Top prize for Taskforce

Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence committee member Sheiny New. Photo: AJN file

THE Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence (JTAFV) has been recognised for its outstanding contribution to the empowerment of women in the community by the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women (ACLW).

The JTAFV was awarded the Sustaining Women’s Empowerment in Communities and Organisations (SWECO) gold award, the highest accolade presented at Parliament House, NSW, last Wednesday night for its publication Will My Rabbi Believe Me? Will He Understand? an educational resource that provides culturally appropriate and sensitive ways for rabbis and professionals to respond to disclosures of family violence, abuse and sexual assault.

The resource was compiled by the JTAFV in collaboration with the Rabbinical Council of Victoria and is now used by mainstream service providers including Family Life, Victoria Police and the Salvation Army, in addition to social workers, and principals and teachers across Australia and in England, Canada, USA and South Africa.

The ACLW is an online resource assisting women to develop their leadership and working to advance women’s leadership and rights through national campaigns, advising federal policy development and publishing research reports on gender and leadership.

JTAFV vice-chair Sheiny New said she was “delighted and humbled” by the award.

“We were in the presence of organisations that had done some amazing work and the fact that we were presented with the gold award was overwhelming and really very special,” she said.

“I think they chose to give it to us because we are making a difference from within our community, in partnerships with people in our community and that was an achievement that they felt was worthy of recognition.”

New went on to note that other religious groups, including the Muslim, Indian and Anglican communities are making use of the resource.

“Other faith-based communities are using the book to support victims of family violence in their communities. The document is easily adaptable and those communities have recognised the value of this program and will be adapting it to use within their own communities.”

Executive director of ACLW Dr Diann Rodgers-Healy said she was impressed by the JTAFV’s document: “It was beautifully assembled, very direct and sends a clear message. It’s a very accessible resource for any ­community.

TIMNA JACKS

JTAFV vice-chair Sheiny New