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December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Executive Director’

Religious Right and ACLU Protest Judge’s No Messiah Ruling

Monday, August 19th, 2013

It began when Jaleesa, 22, took the father of her baby, Jawaan P. McCullough, 40, to family court in Tennessee, to establish paternity and to set child support. Oh, and the baby’s name was Messiah, according to the LA Times.

In court it was revealed that the father had wanted to name the baby Jawaan P. McCullough Jr., but he no longer objected to calling the boy Messiah Deshawn. But the judge decided to change the baby’s name anyway.

“It is not in this child’s best interest to keep the first name ‘Messiah,’” Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew wrote in her decision. “‘Messiah’ means Savior, Deliverer, the One who will restore God’s Kingdom. ‘Messiah’ is a title that is held by only Jesus Christ.”

An entire Jewish family of Iraqi extract named Mashiach would argue differently, but you don’t get many Iraqi Jews in Tennessee. But even without that Iraqi-Jewish input, “Messiah” is an increasingly popular American baby name, according to the LA Times, as are the names Lord and King.

The name would impose an “undue burden on him that as a human being he cannot fulfill,” the judge wrote, although she really didn’t know just how spiritually gifted the baby Messiah was.

She also noted that in Cocke County, Tenn., where the new Messia resides, there is a “large Christian population” as evidenced by its “many churches of the Christian faith.”

“Therefore,” the judge concluded, “it is highly likely that he will offend many Cocke County citizens by calling himself ‘Messiah.’”

Maybe, maybe not – there’s a slew of Jesus’s out there and no one seems to mind, and then, come to think of it, using that same logic, the name David should also irk some people. So the ACLU of Tennessee got on the case, and, surprisingly, received many calls of support from the religious right, which typically threatens to blow up their offices over abortion cases.

“I got the classic call the other day,” Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee, told the LA Times. “They said, ‘I really don’t like the ACLU, but I support what you are saying and doing about the baby Messiah.”

UC Davis constitutional law professor Carlton F.W. Larson said the judge’s “entire line of reasoning totally violates basic freedom of religious purposes. This kid can’t be a Messiah because the Messiah is Jesus Christ? Judges don’t get to make pronouncements on the bench about who is the Messiah and who is not.”

The ACLU’s Weinberg agreed: “The judge is crossing the line by interfering in a very private decision and is imposing her own religious faith on this family. The courtroom is not a place for promoting personal religious beliefs, and that’s exactly what the judge did when she changed the baby Messiah’s name to Martin.”

On the other hand, if a certain Miriam from Nazareth had gone ahead and changed her own child’s name to Martin, we’d all be spared a lot of embarrassment…

Stigma: A Barrier To Rewarding Relationships

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Frailty and differences in other people often scare us. Why? They scare us because we see a reflection of what we fear in ourselves or because we just don’t know how to respond. Since we can’t live with this discomfort for too long, we make assumptions about and apply labels to those we fear. Now that we have come to a fabricated understanding about, labeled, and summarily discounted them from the inner circles of our lives, we can relax. There’s no need to spend time or energy discovering who these people really are, and confront the uncertainties that they represent. Then, we share our “knowledge” and labels with others and collectively build social fences to keep “undesirables” out. There. We have created a “stigma.”

Two Lives: Two Responses

Let’s look at how stigma works through the comparison of two lives.

Yitzchak, 22 years old, is the picture of competence and health. Everyone knows he’ll be successful in whatever he chooses to do. He is a choice shidduch prospect and has easily found his ideal kallah. Oh, Yitz might act impetuously now and then; but that can be seen as zerizut. He frequently texts or calls his kallah to find out where she is and what she’s doing. He’s a great catch and the phone calls show how much he cares. Time passes and we discover that this exemplary young man often demeans his wife and beats his child behind closed doors. Shocking! No symptoms, no reason for him to seek help, and no psychiatric diagnosis. Neighbors wonder, “How can such a personable and successful man do such a thing? What did his wife do to cause him to act this way?”

