Shalom Bayit is a product of two Texas Jewish Feminist Conferences convened by the American Jewish Committee Women’s Issues Committee in the 1990s. Using the profit from the last conference, Shalom Bayit formed in 1997 with members representing Jewish Women’s International, National Council of Jewish Women, Hadassah, Women’s American ORT, American Jewish Committee, sisterhoods, and interested individuals.
The work of Shalom Bayit includes the development of ‘palm cards’ containing information about domestic abuse and offering contacts to help. These are placed in restroom facilities serving Jewish women. A Speakers Bureau presents interesting educational programs to organizations upon request at no charge.
A reference book listing Jewish resources for domestic abuse survivors was compiled and given to hotline operators along with a code word that the caller can use to access the information in this resource guide.
Shalom Bayit filled plastic trunks with non-perishable kosher food, prayer books, candle sticks, candles and menorahs. These trunks were donated to shelters for use by Jewish clients.
A dialogue was opened with the rabbinical community at luncheon forums. The ensuing discussions explored the key role that rabbis pay in the opposition to domestic abuse, and methods that can be used to present the issue to their respective congregations.
Shalom Bayit remembers all of the battered women who cannot attend Seders by placing an empty chair at the Annual NCJW Women’s Seder and by adding appropriate language to the Seder service.
In 2002, Shalom Bayit became a program of Jewish Family Service.
The mission of Shalom Bayit is to raise community awareness of the occurrence and consequences of domestic abuse and violence within the Jewish population of Greater Houston. Shalom Bayit works towards ending domestic abuse and violence by fostering training, supporting appropriate intervention models, working in collaboration with other organizations, and promoting the safety and well-being of all members of the community.