortly thereafter, Ori enrolled at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work and in 2013 he completed his MSW with a focus on Community Social Work. While at Wurzweiler, Ori obtained a certificate in Jewish Communal Services and received the Dean’s Award for Leadership. Ori served as Director of Development at JACS for five years from 2013-2018 before being promoted to President & CEO in July of 2018. Ori is married to his wife Rebecca and father to his son, Asher and his daughter, Zoe.
As HAMSA Program Manager, Leslie Lubell looks to grow and deepen the service offerings for those struggling with addiction and their loved ones. Leslie is also dedicated to building understanding of addiction in the Jewish community, working to eliminate the barriers to recovery created by shame and stigma. Leslie brings a broad range of experience to the position as the former HAMSA Information and Referral Specialist with a background in education and marketing; she is also a skilled relationship builder and passionate advocate for the recovery community. As a person in long term recovery born and raised in Atlanta, Leslie brings true empathy to the job through a deep personal understanding of addiction and recovery in the Jewish community.
Jory Hanselman Mayschak is the Executive Director of Bamidbar Wilderness Therapy. She has experienced wilderness programs from the client and staff perspective, in field-based and office-based roles, in Jewish and secular settings, and in private industry and non-profit sectors. Jory received her undergraduate degree from Tufts University and her master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in nonprofit management from the University of Colorado. She is also part of the Wexner Field Fellowship for Jewish community leaders.
Harriet Rossetto started Beit T’Shuvah over 30 years ago with a tremendous humanizing task: to help broken souls and change a broken system. Harriet’s belief that addiction is a malady of the soul requiring spiritual healing inspired her to create a thriving community that supports addicts of all kinds, wherever they are in life.. Her greatest reward is witnessing and participating in the miracle of transformation. Her view that everyone is capable of redemption is at the core of why she empowers the residents of Beit T’Shuvah with employment, hiring 90% of her staff from within. Today they are the lifeblood of the organization.
Today, Harriet is a sought-after speaker in synagogues and community groups worldwide. She received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Minnesota, and is now a trainer for the National Association of Social Workers, teaching classes about the treatment and philosophy of the “dis-ease” of addiction. Harriet is also an author of the book Sacred Housekeeping: a spiritual memoir.
Rabbi Kerry Chaplin received a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies and a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management from Washington University in St. Louis. She was ordained in 2015 at the Zeigler School for Rabbinic Studies. Rabbi Kerry then became one of the Jewish Emergent Network ‘s first cohort of rabbinic fellows. The Jewish Emergent Network’s fellowship program aims to create the next generation of risk-taking, change-making rabbis. Rabbi Kerry comes to BTS from her two-year fellowship at New York City’s Lab/Shul, which describes itself as “an artist-driven, everybody-friendly, God-optional, pop up, experimental community for sacred Jewish gatherings based in NYC and reaching the world.” Like Beit T’Shuvah, Lab/Shul pushes the envelope of what an American Jewish community might look like.
Jessica Cohen is a social worker (LMSW) and program coordinator of JCSRecovery and JACSNYC part of the Jewish Board of Family and Children Services. Trauma Informed Care and Restorative Practices guide her as she dedicates herself to helping others by building therapeutic relationships that allow for healing. She recently started working in recovery and addiction services (something that is very personal to her), and is excited to bring her knowledge to this field. She loves to read and write, and lives with her two cats and best friend in Brooklyn.
Rabbi Igael “Iggy” Gurin-Malous, Chief Executive Officer of T’Shuvah Center, is a renowned Talmud teacher, spiritual counselor, artist, and educator. He grew up between Belgium and Israel (so expect him to be well dressed and blunt) as well as the United States in a traditional Jewish Orthodox home.
He is an author, speaker, teacher and contributor on subjects ranging from Talmud, Jewish text, spirituality, addiction, recovery, fatherhood and LGBTQI+ issues. Today He is the founding rabbi and CEO of T’Shuvah Center, a new long term Jewish recovery community in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. He was formerly the Director of Spiritual counseling at Beit T’Shuvah in Los Angeles.
David Kaufman is a warm and outgoing Narrative and Solution Focused Brief Therapist and Canadian Certified Addictions Counselor. Today David is the Director of Outreach and Education at JACS Toronto. He also facilitates three weekly support groups, lectures and counsels individuals and families. As a counsellor, he is known for his light hearted, empathetic and systematic practical approach.
Jason Feddy moved to Laguna Beach from the UK in 2000 and has rarely looked back. He is well-known locally as a singer, guitarist, performer, and DJ at Laguna’s local radio station, KX935, and won an Orange County Music Award for best solo performer. Jason serves as Cantorial Soloist at Temple Isaiah in Newport Beach and partners with Rabbi-Cantor Marcia Tilchin to lead musical services at the Jewish Collaborative of Orange County. The two also co-produce a monthly podcast series called “The Joy of Jewish.” Jason is also the Orange County coordinator of Music in Common, an organization that brings together young people of diverse backgrounds for discussion, multi-media and songwriting programs. He has produced six albums of original music and is a regular performer at Jacob’s Ladder folk festival by the Sea of Galilee in Israel. Jason has been a sober member of AA for 10 years.
Sheldon Feddy has been a sober member of AA for 10 years.