Monthly Archives: November 2012

Jewish Heritage: Spending A Week In Poland

By Davide Gole

When people think of Poland, things that often come to mind are the old country, a site of horror during the 1940s’, and Jewish ancestry. Although many of these stereotypes about Eastern Europe being old and having a lot of Jews may have applied to Poland over 70 years ago, today life in Poland is different.

AuschwitzBefore the World War II, around 3.5 Million Jews lived peacefully in Poland, which made up more than 30% of the Polish Population. Today, only 8,000 Jews remain in Poland and the culture is all but lost. During the Holocaust, the Nazis built most of their death camps in Poland. Camps like Auschwitz and Treblinka still stand in an effort to never let anything like the holocaust ever happen on this planet again. While some landmarks in Poland that represent the history of its nation still stand, more modern day buildings are being erected.

After World War II, Polish cities such as Warsaw were nothing but rubble and half demolished buildings. Under the communist regime set up by the Soviet Union, who conquered Poland during the war, they began to rebuild their cities. To address the housing shortage, the Soviets built large housing projects, which gave them a Russian looking style. The historic sites such as streets, churches, and other buildings, were inscribed onto the World Heritage list and were restored. Today, the Capital City of Warsaw has a modern day skyline.

Which leads me to the point of writing this blog. Friday, I will be leaving for Poland as a part of an organization called Forum For Dialogue Among Nations, which is an organization supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland. On my trip I will help educate the Polish youth about tolerance and eradicating anti-Semitism to truly ensure the saying “Never Again.” While I am on my trip, I hope to make a difference in the mentality of the kids and I hope to learn more about the suffering that my ancestors lived through in the Holocaust. Now that I am 20 years old, I know I will be mature enough to absorb all the information and pay the respect to the family members I have lost.

I will be continually blogging from Poland so stay on the look out for my next update.


1 Comment

Filed under Community, Current Events, Education, Judaism

Questions From a Normie #4

By Chris Alvarez

What is a sponsor?

A sponsor isn’t a friend. A sponsor isn’t a therapist. A sponsor isn’t a parent. A sponsor is something more. A sponsor is someone who has something you want.  They help those who desire sobriety regain a life worth living by taking them through the twelve steps.

Well… that’s what they are supposed to do but most of the time they end up doing a lot more.

Although a sponsor is supposed to be a guide and help keep their sponsees on a path of sobriety, the sponsee ends up helping the sponsor more than they will ever know. It’s been my experience that when I let someone help me, it also helps them.

A sponsor ends up becoming so close to their sponsees that secrets cease to exist.  They make their sponsees do things that they don’t want to do, they take sponsees out of their comfort zones and help them overcome their fears.

Ultimately all I can surely say is that my sponsor has helped make me the person I am today; and by sponsoring someone else I learn how to stay sober, or as Peter F. Drucker said, “No one learns as much about a subject as one who is forced to teach it.”


Filed under 12-Steps, addiction, Alcoholics Anonymous, Compulsive Gambling, Education, Gratitude, Sobriety, Spirituality, T'Shuvah, Uncategorized

The Fair is in Pomona

Ms. Harriet Rossetto, the CEO and Founder of Beit T’Shuvah, has announced that she will be releasing her much-anticipated book, Sacred Housekeeping A Spiritual Memoir in early 2013.

Below you will find an excerpt from the chapter The Fair is in Pomona in which Harriet directly addresses the residents of Beit T’Shuvah.

“My qualification to be your life teacher is I have been where you are. I’ve seen it all. I know your torment, your war against yourself. I have battle-­‐hardened experience and I still struggle every day. And I have learned how to live an integrated life. You will too.

Light and DarkYou are sure that whatever you’re addicted to is the only thing that will relieve the misery of your emptiness, the hole that aches. Without (fill in your own blanks) drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, food, money, power and prestige… there is no reason to get up in the morning.

You will see eventually that the agenda is to hand you back your life and teach you how to be You, the authentic you, to stop comparing yourself to others and judging your worth comparatively and conditionally. I can help you find the ammunition to tame your self-­‐defeating demons, your ‘What’s the point?’ ‘Why bother?’ ‘Fuck it!’ voice that “crouches at your door.”

I don’t give a shit about your tattoos, piercings, hairstyles, costumes or kashrut. They are only props you used when your spirit was subdued. You don’t yet understand that rebellion is not freedom: you have merely conformed to different masters.
We will bombard you with alternative highs and rushes-­‐-­‐ surfing, singing, drama, art, writing, cooking, joining the choir or band. You might run the marathon or play golf or do yoga. We will teach you how to have fun in sobriety – dancing, sports, concerts. We will allow you to have relationships and will be there every step of the way, so you can learn how to draw on the power of love to better regulate your own reactions and emotions. You will learn patience, acceptance and tolerance in relationship with one another.

Connection to this community will become a stronger connection than connection to your dope dealer. And ultimately we help you frame your life by connection to a Higher and Eternal truth that governs your choices and provides a road map for the journey. And then back to the things and people who are important to you.”

-Harriet Rossetto
Sacred Housekeeping, A Spiritual Memoir


Filed under Beit T'Shuvah, Community, Current Events, Spirituality