Then, there’s Estie, a 27 year old freelance writer with exemplary middot. She loves to read Michtav M’Eliyahu. Twice a week, she shops with Frady, a 75-year-old widow. Thursday is one of their shopping days. Estie checks her watch more often on Thursdays than on Mondays; she wants to be sure not to miss her psychotherapy appointment. You see Estie has been living with anxiety and depression since she was 15. A studious girl, she continually endured snide remarks by the high school “in crowd.” It could have been worse. Facebook and Twitter weren’t around in those days. Though hospitalized at 17 for 10 days, Estie has done quite well since the age of 22 with weekly therapy appointments, a decreasing dosage of anxiety medication, and a well balanced diet.

So, Estie’s doing fairly well now. Ah, one problem. The “nasty secret” about her hospitalization and subsequent treatment is known by some in her community and by shadchanim. No one would imagine presenting her as a viable shidduch for a talmid chacham who would appreciate a marriage partner who will eagerly join him in exploring the depths of Rabbi Dessler’s works. So, every Shabbos, Estie curls up with her Michtav M’Eliyahu, as she prays that maybe, one day, she will find the man to whom she give love in the very way that Rabbi Dessler upholds as the highest form of loving.

Who should we fear – Yitchak or Estie? With whom would you rather share life’s wonders, pleasures, trials and tribulations? Why should a 10 day stay in the hospital’s psychiatric ward (10 years ago), successful weekly therapy sessions, and a couple of pink pills prevent her from meeting her bashert, who may or may not have any labels attached to him?

The Mark of Cain

People who are known to have received or are receiving mental health services are stigmatized and painted with one broad swath of paint signaling “avoidance.” It’s like the “mark of Cain” if you will. Therefore, they often feel compelled to vigilantly hide a part of themselves in order to be matched up, hired, or called upon for community service.

It’s a catch-22. If one reveals his history and condition, he may be avoided or treated differently. Yet, if he hides it, then, by definition, he conceals his authentic self from others. The social pressure to hide his mental health condition effectively perpetuates the very stigma that he decries and against which he struggles. Ultimately, it can’t be fully hidden, for it’s a part of him and the ways he perceives, understands, interacts with, and contributes to the world around him. Some of teachings of the revered Rebbe, Rabi Nachman of Breslov were inspired by his own battles against depression.

‘They’ Are Not All Alike

As indicated, stigma places people into convenient categories and justifies exclusion. Many people will not even consider meeting fine shidduch candidates with mental health service histories. Even those who have their own shidduch-related challenges will often discount candidates with known mental health disabilities. Their family, friends, and community leaders often support or promote this position. While this article’s author understands their concerns, she is troubled by the categorical assumptions that are made and the resulting prejudices. Mental health conditions differ in kind and in degree. Many people with mental health conditions have learned how to live with their disabilities, have become supports to others, including their spouses, and raise insightful children with wonderful middot. Stigma, based in fear, is a destructive barrier to potentially fruitful relationships.

What Can You Do to Deconstruct Stigma?

· Become inquisitive about others and their lives.
· Approach a person you usually avoid.
· Get to know each other at a comfortable pace.

What about that person do you really appreciate?
What do you share in common?
· Ask them for their help or advice.
· What can you learn from each other about meeting life’s challenges?
· Tell another friend what you’ve learned from that person
· Keep possibilities for shidduchim as open as possible.
· Explore humility. What is it? How can you use it in your encounters with others?

Remembering: A Year Later (Part II)

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

In the first part of this article (Family Issues 3-2-2012) I shared the many memories resulting from my year of avaylus (mourning) for my mother. This week I would like to connect those memories to a better understanding of how good could potentially come from bad happenings in an effort to improve relationships.

The questions are: “How does one make the best of a bad situation or turn it into an even better one? Do we have the capacity to look for the silver lining in bad situations? When things are tough, can we find the ‘toughness’ within ourselves to turn things around? Can we always say that we can find something good from bad?”

I believe most people would agree with me that it is not so easy to find good in bad. However, we should not assume that bad means bad. I believe that when something bad happens, we have to see it for what it is. Many would say we should think, “It’s not so bad. It could be worse.” Of course every bad situation could be worse, but how does that help?

Bad situations are usually perceived from the “me” perspective, but could also be viewed from the “us” perspective. In the “me” perspective we think: what is this event as it pertains to me? How does this event affect me? How does my life change because of this event? In the “us” perspective we ask how the bad event affects the bigger picture, the world at large or others outside our immediate selves. It’s very difficult to see things through both perceptions at the same time. Nevertheless, we can all view the “me” perspective and then the bigger “us” perspective in most occurrences.

