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Shanda! Shame! Chillul Hashem!

 

Domestic violence and child abuse exist in the Jewish community; they cross all socio-economic levels and religious denominations. They exist despite the denials, despite the skepticism that such ugly behavior can exist among our people always so proud of our exemplary home-life; despite the fear that exposing them will bring Jews into disrepute; and despite the apprehension that our reputations will be tarnished. Such fears dare not allow our people to suffer violence and abuse!

 

By continuing to deny and refusing to act we shirk our responsibilities to our daughters and sons, our mothers and sisters, our fathers and brothers. The problem is systemic.

 

The Jewish community has no single hierarchy or unifying infrastructure that enables it to set standards for training or to hold professionals responsible in these areas. There is no standard for institutional protocols and response. Thus, the response of rabbis, teachers and counselors to survivors of abuse is only as good as their training and experience in identifying and dealing with these issues. Too often, itís inadequate. Enter JSafeÖ

JSafe: The Jewish Institute Supporting an Abuse-Free Environment works to promote a Jewish community in which all of its institutions and organizations conduct themselves responsibly and effectively in addressing the wrongs of domestic violence, child abuse and professional improprieties, whenever and by whomever they are perpetrated.

Through its certification program, publications, and educational initiatives, JSafe promotes universal gold standards for training and policies that prevent abuse, that ensure that survivors are treated supportively and appropriately, and make perpetrators accountable, thereby promoting a safe environment for all children and adults.