Some people hear about Beit T’Shuvah through having a family member as a resident. Some, through the congregation. Everyone else hears about Beit T’Shuvah through Jessica Fishel’s mom. All jokes aside, it doesn’t really matter how you get here, just that you stay. And Marla Rosen has done so in a big way.
Marla grew up in Los Angeles in a Jewish household. She was taught to study hard and get a “practical job.” So she became an accountant. Practical. Yet, another side of her was always gnawing at her, waiting for an opportunity to shine. Her creative spirit and specifically her love of writing. “[The] writing that speaks to me is a spiritual type of writing. Not based on any religion but more so based on the human condition,” she explains.
So, how do you put spirituality, writing, and a love of helping others together in a meaningful way? For Marla, she decided, with a small nudge from Janet Rosenblum and Judy Flesh, to volunteer as the creative writing instructor for the female residents at Beit T’Shuvah. “It’s been really fun. I love it. I love getting to know the residents and through writing, you really get to know people. You get to know their soul. I appreciate their honesty, their rawness, their realness, their humor. It’s the sharing between all of us which is so powerful,” she says. It’s been as eye-opening as it’s been cathartic for Marla. “The life that some of [the residents] have led because of their addiction… it’s unimaginable. On the other hand, the addicts are everyday people struggling with life and the way they chose to deal with it maybe wasn’t helpful. But we’re all struggling with the same things,” she shares.
This led her to her next adventure at Beit T’Shuvah. This year she is a proud member of the 2020 BTS Gala committee. Her responsibilities include seeking out items for the auction and spreading the word about the organization. “Introducing people who don’t know is key because it is such a fabulous organization,” she says. It is her first time working on the Gala and she’s excited to get the word out. “Whether it’s a substance or not, we all have problems and all need a community like this to help each other out. That is what’s so great about Beit T’Shuvah. It’s real. And on top of that, all struggles make the world a richer and deeper place,” she explains.
Thank you Jessica Fishel’s mom for introducing us to Marla. And thank you Marla, for seeing us, believing in us, and most of all, joining us.
If you would like to learn more about the Beit T’Shuvah Gala being held on January 26th, please contact Avia Rosen at 310-202-2289 or firstname.lastname@example.org.