×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Sins of Omission: The Jewish Community's Reaction to Domestic Violence
     

Sins of Omission: The Jewish Community's Reaction to Domestic Violence

by Carol Goodman Kaufman
 

In a congregation of devoted worshippers gathered for Shabbat services at the local synagogue, it may be difficult to accept how many wives go home with their husbands to ongoing physical and emotional abuse. In Sins of Omission, author Carol Goodman Kaufman offers a compelling investigation of the Jewish community’s reaction – or nonreaction

Overview

In a congregation of devoted worshippers gathered for Shabbat services at the local synagogue, it may be difficult to accept how many wives go home with their husbands to ongoing physical and emotional abuse. In Sins of Omission, author Carol Goodman Kaufman offers a compelling investigation of the Jewish community’s reaction – or nonreaction – to domestic violence. Concerned with the sins of the community more than the sins of the abuser, Goodman Kaufman finds that the Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform rabbis and community leaders are not doing enough and are not informed enough to help the abused women in their congregations get the support, protection, and guidance they need. Through her many insightful interviews with survivors of abuse, rabbis, and lay community leaders, the author takes a hard look at the Jewish community, its rules, regulations, and followers, and discovers the ways in which it helps and hinders victims of abuse.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
There are few statistics about the incidence of domestic abuse within the Jewish community, but industrial and organizational psychologist Kaufman underscores that it does exist and that it must be acknowledged and dealt with openly within the framework of Jewish tradition. Covering the subject from sociological, religious and legal viewpoints, supplemented by an exhaustive analysis of interviews with survivors, rabbis and lay leaders in the Boston area, Kaufman argues that many abused women see their rabbis as unapproachable on the subject. Some rabbis have even invoked the Jewish ideal of shalom bayit, of maintaining peace in the home, as justification for sending a woman back to her abuser. Kaufman also notes that a divorce decree can only be issued by the husband-creating from the start an atmosphere that allows for abuse of power. But as Kaufman explains, the "overarching theme of the Torah," preservation of life, trumps almost every other commandment. It is therefore the responsibility of community leaders and congregants to actively prevent or, failing that, punish domestic abuse. The author notes that while a few organizations, such as Hadassah, have responded to this problem on a national level by, say, supporting the Violence Against Women Act, there is little action at the community level. Kaufman suggests that organizations work together to forcefully attack this problem by offering premarital education, encouraging rabbis to speak out and providing Jewish safe houses. While the abundance of first-person testimonials throughout this academically framed text may overwhelm some readers, the case studies humanize the problem, and this work brings into the open this sadly neglected issue within the Jewish community. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813340883
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
09/11/2003
Pages:
260
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Carol Goodman Kaufman Ph.D., an industrial and organizational psychologist, is Visiting Scholar at the Brudnick Center for the Study of Violence and Conflict at Northeastern University, Boston. She has worked in the academic, business, and non-profit worlds, published numerous articles, and presented in a variety of public forums. She has also been an active leader of several Jewish organizations, giving her an insider's view that has helped shape her unique perspective in looking at the community. Dr. Kaufman lives in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews