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Rabbi Shmuel Goldin to Receive Award at Project S.A.R.A.H. Breakfast

Teaneck—On Sunday, March 15, Project S.A.R.A.H. (Stop Abusive Relationships At Home) will hold its 9th annual community breakfast in recognition of its 18 years of serving victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse throughout the State of New Jersey.

The breakfast will begin at 9:30 am at Congregation Keter Torah on Roemer Avenue in Teaneck. The keynote speaker will be Jill Starishevsky, author of My Body Belongs to Me, and an assistant district attorney in New York City, where she has prosecuted thousands of sex offenders and dedicated her career to seeking justice for victims of child sexual abuse and sex crimes.

The Rabbinical Supporter Award will be presented to Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, senior rabbi of Congregation Ahavath Torah in Englewood, for his longstanding support of Project S.A.R.A.H.’s community-based work. He has participated in our rabbinic trainings, seeks our guidance when a crisis arises, refers congregants to our agency and has been a vocal supporter to members of his community.

The Aleinu Hero Award will be presented to Rabbi Jonathan Knapp, Head of School of Yavneh Academy in Paramus. Rabbi Knapp has invited Project S.A.R.A.H. into his school to train his entire faculty, students, and their parents on child safety through our Aleinu Safety Kid program. His consistent commitment to this training places Yavneh in a leadership role among all Jewish day schools.

The volunteer recognition awards will be presented to previous breakfast chair-people Aliza Schachter, Rachel Wertentheil, and Rivka Zauderer. Despite their busy schedules, they have all sacrificed their own time as they worked tirelessly to make each year’s fundraiser a resounding success. They have also helped Project S.A.R.A.H. expand the array of services it offers the community by conceiving of and hosting “fireside chats” in homes throughout Bergen County prior to the summer camping season. The honorees invited Project S.A.R.A.H.’s trained staff into their homes to meet with small groups of parents and offer them guidance and language on how to discuss personal safety with their children at summer camp.

Project S.A.R.A.H. serves all victims and survivors of domestic and sexual abuse though it focuses on meeting the needs of the Orthodox Jewish community by enabling survivors to overcome the cultural, religious, and legal barriers that would prevent them from accessing needed services. Thanks to communal support, in the past year Project S.A.R.A.H. staff assisted nearly 75% more clients than just two years ago, serving over 100 clients with a range of services that include individual counseling, vocational counseling, psychiatric care, legal referrals, group support for men and women, and specific therapy services for children exposed to domestic violence and/or sexual abuse.

In addition to clinical services, Project S.A.R.A.H. regularly provides educational and training opportunities for the community. Project S.A.R.A.H. staff trained over 700 camp counselors prior to the 2014 summer camping season in how to maintain a safe environment in camp as well as what red flags to be aware of in preventing abuse. Over 1000 elementary school students participated in the nationally recognized Aleinu Safety Kid Program in 2014. Aleinu is a comprehensive program that reaches faculty, parents, and children in grades pre-K to 4 with a multimedia presentation designed to increase child safety and prevent child sexual abuse.

Project S.A.R.A.H. recognizes that religious leaders are often the first call a victim of abuse may make in their quest to seek outside help. Project S.A.R.A.H. trained over 200 rabbis and rebbetzins in how to respond to allegations of abuse that are brought to their attention and how to proactively help those whom they think might be in an abusive relationship. Additionally, with studies that indicate that one in five female college students are assaulted during their collegiate career, over 100 college students engaged in thoughtful discussion of what healthy and unhealthy relationships might look like after viewing our videos that focus on stalking, as well as emotional and physical abuse in Orthodox relationships.

For more information about the 9th annual Project S.A.R.A.H. breakfast, please call 973-777-7638, email [email protected] or reserve your seat at www.projectsarah.org today.

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