By: Nathan R.

Chaya R., a resident and development intern here at Beit T’Shuvah, has been busy the last few months as one of the auction chairs for the virtual gala this month. “I started two years ago helping with the auction as an intern a couple hours a week here and there, and last year worked on the auction with the event planners.” This year, because the Beit T’Shuvah gala has gone virtual, the silent auction is exclusively online and already live. “We need more items, but it seems to be going pretty well.”

Chaya had a head start this year with online retail, helping the Beit T’Shuvah Thrift Store feature items for sale on their website. “I was taking, editing and uploading photographs of the items, writing descriptions, and researching prices.” For the past month and a half, focus has shifted to the gala, with help from Judy S., another development intern. “All auction items are donated, and every donation is appreciated and accounted for, whether it’s a trip to Hawaii or a silver necklace.” Anyone can go to the gala’s website,, and click on the “Auction” tab to see what’s available.

Some of the items of interest include Antonia Lofaso cooking classes, great pieces of jewelry and artwork, and vacation getaways. There are three bangles from jeweler XIV Karats Beverly Hills, a two-night stay at a Four Seasons resort in Santa Fe, artwork from Salvador Dali and Norman Rockwell, and Baccarat and Lalique crystal. All of the money raised goes directly to support Beit T’Shuvah’s mission.

Working on the gala has reinforced Chaya’s gratitude to Beit T’Shuvah: “It’s a really powerful thing to have received so much and be able, at the same time, to give a little back.” She’s also humbled by the commitment of members of our community. “It blows my mind to see donors willingly donate items to the auction, donate money for the gala, and reach out to their friends to ask for help in promoting the gala. It’s really cool to see very busy people take time to be involved and help.”

Chaya recognizes that, from a resident’s perspective, it’s sometimes easy to miss everything that goes on behind the scenes to make Beit T’Shuvah work. “It’s not just about giving money—people are giving of themselves. No matter what, there are so many people who are so devoted and willing to fight and give the shirt off their back to keep someone here safe and well.”

Chaya had previously gone to other treatment facilities prior to Beit T’Shuvah, including an expensive specialty program for trauma. “I didn’t get nearly as much as I got from Beit T’Shuvah. They couldn’t do for me what Beit T’Shuvah does for me.”