Bid to counter domestic violence in Jewish community

By Sandy Rashty, February 6, 2014

Jewish groups in the UK have backed an international campaign against violence directed at women.

Jewish Women’s Aid, United Synagogue Women and the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (Jofa) are supporting the One Billion Rising event in London, co-ordinated by Jewish playwright Eve Ensler and businesswoman Lynne Franks.

At least 3,000 people are expected to gather in Trafalgar Square on February 14, to campaign against issues from domestic violence to female genital mutiliation that affect one in three women, or one billion women, across the globe.

Dalia Cramer, co-chair of US Women, said: “Unfortunately, domestic abuse is also felt within the Jewish community. When we all join our voices together, our message can be much louder and stronger.”

Dina Brawer, the UK ambassador for Jofa, hoped the event would raise awareness of abuse in the Orthodox community, from physical violence to withholding a get.

“Awareness is always a good thing,” she said. “There are issues in the Orthodox community, such as blame being put at the victim’s door instead of the perpetrator’s. There’s the idea that the abused woman didn’t act modestly, or didn’t dress appropriately — that she deserved it.”

“Here in the UK, we need to take a leadership role in the global situation,” added Ms Franks, a self-professed “passionate feminist” who attends Westminster Synagogue.

She hoped Jewish women across the UK would attend the day because the problem of domestic violence “affects the Jewish community just as must as others”.

Last updated: 10:45pm, February 6 2014