Jewish Organization Helps Addicts Get Freedom

Jewish Organization Helps Addicts Get Freedom

Michal Osteen is part of an outreach group called Beit T'Shuvah. She explains that Beit T'Shuvah aims for a more holistic method of recovery. The ministry combines Jewish spirituality, psychotherapy, addiction counseling, the 12 steps and creative arts to help recovering addicts engage their minds, bodies and souls for thorough healing. Listen to hear about Beit T'Shuvah's transformative musical, "Freedom Song".

14 Minutes • 13 days ago

Episode Notes

The Strang Report

With Stephen Strang

Guest: Michael Osteen

Michal Osteen is part of an outreach group called Beit T'Shuvah. She explains that Beit T'Shuvah aims for a more holistic method of recovery. The ministry combines Jewish spirituality, psychotherapy, addiction counseling, the 12 steps and creative arts to help recovering addicts engage their minds, bodies and souls for thorough healing. Listen to hear about Beit T'Shuvah's transformative musical, “Freedom Song.”

Introduction

Stephen Strang: Addiction in our country seems to be getting worse and worse. But thankfully there are many groups that are reaching out and many addicts are getting their lives turned around. Hello, everyone. I'm Stephen Strang, and welcome to the Strang Report. I get to interview a lot of interesting people and today I'm going to introduce a good friend about the subject of addiction. Her name is Michal Osteen. She was born in Israel. But she's lived in America for many years. In fact, she is my neighbor across the street. She's also Jewish, as you might expect. We have become good friends, largely through some of the activities of Christians United for Israel, and other pro-Israel groups. Recently, Michal told me about an exciting presentation that's going to take place in Orlando. I wanted to interview her about that, because I thought that many of my listeners would want to go. Of course, I realize that my listeners and readers live all over the country, and in fact, other countries as well. But it's good for you to know about this important program and the truth that Michael will describe in just a minute is also appearing in other cities. First of all, Michael I want to thank you for taking time from your very busy schedule to be with me on my podcast. I know you just flew back from Israel, and that you go back and forth a lot.

·         Read the Strang Report: Jewish Ministry Helps Addicts Get Freedom They Can’t Find Elsewhere

Tell me about the organization that is putting on this presentation. I know it's going to be at Ohevshalom, probably the leading synagogue in our city, which I have attended numerous times. The presentation is called “Freedom Song.” Tell us what Freedom Song is, what it means and who's behind this presentation.

Michal Osteen: Freedom Song is a live show performed by actual addicts in recovery. Some of them have been in recovery for a long time and some of them are still in the program. There about 16 of them telling their stories of recovery, their fight to live in a free society with freedom from addiction. As we all know, there are so many people dying from overdoses now in our country and it has become just a horrible, horrible disease. These young people want to send the message and educate people to be able to discuss it openly and discuss it with their families and take away the shame of being addicted. Unfortunately, many young kids today are getting addicted to different kinds of substances, whether it's alcohol or opiates, and they are too ashamed to ask for help. Then it becomes too late and they end up in and out of rehab centers because it is such a hard thing to get healthy.

Stephen Strang: When I heard about this, I was surprised because when I think of addicts, the stereotype is maybe poor people living in the ghetto or crazy, mixed up teenagers. I don't think of Jewish people as being addicts very much. I think of them as being well healed and their kids going to fine universities. How did this come out of the Jewish community and what are they trying to accomplish?