A death in my family has a definite large and meaningful “me” effect, while having a very small effect on those outside my immediate family. Others might feel badly or they might even not care. On the other hand, a tsunami in a far off country has an immediate catastrophic effect on those directly affected, but has a very different affect, beyond emotionally feeling sorry for others, on me, thousands of miles away. That doesn’t mean I don’t care or feel bad, but the “me” perspective is very different. Furthermore, the “me” affect that I am experiencing is different from another person effected by the same bad situation. I recently paid a shiva call where four siblings and their mother were mourning the passing of the father/husband. They were all mourning the same person but in very different ways.

Once one recognizes the “me” effect the situation has, one must gather strength and determine how much power he will allow the situation to have over his life. The saying, “knowledge is power” is certainly true. I believe we cannot muster up the power to control negative situations without the true knowledge and understanding of the total situation. Of course, if the situation is very emotional it’s difficult to have a “free” understanding, because emotional “thinking” influences the way we can understand the situations we find ourselves in. This is why we often need an outside person, someone beyond the “me” thinker, to help us understand it from a different perspective.

First and foremost, it is important to always remember the following: “We act the way we feel and our feelings are based totally on our thoughts.” Don’t take this for granted, as it is imperative to personal control. How we relate to others, what we do in various situations and the effects of such behaviors and actions, all come down to our interpretations and understandings of the situations. Whether we are happy, sad, disappointed, etc. is all-dependent on the way we understand and think. From those thoughts develop feelings, which lead to our actions.

It’s important to understand the ways in which we think. There is both conscious thinking (whereby we are able to understand exactly what we are thinking while we process the thoughts) and subconscious thinking (where our brain is very active yet we are not actually aware of the process). Nevertheless, subconscious thinking has definite affects on our daily functioning and feelings. A good example of subconscious thinking is when someone is having an emotional reaction but cannot “put my figure on what’s bothering me.” This lack of understanding how one feels is a telltale sign of the unconscious at work.

Why is it that sometimes someone seems to be bothering us but we don’t know why we feel that way? Why is it that I feel very attracted to someone without knowing why? Our brain is busy working 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We can see this when we understand dreams. Our subconscious thoughts develop from our upbringing, our daily occurrences and people who have meaning to us (good and bad).

A Mother Remembered: A Year Later (Part I)

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

It’s been a year now since my mother passed away at the age of 98. In my writings, I try to focus on better ways to understand family dynamics, how to deal with our children and become better parents, spouses and friends. I believe most every event we experience in our lives gives us something to learn from. Even more so, I have come to believe that events we cannot make any sense of when they happen have some potential to make us better people – including those we deal with on a regular basis: our friends, children, parents, etc.

In this two-part article, I would like to share some of my memories of my mother, and to connect those memories to learning about better relationships.

I hesitate to say that my mother was a very special woman. Not that it isn’t true, but rather I don’t want to minimize the millions of other mothers who are, or were, special to their children. Thank G-d my mother had a very full life – a life of giving to others and caring about everyone. As this year of aveilus (mourning) comes to an end, I can’t help but reminisce about the good and bad times, the happy and the sad.

My mother was born and raised in the state of Georgia and my father in Germany. I remember growing up in Georgia during the days of segregation and learning from my parents to look beyond the popular beliefs of the time and see the good in all people. I remember our nanny who practically raised us and how my brothers and I loved her as much as she loved us.

I remember my maternal grandparents (and the impact of never knowing my paternal grandparents who were slaughtered in the Holocaust). They were extraordinary. For as long as I could remember my grandmother was an invalid. In those days they weren’t sure why she couldn’t walk, but I remember hearing that maybe she had multiple sclerosis. I remember how my mother used to go over to my grandparent’s home on a daily basis to assist my grandfather and the caregivers. I remember being in the third grade and moving in with my grandparents for almost six months while our house was being built. Years later my parents had added to our home and my grandparents and my mother’s aunt came to live with us. As a child, I never realized how much of a strain this was on my parents.

The love between my grandparents was something rarely seen, even today. My fondest memory is seeing them sitting together in front of the television, my grandfather in a large comfortable chair and my grandmother in her wheelchair, holding hands. It still amazes me that I can’t remember them ever arguing or raising their voices to one another. Every day my grandfather would put my grandmother in their old Studebaker and they would go out for a ride. And their love encompassed others – I always felt special when I would go with them.

