by Hadar Dubowsky

Safety for San Francisco Women

While SHALVA was organized from within the Jewish community, Shalom Bayit, a San Francisco-based group, began as the Jewish task force of the Northern California Coalition for Battered Women and their Children. According to one of the founders, Clare Silver, the need for a Jewish group on domestic violence came out of both the denial of the issue within the Jewish community and out of the lack of sensitivity and understanding of Jewish women’s needs within the battered women’s movement—for example, the scheduling of meetings on Yom Kippur and the scarcity of shelters with kosher kitchens. For its first event, held on Sukkot, Shalom Bayit hosted a panel discussion on “Jewish Women’s Role in “Keeping Peace’ In The Home,” followed by singing in the sukkah. The group chose its name to “reclaim the words Shalom Bayit —peace in the home—not keeping the family together at all costs but returning to the original meaning: a home and family that is loving, respectful and violence-free.”

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