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As Thought Leaders it is our responsibility to turn ideas into reality. Together we can raise awareness surrounding Domestic Violence Awareness Month, this October.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month 

Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) evolved from the "Day of Unity" held in October 1981 and conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children.

Domestic violence thrives when we are silent; but if we take a stand and work together, we can end domestic violence.
This sermon was delivered by Rabbi D'ror Chankin-Gould, Anshe Emet Synagogue in Chicago as a collaboration with Jewish Child & Family Services of Chicago to raise awareness surrounding domestic violence during the month of October.

Since I was a little boy, Sukkot has always been my favorite holiday.

I loved building the sukkah with my mother, collecting palm branches for it with my father, decorating it with my sisters, and sleeping in the sukkah in a cozy sleeping back looking up at the stars.

As an adult, there's another aspect to Sukkot which I didn't know about as a child, but which I have come to treasure as well.

Ushpizin.  Ushpizin are the guests we invite to join us in the sukkah. But these are not ordinary guests: we invite to sit with us in the sukkah, the spirits of our ancestors. On the first day we invite Abraham and Sarah, on the second day we invite Isaac and Rebecca, etc.
The concept of inviting Ushpizin derives from the Zohar, the core Jewish medieval text of mysticism and Kaballah. Continue reading here.
Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles has made Domestic Violence Awareness month a priority. Learn about:
  • DART - Domestic Abuse Report Team, a coordinated program with the LAPD that strives to foster and promote responses to address domestic violence victims' and their children's needs for crisis intervention and safety.
  • Shabbat of Awareness & Lighting the Way to Peace  - On October 16th, synagogues across Los Angeles participated in the JFS { Shabbat of Awareness program. Participating congregations discussed the very important topic of Domestic Violence during their regularly scheduled Shabbat service. Rabbis were asked to create an open dialogue with their congregants to bring much needed awareness to the topic.
  • Fashionable Fundraiser - Fall into fall fashions at a boutique and trunk show on October 28th featuring over a dozen boutiques and vendors. 20% of all proceeds will benefit programs for survivors of Domestic Violence and their families.

Learn more here

You Have No Idea
This poem from a Project DVORA client illustrates the challenges that many people face in their attempts to break free of the guilt, shame and feelings of isolation that permeate situations of trauma and abuse.
 
As a society, it is easy to say that we stand against domestic violence. Very few would endorse the stereotypical image of a man slapping a woman across the face. Much harder is supporting those in our personal lives who encounter fear, isolation and an overall imbalance of power in their relationships. Read the poem here.
 Check out AJFCA's Domestic Violence Professionals Facebook page to see what member agencies are doing to raise awareness surrounding Domestic Violence among their staff and with in their communities. 
AJFCA will publish thought pieces from our Network relating to
Domestic Violence
throughout the month of October.
Contact Megan to submit material.