As Purim approaches, thousands of Israeli children and families grapple with poverty
Bat Melech, Israel’s most comprehensive network of social service for victims of domestic violence, has reached across the Atlantic for assistance, hoping to create a funding base in America in order to be able to help even more women in crisis.
Newly hired executive director of American Friends of Bat Melech, Danielle Berkowitz, has been working in the field of non-profit management for fifteen years, specializing in fundraising, grant writing, leadership development and project management, and recently relocated from Beit Shemesh to Highland Park, New Jersey with her husband and three children.
“When Bat Melech reached out to me, I knew I had to join with them and use my expertise to help victims of domestic violence,” explained Danielle. “Not only is it a cause that is near and dear to my heart, as it is based in my former home of Beit Shemesh, but last year alone Bat Melech had to turn away fifty four women, not to mention their children, due to a lack of funds. The Israeli government will pay some of the costs of assisting abused women, but they will only pay for the woman herself not her children. And most of these women have at least four kids. There is a stark need that has to be met and we are hoping to get people in the United States on board for this very important cause.”
While Danielle knew there were many organizations that would be able to make use of her expertise, the pull of working with Bat Melech was too strong to resist.
“There are, unfortunately, so many people in need, so many worthy causes that work with varied client groups, but what struck me about Bat Melech is that when it comes to domestic abuse, so many are quick to blame the victim. No one blames a child for being handicapped, no one blames a widow for her husband’s death, but so many people blame a woman in an abusive marriage. She gets blamed if she stays, blamed if she leaves, blamed for being in the situation in the first place. Wherever these women turn, they are faced with blame.”
Danielle finds that while the topic of abused women is one that people of any religion or demographic can relate to, it is particularly difficult for women in the Orthodox Jewish community. Not only are people hesitant to take in an abused woman and her children, for fear of ruining a prospective shidduch or otherwise sullying the family name, once an abused woman makes the decision to leave her community she is ostracized and will never be able to return to her former home. Additionally, children of an abused mother typically find that they are no longer welcome in school, as they are viewed as “problem children” and very often find themselves in shelters all day, every day, for months on end.
“I am hoping to spread the word on this issue throughout the United States so that people know about Bat Melech and know what we are doing for women who can’t ask for themselves,” said Danielle. “The problem of abused women transcends both geography and religion. People everywhere understand the concept of a women and children whose lives are placed in jeopardy by an abusive father.”
Danielle hopes to bring her message not only to adults but to children as well.
“Kids gravitate towards ‘mitzvah projects’ and we need to let them know that they have the ability to help other children who don’t have the privilege of going to school. It can be twinning programs, Bar and Bat Mitzvah programs. These kids aren’t supposed to have Bar and Bat Mitzvahs?”
While Danielle and her family hope to return to Israel at some point in the future, for now her sights are set firmly on using her time in America as wisely as possible.
“I hope to move forward and continue to make a difference in people’s lives,” said Danielle. “Sadly, there are so many victims of domestic abuse in Israel and it is up to us to help them get through this traumatic period of their lives.”
Sandy Eller is a freelance writer who has written for various websites, newspapers, magazines and private clients in addition to having written song lyrics and scripts for several full-scale productions. She can be contacted at email@example.com.
About the Author: Sandy Eller is a freelance writer who writes for numerous websites, newspapers, magazines and many private clients. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
There is a point that many parenting books miss: children do more for us than we do for them.
Brigitte was a nine-year-old girl when Islamic militants launched an assault on a Lebanese military base and destroyed her home.
Purim is a fantastic time for fantasies, so I hope you won’t mind my fantasizing about how easy life would be if kids would prefer healthy cuisine over sweets. Imagine waking up to the call of “Mommy, when will my oatmeal be ready?”… As you rush to ladle out the hot unsweetened cereal, you rub […]
‘Double Gold’ awarded to 2012 Yarden Heights wine & 2011 Yarden Merlot Kela Single Vineyard.
One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.
The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.
One of the earliest special Purims we have on record was celebrated by the Jews of Granada and Shmuel HaNagid, the eleventh-century rav, poet, soldier and statesman, and one of the most influential Jews in Muslim Spain.
Jews, wake up! Stop educating the world and start educating yourselves.
The lessons conform to the sensitivities and needs of the Orthodox community…
The program took on special significance as it marked not only the first anniversary of Rebbetzin Kudan’s levayah but also the 27th yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, a”h.
It was only in the reign of George III (1760-1820) that Jews became socially acceptable in Britain, and Nathan became music master to Princess Charlotte and musical librarian to King George IV.
It captures the love of the Jewish soul as only Shlomo Hamelech could portray it – and as only Rabbi Miller could explain it.
There is a lot of creativity in the food blogging community and not only in the kitchen.
If you have ever tried to organize the different sized roller blades in your garage, you will appreciate the wisdom of the roller skates we had when we were little.
His entire existence was about spreading simcha and glorifying G-d’s name on a daily basis.
As always, when it comes to electronics, you get what you pay for.
“The secret to a good donut is using quality ingredients and the ability to be patient and give them time to proof.”
“We had been in our first-period class for less than three minutes, and the website was already in-motion,” Rabbi Young told The Jewish Press.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/reaching-overseas-to-aid-victims-of-domestic-violence/2012/03/29/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: