JWI's "RETHINKING" holiday GUIDES are a semi-Finalist FOR the

As outspoken as the Jewish people have been about injustices inflicted upon us by others, we have remained tragically silent about the violence we inflict upon each other. Domestic abuse exists because we allow it to exist. But many faith leaders are committed to ending violence in our homes and in our families. 

As spiritual leaders, clergy provide critical support and healing to families experiencing abuse. When appropriate, they should be prepared to hold batterers accountable and help them in their quest for teshuva (repentance). 

As leaders in the Jewish community, it is vital that they advocate for public recognition of the issue and increased funding for victims' services. 

As educators, rabbis and cantors must advocate for healthy relationship education for teens.

As members of rabbinical courts overseeing Jewish divorces, clergy must be prepared to understand that a husband’s refusal to give his wife a get (Jewish divorce) is a form of abuse, and be prepared to seek ways to free these women from their marriages.

As marriage officiates, clergy should provide pre-marital counseling that explores possible abuse within the relationship and insist on pre-nuptial agreements that cover that possibility.


Rabbi Leah Citrin
Temple Beth Or, Raleigh, NC

Rabbi Howard Cohen
Shirat Hayam, Marshfield, MA

Rabbi Sean Gorman
Pride of Israel Synagogue, Toronto, ON

Rabbi Susan Grossman
Beth Shalom Congregation, Columbia, MD

Rabbi Ben Greenberg
Central Synagogue, New York, NY

Rabbi Richard Hirsh (immediate past chair) 
Main Line Reform Temple, Wynnewood, PA

Rabbi Marla R. Hornsten (co-chair)
Temple Israel, West Bloomfield, MI

Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray
Congregation Shir Shalom of Westchester and Fairfield Counties, Ridgefield, CT

Rabbi Donna Kirshbaum
Omer, Israel 

Rabbi Ari Lorge (co-chair)
Central Synagogue, New York, NY

Rabbi Ron Muroff
Chisuk Emuna Congregation, Harrisburg, PA

Rabbi Steven Reuben, Ph.D.
Kehillat Israel, Pacific Palisades, CA

Rabbi Nicole K. Roberts
North Shore Temple Emanuel, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Rabbi David M. Rosenberg
Jewish Child and Family Services, Chicago, IL

Rabbi Susan Shankman
Washington Hebrew Congregation, Potomac, MD

Rabbi Andrea Steinberger
Hillel at the University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI

former members include:

Rabbi Richard Address
Philadelphia, PA

Rabbi Rachel Ain
New York, NY

Rabbi Amy Ruth Bolton
New York, NY

Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin
Baltimore, MD

Rabbi Mychal Copeland
Stanford, CA

Rabbi Elliot Dorff
Los Angeles, CA

Rabbi Mark Dratch
West Hempstead, NY

Cantor Deborah Jacobson
Palm Harbor, FL

Rabbi Esther Lederman
Washington, DC

Rabbi Diana Monheit
New York, NY

Rabbi Edythe Mencher, LCSW
New York, NY

Rabbi H. David Rose
J-Discover Gateways to Jewish Life & Learning, Potomac, MD

Rabbi Elissa Sachs-Kohen
Baltimore, MD

Rabbi Rebecca Sirbu
New York, NY

Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb
Baltimore, MD

Rabbi Seth Winberg
Brandeis Hillel, Waltham, MA

Rabbi Irvin Wise
Cincinnati, OH