JF&CS Journey to Safety, along with the Jewish Domestic Violence Coalition and Safe Havens Interfaith Partnership Against Domestic Violence, is thrilled to announce the publication of the 2020 Many Voices, One Message campaign. This year, 141 Jewish clergy from across Massachusetts signed on to the statement, “We join together in saying we will not tolerate domestic abuse in the Jewish community.”

As in past years, the 2020 campaign reflects a diverse, vibrant and multi-faceted community of leaders. We are grateful to everyone who signed on.

Why a Clergy Sign-On Campaign?

Many Voices, One Message has several audiences. First, it speaks to survivors of abuse. The message is intended to make people feel less invisible to their rabbi or cantor. The campaign invites people experiencing abuse to see a Jewish clergy person as someone who will help and support them.

The campaign also speaks to people who are behaving abusively and to others who know about a situation and may not know what to do. Domestic abuse is not a private matter or a personal problem. The campaign makes it clear that abuse is a community issue and that clergy can play a role in ending it.

Finally, Many Voices speaks to the whole community. This initiative shines a spotlight on the reality that there is domestic abuse in the Jewish community. The campaign encourages people to talk about this topic in Jewish spaces.

Why Now?

We run this campaign every year around Chanukah, at the beginning of the darkest, coldest time of the year. People often feel more alone during the winter, and this year with the pandemic casting an additional shadow, there are new challenges leading to further isolation for some. Chanukah can inspire us as people place lit menorahs in their windows and the light from inside shines out into their neighborhoods.

Like Chanukah candles in the window, the Many Voices, One Message campaign is designed to shine a light in dark places and remind survivors of abuse that they are not alone. It also encourages everyone to use the spark from the campaign to light lights of our own for survivors wherever we can.

We Need Help Getting the Word Out!

With the campaign published, we need your help letting people know about it. One of the easiest and most effective ways to do that is to share this article with your network or share this post on Facebook. We so appreciate your help as we spread the message that love should be safe—and when it’s not, help and support are available.

Journey to Safety, a program of Jewish Family & Children’s Service, focuses our outreach and awareness-raising efforts on the Jewish and Russian-speaking communities and welcomes survivors from all backgrounds who are seeking support and assistance. For help, please call 781-647-5327 and ask for Journey to Safety or email jts@jfcsboston.org. You can also call SafeLink, the statewide 24/7 domestic abuse hotline, at 877-785-2020.

Elizabeth Schön Vainer is director of JF&CS Journey to Safety.

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