How We're Working to #ChangeTheCulture - and you can join us.

Last week, we asked men why it's important to be leaders in their communities to support survivors and fight sexual assault. This week, we asked: How are you working to #ChangetheCulture to prevent sexual assault? The individuals you'll hear from below reaffirm that there are so many ways to advocate - creating cultural changes in the workplace, teaching children that they have control over their bodies, modeling healthy relationships, simply having a conversation about #MeToo - and more. 

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Men Respond to #MeToo

Men and boys have a critical role to play in responding to the #MeToo movement. For Sexual Assault Awareness Month, JWI asked men how they can be leaders in supporting survivors and the fight against sexual assault.

JWI believes engaging men and boys is a key component to ending gender-based violence. Our programs Boy to Mentsch, Green Light Go, Safe Smart Dating, #ChangeTheCulture, Ladies and Gentlemen, and Good Guys provide tools to promote healthy masculinity and facilitate discussions around sexual assault and harassment. 

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Building Shalom Bayit as a DC Twenty-Something

By Courtney Pories

As a young adult who has lived in her first apartment for just a year now, it’s interesting to reflect on how I’ve made my home Jewish. Living with a few other twenty-something Jewish girls, we’re always running between working and socializing, trying to figure out how this whole “adulting” thing works - how do we take the time to build a home?

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How My First Seder Reinvigorated My Work

By Erin McMullen

I was reminded during these Seders how community building is a key component of repairing our world. I observed how a group of strangers and friends can collectively share a deep commitment to making this world a more socially just and equitable place. [The Seder was] a chance to pause, brainstorm, and envision ways that we can create a better and safer world for everyone with the guidance of Jewish texts and each other.

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Unafraid To Speak

By Deborah Rosenbloom

The overarching question is: At what cost, and at whose cost, is shalom bayit created? When is shalom bayit a façade masking suffering and pain, making it essential to speak out and speak up?

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Getting Past Gaslighting

by Sue Tomchin

Psychologist Robin Stern is committed to empowering us to break free from the spell of manipulative relationships—whether in the public sphere or in personal lives. Her advice is something we all need to listen to.

On March 15, Stern spoke to an audience of over 200 shelter professionals taking part in one of JWI’s monthly webinars, educating them about the signs of gaslighting and how they can help clients recover from its effects.

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Ta’anit

by Sarah Barasch-Hagans

After Esther 4:16

“Go, assemble all the Jews who live in Shushan, and fast in my behalf; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens will observe the same fast. Then I shall go to the king, even though it is against the law; and if I am to perish, I shall perish!”

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Trust Issues

by L. Goodman

After a few years, he increasingly gave me additional duties; I was thrilled not to be stuck behind my desk writing all day. I would go to sales meetings with him, he sent me to a trade show, and he would talk to me about marketing and dealing with clients. It felt good. I felt that my potential was being discovered and developed. He would occasionally call me at home to talk and I enjoyed our conversations; although, I did feel uncomfortable with the fact of them, unsure how appropriate they were, though they were always appropriate. I didn’t tell my husband, afraid he would be jealous, that he would think he could decide for me with whom I could or couldn’t talk.

 

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Shades of the Present Day in Purim Megillah

by Rabbi Richard Hirsh

What an odd moment in American cultural history surrounds this coming season of Purim. The opening chapters of the Megillah are replete with narratives that resonate in contemporary terms. A husband orders his wife to appear wearing her royal diadem — and, in the midrashic imagination, “nothing else” — for the amusement of his banquet guests, none of whom speak to the inappropriate and degrading demand.

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I am Vashti

by Stephanie Black

I can feel my cheeks flush again. I can remember it like it is still happening. I can still feel the weight of hundreds of women’s eyes on me, wide and shocked, waiting for me to respond. Weeks later, though I am alone, their eyes have not left me.

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Shalom Bayit: Domestic Violence in the Jewish Community and Beyond

by Naomi Ragins Senser, Executive Board Member of SHALVA, the Jewish Domestic Abuse Counseling Center in Chicago

The Talmud teaches that anyone who has the ability to correct a situation and is derelict in doing so bears the responsibility for whatever results. If abuse is not acknowledged, it is tolerated. Standing by while a sin is being committed is a violation of Jewish law. Abuse is happening in our neighborhoods.  Women and their children are being harmed. We cannot stand by.

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