When we were very young my father managed an abattoir (slaughter house) for a Jewish family in the small city we lived. After the plant closed, my father began working as a traveling salesman. My mother was always busy with us boys, and shopping and taking care of her parents and aunt. She never complained, and even found time to volunteer in our small Jewish community. Life in a small southern city wasn’t easy. My parents always struggled. Yet, somehow, I remember them always being there for others. Whether it was my grandparents, our extended family, my father’s employees, colleagues or family friends, everyone seemed to come to my parents if they needed help.

As a teen, I was always curious and searching, though I didn’t know what I was searching for. At some point I told my parents I wanted to go to military school. Though they couldn’t afford it, they borrowed the money and I went to military school for my last three years of high school. It was there that I became very curious about my yiddishkeit. My parents identified strongly with Judaism, but we had very little real knowledge. My early life was surrounded by prejudice and racism, yet my parents always stressed the importance of equality. With the help of my religious paternal aunt and uncle who lived in New York, I enrolled in one of the only yeshivas for boys without a background in Judaism on the day I graduated from high school.

I remember calling to tell my parents after I met my eishes chayil, and how they totally accepted her and her family before even meeting them. They insisted on making a vort (engagement party) for us in Georgia. Oh, what memories. Until her final day, my mother took great pride in calling my wife “her daughter” – as she used to say, she loved her as if she had given birth to her.

Are You A Caterpillar Or Butterfly

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Have you ever seen pictures or a video of a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly – what a miraculous site, truly a confirmation of the Creator constantly at work. The caterpillar itself starts off as an egg and transforms into the larvae or caterpillar. Then the amazing transformation continues as it develops into the most beautiful butterfly. Another testimony to the spectacular wonders all around us..

People also undergo transformations. As a child, we speak, think and act like a child. As a teenager we speak, think and act like a teenager (whatever that means). As an adult, how do we speak, think and act? Is there a natural transformation, a metamorphosis over time for people in how they think, feel and act? This is a very philosophical question; however, it has great ramifications for our day-to-day functioning. Likewise, it serves as a starting point for how we relate to and treat others.

In fact, how we view ourselves has a direct influence on how we act. Our sense of self, our self-judgment, also referred to as our self-esteem, has major effects on our functioning capacity. Fragile self-esteem, which most of us tend to have, causes the many ebbs and tides of feelings and ability to control our emotions and actions. In a book entitled Psychological Trauma and the Adult Survivor: theory, therapy, and transformation by Lisa McCann and Laurie Anne Pearlman, they discuss how trauma victims often view themselves as if their inner sense of themselves and their world is disrupted. As in most therapies, they describe how the transformation of the sense of self is developed through a new reality that is both adaptive and safe. This is but one understanding of the importance of therapy as a means of counsel and personal growth.

So many of our clients hesitate to seek help. For some it seems to be natural to deny the need for help – for as long as possible. As they say, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” That’s basically trying to convince yourself that if “I think its not broken, its not broken.” To seek help one has to first come to terms with and accept that there is a problem. Such acceptance is in itself anxiety producing and painful. As much energy as denial takes, admitting a problem could take more. How many times do those in psychological pain scream out, “Leave me alone”? Sometimes this is truly a sign of their depression, but other times it’s more a sense of being overwhelmed and in pain.

I often ask my clients, “What’s the difference between spending and investing?” What do you think the answer is? To seek help, to recognize the need for therapy and counselling, one must understand the significance in these two concepts.

Think of this question in terms of money. To spend means that we take the money, give it to someone else for the purpose of acquiring something on a temporary basis. Why temporary? Because everything we acquire is temporary. If we buy food, we eat it and it’s gone. If we buy clothing, we wear it until we are tired of it or it wears out and it’s gone. If we buy a large item like a car, or even a home, it depreciates and that part is gone. When we spend, we know that at the end of the day, it’s gone. However, to invest means that we give money for the purpose of, and in the hope, of walking away with more than when we started. That’s the intent.

Therapy is the same idea. If the client comes to spend time with me, they walk away spending their money and have nothing to show for it. When they leave the therapy room, everything is forgotten. They spent their time and now “on with life.” However, the client who will invest time in therapy will leave with more than they came with. This client thinks over what was realized in therapy, uses new insights and skills from the therapy session and comes back to the next session ready to acquire more than before. The client who benefits most from therapy is the one who can invest in the time they spend with the therapist.