Michal Osteen: This is very true. This is the mess of addiction. That is why so many, both in the Christian world and the Jewish world, kids are ashamed to ask for help because the mess is, oh, we have to be perfect families, then we go to college and we're doctors and physicians and educated people. Yet, in this program. I have met young people who have just graduated from medical school. I've met people who are extremely bright and from great families and not necessarily had trauma in their life. So, it is now a disease that hits everybody. I think it is no longer just those people that we see on the street asking for help. I actually, just on the plane, saw a beautiful movie called Beautiful Boy, and it's just about this subject; a healthy, wonderful family and the kid gets addicted and it is so difficult. The program comes out of Los Angeles. It's a place called Beit T’Shuvyah and, opposed to any other program, they do take insurance. But when your insurance runs out, they keep you there for a year. I do know of a few Christian programs like this, but most rehab centers throw you out the day that your insurance runs out. So, these young people, and they're young kids 18 and older, actually really get healthy there. A lot of volunteers work there, physicians from UCLA and USC and psychiatrists. A lot of people donate their time and come and help. They have Shabbat dinner on Friday night that is open to the whole community and the kids serve you dinner, including people that are kind of homeless and just come off the street but also amazing families of very educated communities that come and hug the community. I think the success rate is just because of that because the there's no shame of being addicted there. It is actually pride of becoming free of addiction and the community kind of hugs you and helps you get back on your feet and get jobs. That is why they have such a good success rate.

Stephen Strang: Orlando is a long way from Los Angeles. I guess we're going to get a little taste of this on Thursday, April 11, when this is presented it Ohev Shalom synagogue? Can you kind of describe what people will see I I've seen the trailer. Describe what people will see because you've seen the program and I haven't.

Michael Osteen: Yes. It is a musical and it is a show about getting freedom from addiction. At the same time, it's a family celebrating the Passover, freedom of humanity coming out of Egypt and finding freedom. So, it kind of relates it back to maybe religion, and maybe something that speaks to everybody, any religion. The family is celebrating the Seder, and at the same time to have an addict in the family. Then there's another group that they describe the true stories of what they went through, and how they became addicted and how they fight for becoming free of this kind of a life. It is absolutely remarkable. It is so touching and so uplifting that you just want to go up there and hug them and say, wow, you're making it, you're making a difference. I just love how they educate. Later after the show you’re going to have them with question and answers. So, hopefully, we're going to separate them into the teen groups and parents’ groups so people who have any kinds of issues have the opportunity to ask questions and not be afraid to share, including the young population.

For the rest of Stephen’s interviews with Michal Osteen, please click here.

Where to Find Stephen Strang on the Internet

·         The Strang Report on Charismamag.com

·         The Strang Report on cpnshows.com

·         On Twitter

·         On Facebook

Episode Notes

The Strang Report

With Stephen Strang

Guest: Michael Osteen

Michal Osteen is part of an outreach group called Beit T'Shuvah. She explains that Beit T'Shuvah aims for a more holistic method of recovery. The ministry combines Jewish spirituality, psychotherapy, addiction counseling, the 12 steps and creative arts to help recovering addicts engage their minds, bodies and souls for thorough healing. Listen to hear about Beit T'Shuvah's transformative musical, “Freedom Song.”

Introduction

Stephen Strang: Addiction in our country seems to be getting worse and worse. But thankfully there are many groups that are reaching out and many addicts are getting their lives turned around. Hello, everyone. I'm Stephen Strang, and welcome to the Strang Report. I get to interview a lot of interesting people and today I'm going to introduce a good friend about the subject of addiction. Her name is Michal Osteen. She was born in Israel. But she's lived in America for many years. In fact, she is my neighbor across the street. She's also Jewish, as you might expect. We have become good friends, largely through some of the activities of Christians United for Israel, and other pro-Israel groups. Recently, Michal told me about an exciting presentation that's going to take place in Orlando. I wanted to interview her about that, because I thought that many of my listeners would want to go. Of course, I realize that my listeners and readers live all over the country, and in fact, other countries as well. But it's good for you to know about this important program and the truth that Michael will describe in just a minute is also appearing in other cities. First of all, Michael I want to thank you for taking time from your very busy schedule to be with me on my podcast. I know you just flew back from Israel, and that you go back and forth a lot.

·         Read the Strang Report: Jewish Ministry Helps Addicts Get Freedom They Can’t Find Elsewhere

Tell me about the organization that is putting on this presentation. I know it's going to be at Ohevshalom, probably the leading synagogue in our city, which I have attended numerous times. The presentation is called “Freedom Song.” Tell us what Freedom Song is, what it means and who's behind this presentation.

