Domestic Abuse

A Report from Jerusalem: The Kolech Conference

JOFA Journal

Goldberg discusses the central themes of Kolech's third international conference, "To Be a Jewish Woman". The conference was energized by discussions about the symbiosis between American and Israeli feminists, and demonstrated Kolech's strength as an advocate for women who charge men with sexual abuse and harassment, emphasizing the importance of creating safe spaces for victims to tell their stories.

Initiatives to Address Physical Violence by Jewish Husbands, 218 B.C.E. - 1400 C.E

Journal of Religion and Abuse

This article examines texts that were composed more than 600 years ago in varied parts of the world and that attest to physical abuse of wives by Jewish husbands. The author maintains that that those texts were composed because someone earnestly undertook to address that violence. It shows this by rendering those texts into two dozen vignettes in which wives, their male relatives, and communal leaders sought to stop spousal violence

Domestic Abuse And The Jewish Community: Perspectives From The First International Conference


Breaking the cycle of domestic violence and abuse poses unique problems for the Jewish community, owing to the internal divisions of politics, religious practice, and culture. However, creating strategies to work together based upon the shared values of Judaism can strip away those differences. Domestic Abuse and the Jewish Community: Perspectives from the First International Conference brings together an outstanding and diverse selection of notable presentations from the First International Conference on Domestic Abuse in the Jewish Community held in July 2003 in Baltimore, Maryland. The conference, entitled "Pursuing Truth, Justice, and Righteousness: A Call to Action," brought to the forefront the disturbing, many times hidden issue of domestic abuse within the Jewish community. Respected scholars, clergy, social service professionals, and survivors provide insightful presentations that lay an essential foundation for the building of a collaborative global Jewish movement to respond to this sensitive issue.

Domestic Violence and the Jewish Community: The Literature Expands

Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies and Gender Issues

In this article, Kaufman (author of Sins of Omission: The Jewish Community's Reaction to Domestic Violence [Westview Press, 2003]) reviews the literature published on the issue of domestic abuse in the Jewish community, including  Julie Ringold Spitzer’s When Love in Not Enough: Spousal Abuse in Rabbinic and Contemporary Judaism (1985, 1991, 1995), A. Twerski’s The Shame Born of Silence: Spouse Abuse in the Jewish Community (1996), N. Graetz’ Silence is Deadly: Judaism Confronts Wifebeating (1998), and most recently, When the Vow Breaks:  Building a Response to Domestic Abuse in the Jewish Community (2005).  This is a thorough review and constitutes preliminary, critical reading for any rabbi, lay leader, Jewish educator or counselor involved in cases of domestic or sexual abuse. 

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