Listen to interview [audio player below] with host Eric Michaels & guest Harriet Rossetto discuss the following:
- What is Sacred Housekeeping?
- What inspired you to write your new memoir, Sacred Housekeeping?
- How do you account for your attraction to outlaws?
- Talk about the creation of Beit T'Shuvah
- Tell us your thoughts about addiction
- How do you relate to addicts even though you are not an addict?
- How do you work with your husband and stay married?
Harriet Rossetto is a rebel spirit. She is a self-professed misfit who felt she was operating her life on the fringe. It is there that she found her fierce calling: helping broken souls and changing a broken system.
Harriet received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Minnesota in 1964. A social worker with a strong Jewish identity, Harriet answered what would be a life-altering classified ad in the Los Angeles Times looking for “a person of a Jewish background to help incarcerated Jewish offenders.” Harriet soon recognized that most of the Jews in jail committed crimes as a by-product of what she’s coined the “dis-ease” of addiction. Frustrated by the lack of resources, she embraced the unpopular cause, fighting the widespread denial that “nice Jewish men and women” could be addicts and criminals in need of rehabilitation. A woman of passion, vision, and action, this fight took on the form of Beit T’Shuvah: The House of Return.
With Harriet as its guiding spirit for over 25 years, she has sustained Beit T’Shuvah’s mission, and it in turn the mission has sustained her. She has become something of a “Relationship Guru”, nurturing budding and fragile sober relationships that have in many cases turned into marriages and full-blown families. For Harriet, the greatest reward is witnessing and participating in the miracle of transformation. A mission with a beating heart, her living message is that everyone is capable of redemption, which is why she empowers the residents of Beit T’Shuvah with employment, hiring 90% of her staff from within. Today they are the lifeblood of the organization.
Harriet is now a much sought-after speaker in synagogues and community groups as well as a trainer for the National Association of Social Workers, teaching classes about the treatment and philosophy of the “dis-ease” of addiction. Harriet’s latest noteworthy project is her new book Sacred Housekeeping, A Spiritual Memoir. A woman unafraid of risk and ridicule in her quest for doing ‘the next right thing,’ she has lived long enough to see the world just beginning to catch up with her.