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Featured Past Programs

The Obligation to Act

A seminar for communal workers and leaders, educators, staff members and organization that explored the issue of domestic abuse in the Jewish home; the responsibility of the community to protect and support its members; and effective strategies to help all those in abusive situations with effective ways to implement them.

This seminar was held at Congregation Beth Yeshurun with speaker Rabbi Mark Dratch. A veteran of fifteen years of writing about and dealing with abuse issues, Rabbi Dratch started JSafe, the Jewish Institute Supporting an Abuse Free Environment. JSafe is an organization that attempts to establish and maintain standards and procedures for dealing with child abuse, domestic violence and professional improprieties.

Flowers Aren't Enough

Ms. Naomi Ackerman presented her one woman performance of her show "Flowers Aren't Enough", which was originally commissioned by the Israeli Ministry of Welfare and depicts the insidious manifestation of relationship abuse and the decisions that the woman must make to save her life. Our goal in presenting this performance was to augment the group's growing educational strategy in the struggle against domestic abuse. In turn, this awareness helps negate tolerance for abusive behaviors and gives voice to those who have been silenced, shamed, and hurt.

Current Programs

Shalom Bayit: Houston Jewish Network Against Domestic Violence Speaker's Bureau

Requests for speakers on the topic of Domestic Abuse should be made through Babe Green, Shalom Bayit Staff Liaison, via email bgreen@jfshouston.org or by calling 713.667.9336 ext. 226.

Love Shouldn't Hurt

Why Implement "Love Shouldn't Hurt" in Your Synagogue, School, or Youth Group?

Love Shouldn't Hurt is a program offered to schools and teen programs to help teens understand how to create healthy relationships.

Shalom Bayit sends trained facilitators to present this program.One in four Jewish women will be emotionally, sexually or physically abused in a relationship during her lifetime. Young women in dating relationships are not immune---yet young people are often not given the tools to recognize abusive behavior, nor the skills or self-esteem for building loving, respectful relationships.

Love Shouldn't Hurt's goals are to:

  • Increase awareness in the Jewish community of teen dating violence
  • Help young people recognize abusive behavior
  • Give girls and your women the knowledge and tools they need to make healthy relationship choices
  • Give boys and your men the knowledge and tools they need to be allies in healthy relationships
  • Teach middle school and high school children skills to build loving, respectful relationships, including tools for healthy communication for recognizing abusive and controlling behaviors and for identifying personal goals of healthy relationships
  • Educate adults working with Jewish youth so that they can be supportive and offer assistance with the difficult relationship issues facing adolescents today

What is Unique about Love Shouldn't Hurt?

Love Shouldn't Hurt is the only Jewish dating violence prevention curriculum that addresses the age span from middle school through college. The program was designed by young people themselves---and has been developed over time based on the experience of over 2000 teen participants. Young people concerned about dating violence in the Jewish community created this workshop format that would speak to themselves and their peers.

Love Shouldn't Hurt contains specific materials for middle school, high school and college-age workshops with developmentally relevant scenarios and content. Middle school children grapple with scenarios about friendships, bullying, language, harassment and emerging interests in romantic relationships and other aspects of healthy/unhealthy peer relationships.

High school and college scenarios discuss dynamics of power and control in relationships, dating violence and how to avoid potentially coercive sexual experiences. The unique aspect of this program is that it is created within a framework of Jewish values. It serves as a learning tool to identify warning signs and to intervene successfully when necessary.

Educating teens NOW about dating violence is key to breaking the cycle of violence in our communities. This program provides young people an opportunity to explore their personal boundaries, discuss unhealthy relationships, brainstorm healthy alternatives, and learn to recognize warning signs of abuse.

By approaching this issue from a Jewish perspective, we can encourage young people to think about what Judaism has to say about relationships, communication and respect.

To schedule a program for your organization, please contact Babe Green at 713 667 9336 or bgreen@jfshouston.org.

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