One of the hardest aspects of the human experience is finding contentment. No matter the job, the car, the house, the wife. The grass is always greener on the other side. It even mentions this mentality in the Torah when the last of the Ten Commandments says, “Thou shall not covet.” We all tend to yearn for those tangible and intangible assets our neighbors may possess. We often refer to this as “the compare and despair game.” Harry K. fell victim to this for many years, searching the bottom of the bottle for greener grass. 

Let’s go back to where Harry was born: Wisconsin. Okay, now let’s leave there because his family quickly moved to the suburbs of Athens, Georgia. Both his mother and father are acclaimed professors, highly intelligent individuals, and loving parents who always encouraged education and curiosity in the home. This, in turn, molded Harry and his sister into the type of children who loved to learn and saw the world as a realm of never-ending lessons. His family was always close-knit. Two parents, an older sister, and an adoring grandma (who he calls Bubbie).

Harry always had a deep passion for sports. He planned to eventually work in athletics. So, when it was time to apply for college, he looked towards Tulane, a school with a solid Division One athletics program. Located in New Orleans, Tulane is a notorious party school. In high school, Harry enjoyed drinking and smoking weed with his friends on the weekend.   There was no moment he can remember where that first drop of booze touched his tongue and his life changed forever. But once he entered the party lifestyle of college, everything changed. “[When I got to college] drinking became the priority of my life.”

When Harry arrived at Tulane, he loved the campus, people, and outgoing lifestyle and immediately started drinking excessively. “I was known as a puker.” When rushing in his first semester, Harrye purposely joined the fraternity that threw the best and wildest parties.  “If you want to go out on Tuesday, it was twenty-five cent shot night at The Boot. Wednesday is happy hour and then collect cup night at the Bulldog Thursday was at F&Ms.  Friday night is obviously Friday night…” He went on to tell me about every local New Orleans bar’s deals for every day of the week. If you were ever confused if the alcoholic brain was real or not, consider the fact that it has been seven years since Harry has been at Tulane, and yet he still remembers every bar’s discount night. While this was all going on, he kept his grades up, played rugby competitively, and worked for the football team. On the outside, scholastically, he was excelling. 

After graduating from Tulane cum laude, Harry moved to Chicago, where the city is windy and the grass is greener. Here, he took on a sales job and fell for a girl. The drinking habit he picked up in college followed him to Chicago. That fun party drinking became nightly blackout drinking. This would ultimately spoil his prospects out there. He was dumped by his job and fired from his relationship, leading him to his new lowest low. 

During his first year in Chicago, Harry’s sister was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which took a massive toll on him and his whole family. Thankfully, she recovered and is doing well today. This experience brought Harry and his sister closer together than they ever had been before. Family has always been a core part of Harry’s life. Out of everyone in his life, the one person who could always see through him was Bubbie. Bubbie would lovingly ask him, “Why do you drink so much?” She always knew. Bubbies always know. 

Let’s go back to where Harry was living: Chicago. Okay, now let’s leave there because the grass was greener in California. Wait. No. Scratch that. The grass was greener in Boston. There, he moved in with his sister and started to attend graduate school to get his master’s in finance. That was in 2020 and, as we all know, nothing of substance occurred in 2020…okay, so the pandemic was in full force and Harry’s drug use and debauchery got worse. Thanks to the magical miracle cocktail of Adderall and cocaine, he actually excelled at school and graduated from the master’s program. This led him to move to Florida, The Sunshine State, where he took on a new job while maintaining his drinking and drug use. 

In 2022, Bubbie fell ill and sadly passed away. Because of his non-stop drinking, Harry was unable to be there for her in the way he wishes he could have been at the end. This would prove to be a catalyst moment for his future sobriety. Another catalyst was the passing of his Aunt, who died when he was only fifteen. She had held a secret life of drinking which led to liver issues and eventually kidney failure. With these two tragic losses in mind, Harry knew he needed to get his act together and get sober.

Harry’s first introduction to Beit T’Shuvah actually happened when he was sixteen. He enrolled in a summer program called Etgar 36, run by a man named Billy Planer. It consisted of a group of Jewish teenagers traveling the country hearing various opinions on each side of the aisle. They would talk to people who were pro-life in the South and then pro-choice on the coasts. They spoke with people who believed in gun rights and others who believed in gun control. On this trip, they came to Los Angeles and visited Beit T’Shuvah. Here, Harry heard Doug Rosen, the director of the Partners in Prevention Program, speak. Although too young to truly take in the message, it stuck in the back of his head. The following summer while at a NFTY youth group convention in LA, Harry revisited Beit T’Shuvah on a day trip around the city. During this visit, he listened to Michael Soter speak for Partners in Prevention and was moved by his message, even writing his college essays on a theme shared by Michael.

After losing his job in Florida in October, Harry finally decided to seek treatment. Opening up to your parents about your alcoholism is one of the most difficult things you can do. Only second to making that next call that will change your life. In November of 2023, Harry officially joined our community. But that day one magic pill he thought he had taken seemed to not have kicked in yet. It took months for him to fully buy into the program and into himself. Harry came into the house thirty-five pounds heavier than he is now and after working out, playing basketball, and noticing how much better he felt physically, he started to feel better mentally. The work he started to do on himself in counseling and groups started to show dividends. He joined the BTS Choir, something he had never imagined he would ever do. “I’m really stepping out of my comfort zone.” Then, right when things started getting better, Harry and his family participated in the Family Immersion program. The days he spent talking about his addiction with his family were difficult, but at the end of it all, he felt like a weight had been lifted. “That was a really important part [of my recovery].” 

That itching voice in the back of his head to leave after ninety days started to quiet, thanks to the work he was doing and the wise words of his friend and BTS board member, Michael Soter. “A couple of weeks ago, I had a tough experience of craving and I realized I can’t do this alone. Knowing a new job, a new city—and then adding early sobriety to that is like scaling a cliff that is too steep without a rope.” So, instead of running, Harry has decided to stay in LA—close to his community.

Being content with life is a battle. It may always be. But, those of us who seek external validation—the job, the car, the house—may never find it. Contentment comes from within. Joy, happiness, love. They all come from within. Once you put the level of work into yourself, the care, and the compassion, that Harry K. so obviously has, you can rid yourself of the useless “compare and despair game” and proudly speak the words that Harry said to me this morning,

“Today, my grass is green.” 

Spotlight on Harry K. by Jesse Solomon

If you were moved by this story, please consider making a donation to Beit T’Shuvah today to help ensure the life-saving work we do continues.

Every dollar makes a difference.

You can make a donation by going to
or emailing our development department at

If you would like to reach out to the subject of this spotlight to show your love and support, please email: