In Rabbinical School, a professor once charged us with the idea that we Rabbis had to “go forth and comfort the afflicted.” But then he added, “And afflict the comfortable.” That is, our job as rabbis is to bring issues into the public eye that may make some folks uncomfortable. But there are things we must discuss so that we can facilitate comfort and healing in our community. So this is why our Social Action Shabbat which takes place on September 16th, at 8:15 PM, will be focusing on Domestic Abuse in the Jewish community. Our theme will be “Behind closed doors- a look at domestic violence.” We have a special guest, Jamie Edwards, LSW from the Family Shelter Services in Wheaton who will speak on this topic. Yes, spousal abuse happens in Jewish comminities, even though many in the Jewish community don’t believe that it does.
So here are some sobering statistics:
One in every four Jewish homes is the scene of relationship abuse (abuse is defined as emotional, physical, sexual, verbal or economic
Domestic violence is found in every kind of Jewish home: Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, and unaffiliated.
Because Judaism is so family centered, that the person who needs help waits for several reasons. Stigma and shame still abound concerning this issue. Therefore, the purpose of our Social Action Shabbat is to bring to the forefront the fact that we are a part of a caring community. We are not afraid to confront these issues and face the stigma of domestic abuse. Our community would be strengthened to learn more about it and to see how we can respond to and be supportive and non judgmental to those who are affected by domestic abuse in our community. I hope you will be able to join us.