Back to the caterpillar and butterfly… The metamorphosis from the egg to the butterfly came up in a therapy session with a 13-year-old boy last week. You ask how that could be! Well, this boy has been coming to see me for about eight months. Emile is an interesting boy. He lives with his single (divorced) dad. He has suffered much emotional distress and loss in his life. However, at 13 he would rather not be in therapy but playing with his friends; or should I say fighting with his “friends.” Emile has many social and learning problems. He has had great difficulty focusing, be it on schoolwork or socializing or listening to his father. However, over the past eight months their relationship has certainly changed. Emile has had an amazing transformation. I say amazing, because one of Emile’s interesting characteristics is his resistance to change. Actually, he is resistant to looking closely at himself, his sadness and the conflicts in his life. It has been an interesting journey as Emile’s resistance to the therapy sessions has certainly reduced while at the same time he still refuses to deal with emotional issues. He can totally shut down when delicate issues, like his mother, come up. In fact, Emile’s father sits in on each session to “help” keep Emile on track. His father is very dedicated to Emile while, at times, he gets very frustrated with his son. The frustrations extend to wanting to prove his love, to getting Emile to listen to him, to getting Emile to accept responsibility for his actions at home, school and in the community.

Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Misplaced Concerns

Secretary of State Clinton’s sudden concern for Israel’s future as a democratic state in the shadow of the Muslim Brotherhood’s electoral victory in Egypt and Iran’s irrational march to nuclear martyrdom is perplexing (“Clinton and Panetta Put Israel in the Cross Hairs,” editorial, Dec. 9).

With the Mideast beset by growing violence and unprecedented instability, it is incomprehensible that America’s top diplomat would focus on the voluntary busing preferences of religious Jews (men and women) who reside in the only legitimate democracy in that region.

Israel deserves to be applauded and held up as a model for its steadfast commitment to religious freedoms, afforded to all its citizens – Jews, Christians and Muslims alike. Clinton’s misplaced concerns might be better focused on the Jewish state’s many Islamic neighbors who strictly forbid members of non-Islamic faiths from practicing their religion in their countries.

Chaskel Bennett

(Via E-Mail)

 

Obama’s Fundraiser

Barack Obama professes a strong commitment to Israel’s safety and an inviolable tie between our two nations. That’s wonderful, except for the fact that he has a rather strange way of showing it. Is this what is meant by “tough love”? If so, I I’d prefer honest and open disdain, which leaves no questions about truth and sincerity.

The 1967 borders speech was bad enough as betrayals go, but more significant has been the ongoing sense of hostility to Israel, while Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are treated as equals. The rudeness to Prime Minister Netanyahu was something that would never have been displayed to an Arab leader. The Obama administration has made it clear that it views Israel as a thorn in its side. Building homes for Jews in Jerusalem has been decried far more vociferously than the random murders of Jews by Muslim terrorists.

And now Obama comes to New York for a fundraiser and is pledged $2 million by a Jewish gathering. What does this tell us? Does it make sense to anyone reading this?

Myron Hecker

New City, NY

 

Sotheby’s Lockout

I read with interest Richard McBee’s Dec. 9 Arts column, “Jewish Women and Chanukah at Sotheby’s,” on the upcoming auction of Judaica at Sotheby’s. There is something else your readers should be aware of.

On August 1, the 43 professional art handlers at Sotheby’s in New York City were locked out of their workplace and prevented from entering the facility, even though both management and the union that represents them, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 814, agreed to continue contract negotiations. These workers, loyal employees of Sotheby’s, some of whom had worked there for decades, have not been allowed to return to work since; they have been out of work for more than four months now, creating situations of extreme hardship for themselves and their families.

Two days after the workers were locked out, Sotheby’s reported the most profitable quarter in its 267-year history. Second quarter revenues were up 31 percent from the same quarter last year and profits were up 48 percent. We have read that Sotheby’s wants the locked-out art handlers, who are responsible for the transportation, preparation and display of the pieces, to give up their 401(k) plan, work a reduced 36-hour week (which means effectively a ten-percent reduction in their wages) and limit their overtime, among other demands.

