23April

My Chain of Advocacy

My Chain of Advocacy


A chain reaction is “a series of events in which each event is the result of the one preceding and the cause of the one following.”

It was time for me to find a cause; I needed something in addition to my “day job” to fulfill me. The first link in my chain of advocacy was to determine what that cause would be.

In a tiny space in my memory was an experience I had many years before; I was incredibly lucky to have had a long friendship with a man who, when I started to date him, told me he had “violent tendencies” toward me.

Fortunately, the relationship ended. Over the years, I hid that experience, but for some reason it reappeared when I heard about Shalom Bayit at Jewish Family & Career Services. This would be my cause. So, I made an appointment with Wendy Lipshutz, who asked if I would like to become a member of the Shalom Bayit Committee. I jumped at the opportunity. This was the second link to the chain.

My first charge was to make sure my synagogue had the necessary resources for congregants who may either be involved in an abusive situation at home or know someone who is. I made an appointment with Rabbi Josh Heller to strengthen my mission; I asked if he would be willing to help advocate the services of Shalom Bayit at Congregation B’nai Torah. He readily agreed to do whatever I needed. This meeting created the third link.

Rabbi Heller asked me to reach out to a fellow congregant who he thought may be interested in contributing to the cause of Jewish domestic violence. I quickly contacted a lovely young woman, whose sister, a victim of domestic violence, had been recently murdered. Already an outspoken advocate for helping victims of domestic abuse, she jumped at the opportunity to become a part of Shalom Bayit and has continued to contribute tremendously to the cause. This interaction formed the fourth link.

What was, at first, a personal journey has become a meaningful and fulfilling foundation, hopefully to mold my life for years to come. This chain of advocacy is something to embrace and wear with pride, just like the gold Hamsa I wear around my neck.

Now it’s time for you to create your own chain of advocacy.

 

Written by Terry Spector, Posted in Counseling Services

About the Author

Terry Spector

Terry Spector

Terry Spector has volunteered for close to four years on the Shalom Bayit lay committee, which she previously co-chaired. A human resources professional and an Atlanta native, she enjoys cooking, reading, and creating jewelry. Terry has spearheaded educational programming about issues of abuse at her synagogue, Congregation B'nai Torah, and is committed to Shalom Bayit's mission to prevent and end abuse throughout our community.