April 24, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Domestic Violence Doesn’t Just Happen in Elevators

Clifton–This week, national attention is focused on Ray Rice’s brutal elevator incident with Janay Palmer. In the aftermath of the second video, the hashtags #whyistayed and #whyileft are “trending” on Facebook and Twitter. This incident has placed a much needed spotlight on the scourge of domestic violence in our country.

Closer to home, Project S.A.R.A.H, the New Jersey-based organization dedicated to helping victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse, receives daily phone calls through its hotline from victims and their supporters.

Elke Stein, the director of Project S.A.R.A.H., encourages families to use this incident as a springboard to discuss the usually taboo topic around their Shabbat and kitchen tables. “Football fans of all ages and the average housewife, who sees her sons and husband idolizing football players like Ray Rice, need to realize that domestic violence doesn’t just happen in an elevator.”

Each October, Project S.A.R.A.H. runs its annual “Many Voices, One Message” campaign timed to coincide with National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Rabbi Michael Bleicher, Outreach Coordinator, solicits the support of rabbis throughout New Jersey to unite in their support of Project S.A.R.A.H’s commitment to prevent domestic violence and sexual abuse and treat victims with dignity and care and to serve as a resource to their congregants. In 2011, 180 rabbis proudly signed their names, but this dramatically increased to 225 by 2013. “With this current increased attention we anticipate even stronger participation this year,” said Rabbi Bleicher.

Through its Aleinu Safety Kid Program, Project SARAH reaches thousands of New Jersey children, their caretakers and educators by providing a comprehensive personal safety awareness program. Esther East, Executive Director of the Jewish Family Service of Clifton-Passaic which houses Project S.A.R.A.H. stated, “The award-winning domestic violence treatment teamis on the front lines of providing essential services to the Jewish community statewide that are not always either known about or publicized.”

To find out more about Project S.A.R.A.H.’s services, or for more information, please contact Elke Stein at (973) 777-7638 or [email protected].

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