Michal Osteen: Freedom Song is a live show performed by actual addicts in recovery. Some of them have been in recovery for a long time and some of them are still in the program. There about 16 of them telling their stories of recovery, their fight to live in a free society with freedom from addiction. As we all know, there are so many people dying from overdoses now in our country and it has become just a horrible, horrible disease. These young people want to send the message and educate people to be able to discuss it openly and discuss it with their families and take away the shame of being addicted. Unfortunately, many young kids today are getting addicted to different kinds of substances, whether it's alcohol or opiates, and they are too ashamed to ask for help. Then it becomes too late and they end up in and out of rehab centers because it is such a hard thing to get healthy.

Stephen Strang: When I heard about this, I was surprised because when I think of addicts, the stereotype is maybe poor people living in the ghetto or crazy, mixed up teenagers. I don't think of Jewish people as being addicts very much. I think of them as being well healed and their kids going to fine universities. How did this come out of the Jewish community and what are they trying to accomplish?

Michal Osteen: This is very true. This is the mess of addiction. That is why so many, both in the Christian world and the Jewish world, kids are ashamed to ask for help because the mess is, oh, we have to be perfect families, then we go to college and we're doctors and physicians and educated people. Yet, in this program. I have met young people who have just graduated from medical school. I've met people who are extremely bright and from great families and not necessarily had trauma in their life. So, it is now a disease that hits everybody. I think it is no longer just those people that we see on the street asking for help. I actually, just on the plane, saw a beautiful movie called Beautiful Boy, and it's just about this subject; a healthy, wonderful family and the kid gets addicted and it is so difficult. The program comes out of Los Angeles. It's a place called Beit T’Shuvyah and, opposed to any other program, they do take insurance. But when your insurance runs out, they keep you there for a year. I do know of a few Christian programs like this, but most rehab centers throw you out the day that your insurance runs out. So, these young people, and they're young kids 18 and older, actually really get healthy there. A lot of volunteers work there, physicians from UCLA and USC and psychiatrists. A lot of people donate their time and come and help. They have Shabbat dinner on Friday night that is open to the whole community and the kids serve you dinner, including people that are kind of homeless and just come off the street but also amazing families of very educated communities that come and hug the community. I think the success rate is just because of that because the there's no shame of being addicted there. It is actually pride of becoming free of addiction and the community kind of hugs you and helps you get back on your feet and get jobs. That is why they have such a good success rate.

Stephen Strang: Orlando is a long way from Los Angeles. I guess we're going to get a little taste of this on Thursday, April 11, when this is presented it Ohev Shalom synagogue? Can you kind of describe what people will see I I've seen the trailer. Describe what people will see because you've seen the program and I haven't.

Michael Osteen: Yes. It is a musical and it is a show about getting freedom from addiction. At the same time, it's a family celebrating the Passover, freedom of humanity coming out of Egypt and finding freedom. So, it kind of relates it back to maybe religion, and maybe something that speaks to everybody, any religion. The family is celebrating the Seder, and at the same time to have an addict in the family. Then there's another group that they describe the true stories of what they went through, and how they became addicted and how they fight for becoming free of this kind of a life. It is absolutely remarkable. It is so touching and so uplifting that you just want to go up there and hug them and say, wow, you're making it, you're making a difference. I just love how they educate. Later after the show you’re going to have them with question and answers. So, hopefully, we're going to separate them into the teen groups and parents’ groups so people who have any kinds of issues have the opportunity to ask questions and not be afraid to share, including the young population.

For the rest of Stephen’s interviews with Michal Osteen, please click here.

Where to Find Stephen Strang on the Internet

·         The Strang Report on Charismamag.com

·         The Strang Report on cpnshows.com

·         On Twitter

·         On Facebook

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Jewish Organization Helps Addicts Get Freedom