Our Jewish tradition teaches us to treat all who labor with respect and dignity, not just when it is convenient but even when tough labor-management negotiations are taking place. Sotheby’s may be putting Jewish tradition on display in the form of art pieces, but its behavior is certainly no reflection of the values represented by our tradition.

Martin M. Schwartz

Executive Director

Jewish Labor Committee

 

            Tribute To Rabbi Schonfeld

As one who was brought out of Austria on the first kindertransport by Rabbi Dr. Solomon Schonfeld, I would like to appeal to any Jewish Press readers who were also brought out by him. In February, we will mark a century since his birth and I hope to arrange a memorial tribute in Jerusalem on February 27.

I would ask any of those kinder or their children who would like to attend to please contact me at fischerjlm@hotmail.com or at PO Box 18279, Jerusalem 91182.

Emanuel Fischer

Jerusalem

…………………………………………………………

More On Torah And Science

The Chazon Ish And Reb Moshe

Reader Avi Goldstein writes that the Sages of Israel were frequently wrong regarding matters of science (Letters, Dec. 9). He cites several examples where he feels the Sages erred.

In one example he says the calendar devised by the Talmudic Sage Shmuel errs in its calculation of the solar year. I would like to cite the Chazon Ish (Orach Chaim 138:4) and Reb Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe Orach Chaim 4:17) on this issue.

Reb Moshe begins with very harsh words for the individual who asked the question. He says it seems the person regards himself as greater than all the Rishonim and Achronim and Gaonim in that they erred and he has caught their mistake. Forgive me, but it is extremely arrogant to even think this way, let alone to speak and write in such a manner. You should know that it is incumbent on a person to follow something that all of Klal Yisrael is accustomed to doing even if he believes they are mistaken – because something done by all of Klal Yisrael is correct.

Recession And Domestic Violence

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

The country’s economic indicators may be falling, but incidents of domestic violence are rising.

Hotline calls, shelter visits, and domestic violence-related crimes are all up significantly, according to recent reports. Many of NYC shelters, to list just one example, are fully occupied and having to turn women away.

Job loss and declines in income add even more strain on violent relationships. A study on recent domestic-violence homicides in Massachusetts found that “limited access to services for victims and unemployment for batterers” were key risk factors of abuse.

And women often feel trapped in abusive relationships during tough economic times. They’re likely to feel they’d be unable to financially support themselves. Plus, if an abuser is out of work, there is more opportunity for them to be present at home.  It’s also not uncommon for abusers to keep victims economically enslaved, seizing paychecks and denying all access to money. When that income shrinks during hard times, the victim becomes even easier to control.

A sign that things may be getting worse is a government booklet offering advice to women on how to deal with recession-related domestic violence and discrimination from employers released last week, reflecting concern that women are to be worst hit by the economic crisis.

The 30 page document is based on the premise that “women, especially those who are pregnant or work part-time, can feel particularly vulnerable during economic downturns.” The document provides a summary of benefits already available and details support groups women can call on if they feel their job or personal safety is threatened as a result of the recession.

Figures from the police issued in January suggested that there has been a slight increase in domestic violence in the past year, and police were looking at how stress in terms of lost jobs might create tension in families. The government booklet devotes a section to the impact of the recession on divorce, violence and family tensions.

“Economic downturns can be difficult times for family relationships. Worries about finances can create additional tension and in some cases, where couples have already decided to part, problems over selling the family home can deepen tensions,” the booklet states.

The government booklet lists advice for women who have lost their jobs, saying “it is unlawful for your employer to treat you less favorably because of your pregnancy or because you take maternity leave.”

If you are a victim of domestic violence in our community you can turn to the Shalom Task Force hotline (1-888-883-2323). Our confidential national domestic abuse toll-free Hotline is the backbone of all our efforts. It was established in 1995 to provide a listening ear and to offer a wide range of referrals to our callers.

The Hotline is staffed by over 80 volunteer advocates, many of whom are professional women who work in law, social work, education and psychology. They take part in an intensive training program in addition to an internship. Besides English, we have advocates who speak Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian, Spanish and Hungarian.

Our volunteers understand the impact the economy is having on people’s lives and they are ready to speak with you when you pick up the phone and call.

 

Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, MA is the Executive Director of Shalom Task Force. For more information visit www.shalomtaskforce.org or call the hotline at 1-888-883-2323.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/recession-and-domestic-violence/2011/11/16/

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