November 19, 2018

Moving and Shaking: Harriet Rossetto, AJWS, TCRF and Israel Advocacy

Harriet Rossetto, the founder and executive vice president of Beit T’Shuvah, a residential treatment center and educational institution in Culver City, has been named a 2015 Advocate for Action by the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

ONDCP Director Michael Botticelli recognized Rossetto during a ceremony at the White House on May 20. Accepting the award, Rossetto discussed Beit T’Shuvah’s innovative approach to recovery treatment, saying she was honored to have the opportunity to share some of what she has learned over the years about addiction recovery with the White House.

“To be selected to work with the White House to reform drug policy is such an honor, and an incredible opportunity to help more people,” the honoree said in a statement. “Through work therapy, creative expression and social enterprise, we watch with great pride as each person breaks the bonds of addiction by recovering their passion and discovering their purpose.”

Rossetto’s career began with helping Jewish criminal offenders, and she founded Beit T’Shuvah with a one-time grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The center has grown into a nationally recognized facility that creates jobs for former residents, operates a full-fledged synagogue and houses more than 140 residents who have suffered from drug, alcohol, gambling and other addictions. 

Rossetto was one of nine individuals named for the annual honor by the White House. Beit T’Shuvah’s CEO and Head Rabbi Mark Borovitz, a former addict and felon — and Rossetto’s husband — congratulated the facility’s founder.

“Harriet is not only a pioneer in addiction treatment nationally,” he said, “but she is a hero to me personally.”

From left: Debra Barrath, Felicia Park-Rogers, Devorah Servi, Shari Rosenman, Shep Rosenman, Rep. Karen Bass, Julie Flapan, Rabbi Penina Alexander, Charles Carnow and Rabbi Aryeh Cohen convene for the AJWS 2015 Global Policy Summit. Photo courtesy of AJWS

Twenty-six Los Angeles representatives of American Jewish World Service (AJWS) traveled to Washington, D.C., to speak with members of Congress and others on behalf of women and the LGBT community for a day of lobbying on Capitol Hill.

“These passionate Jewish leaders have taken time off from their jobs, synagogues and studies to come to Washington to show Congress that we cannot stand idly by as the rights of women, girls and LGBT people around the world are violated,” AJWS President Ruth Messinger, who took part in the program, said in a statement.

The local participants were Rob Adler Peckerar, Penina Alexander, Gregg Alpert, Debra Barrath, Charles Carnow, Rabbi Aryeh Cohen, Caryn Espo, Julie Flapan, Amy Grossman, Ronni Hendel-Giller, Rachele Huennekens, David Lieberman, Rachel Marks, Shira Liff-Grieff, Joan Patsy Ostroy, Gamal Palmer, Felicia Park-Rogers, Shep and Shari Rosenman, Sadie Rose-Stern, Angela Salgado, Robyn Samuels, Devorah Servi, Farah Shamolian, Rachel Sumekh and Marcia Tilchin.

In total, 170 AJWS members traveled to take part in the AJWS 2015 Policy Summit, which took place May 11-13. During the trip, the group met with several members of Congress, including local Reps. Karen Bass, Ted Lieu, Ed Royce and Adam Schiff; and Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.), Elliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.). Randy Berry, the first U.S. special envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons; Patricia Morris, president of Women Thrive Worldwide; and Hilda Tadria, a women’s rights activist from Uganda, also met with AJWS representatives.

From left: Tower Cancer Research Foundation (TCRF) gala chairs Sally Magaram and Abby Levy and TCRF board chair Nancy Mishkin. Photo courtesy of TCRF

Tower Cancer Research Foundation’s (TCRF) May 6 Tower of Hope fundraiser at the Beverly Hilton Hotel raised $1.2 million for the Southern California-based cancer research fund.

The evening honored Skechers, with David Weinberg, chief operating officer of the footwear company, accepting the award; surgeon Kenneth Adashek; and cancer survivor and Athene Asset Management CEO James Belardi.

“We’re doing great work and funding such important research in our community — to be able to have that kind of an impact means the world to me,” Nancy Mishkin, board chair of the foundation, said in a press release.

The event, which drew more than 800 attendees, also featured the awarding of a $1 million TCRF Discovery Fund grant toward local mesothelioma research at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute. 

Rabbi Ed Feinstein, senior rabbi of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, served as master of ceremonies.

From left: Honoree Dr. Daniel Lieber and co-chairs Helgard and Irwin Field. Photo courtesy of Howard Pasamanick Photography

“Israel Advocacy: A Celebration of Dr. Daniel Lieber and The Jewish Federation’s Holy Land Democracy Project” on May 6 at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel honored Lieber, the founder of the project, which aims to strengthen the bond between Southern California and Israel by sending teachers of non-Jewish high -school students and members of the Jewish community on trips to Israel.

The event raised $270,000 toward The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’ Israel advocacy and education work, while drawing an estimated 320 attendees — including community leaders, doctors and medical professionals, and patients of
Lieber — to the Westside hotel. 

Lieber is a Santa Monica-based medical oncologist and son of the late Rabbi David Lieber, who was president emeritus of what is now American Jewish University. Actively involved in Jewish communal life, Lieber founded the Holy Land Democracy Project approximately 10 years ago. Since its inception, the program has impacted some 35,000 high school students. 

Helgard and Irwin Field (a Jewish Journal board member and former publisher), Roslyn and Abner Goldstine, Gila and Adam Milstein, and Julie and Marc Platt co-chaired the event.

Moving and Shaking highlights events, honors and simchas. Got a tip? Email