Monday, March 21, 2005

Survivor Workshop

I attended yesterday's workshop at the JWI conference about abuse survivors in the Jewish community. Vicki Polin and Rabbi Yosef Blau both spoke, and then opened up the floor for discussion. Rabbi Blau asked why Jewish communities routinely protect ual abusers instead of protecting their victims. The answer he said, is to protect it's self image.
The orthodox community in particular is quick to blame problems on outside influence instead of looking within. Denial runs deep.
Rabbi Blau said that jewish survivors have no obligation to honor parents who are abusive if contact with them would compromise thier emotional and mental health. He talked about different laws from the torah that people misuse to try to silence victims.
Rabbi Blau said that he wished that he could say that our communities are getting better at dealing with this issue but that wouldn't be true. He said that it is our responsibility as a community to speak out against abuse and to support the victims.
Vicki asked survivors to honor themselves just for surviving. She asked what would be needed to set up a system of empowerment for survivors.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

By Carrie Devorah
March 21, 2005

Jewish Women International held its second annual conference on domestic violence and abuse at the Capitol Hilton in Washington DC. The inaugural evening, Vicki Polin and Rabbie Yosef Blau of the Awareness Center hosted a session, "Lost In The Shuffle: Jewish Survivors of Sexual Victimization." Polin dedicated the session to colleague and peer Yechezkel Chezi Goldberg a leader in sexual victimization murdered in the Aza Street terrorist attack on Egged Bus 19 , January 29, 2004.

Goldberg survived by his wife Shifra and seven sons and daughters was a family matter columnist for The Jewish Press and a host for Arutz 7. Goldberg had invited Rabbi Blau to be a guest on the radio show, prior to his murder.

Additional information: and

March 22, 2005 12:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for reporting back on the conference.
I'm grateful Vicki and the Awareness Center has such a strong advocate for survivors in Rabbi Blau.

March 22, 2005 9:56 PM  

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