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Domestic Abuse Task Force

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence can be defined as an escalating pattern of coercive control (verbal, emotional, sexual, economic, physical, and spiritual abuse) that one person in a relationship uses over another. It is an epidemic that crosses all demographic, social, and educational boundaries—and Westchester is no exception. Women are more likely than men to experience this type of abuse. Many women (and their children) who have the courage to leave their abusers end up in shelters with only the clothes on their back.

History of Domestic Abuse Task Force

The Interfaith Caring Community of Greenburgh brought the issue to the attention of Woodlands Community Temple in 2008. Since then, we have teamed up with Hope’s Door, a Westchester-based shelter and counseling center that offers programs and services designed to break the cycle of domestic abuse. We provide transitional assistance to families leaving the shelter to go into their own homes by collecting and delivering kitchen supplies, bedding, groceries, clothing, toys, and the like, while also monitoring their progress and needs in their new community. Our goal is to let them know that there are people in the world who care about them and want to help them rebuild their lives. We also support other Hope’s Door needs and programming and bring education about the issue of domestic abuse and healthy relationships to the WCT community. 

What We Do

Over the course of the year, we support, on average, five families. Sometimes, we learn that a family will be moving out of a shelter and into an apartment just before that happens. Then, we must act quickly to provide the family's needs. We are very grateful to ARDSLEY LOCK UP for providing us with storage space so that we can keep some things on hand. We also very much appreciate donations of gift cards (American Express, VISA, MasterCard, Target, or any grocery store) so that we can fill in missing items. Gift cards can be left in the Social Action mailbox along with checks made out to WCT – with DATF on memo line. In addition to donations, Hope’s Door often needs volunteers to work at the shelter. Contact our leaders if this might be an opportunity for you.

The Past Year

  • We started off the year by taking moms and kids from Hope’s Door to pick apples and enjoy a lunch outdoors. It’s a wonderful experience for both the folks from the shelter and members of Woodlands.
  • In December, we worked with WOODSY and Academy students who collected, wrapped, and delivered holiday gifts from a wish list to every mom and child living at the shelter.
  • We continued to work with Hope’s Door in settling families moving out of the shelter into their own homes by providing bedding, small appliances, kitchen supplies, towels, and many other necessities for a fresh start. Beautiful hand-made blankets from our own knitting/crocheting Woodlands group are included with every delivery and are a special way to show these families that we care.
  • Donations that are not currently needed for the shelter folks are kept in the storage space provided to us by Lock Up Self Storage in Ardsley. Having these items readily available meant that we were able to provide some of them to our Refugee Resettlement team for the Ukrainian family they recently settled.
  • We also did programs with our Kesher families. Our 5th graders collected cleaning supplies and decorated boxes with messages of support and colorful images to put them in. Our 6th graders, collected mops/buckets and floor cleaner for the shelter families moving into new homes.
  • We collected gift cards at the Sukkot BBQ to purchase items on wish lists that are not donated.
  • Judy Stiefel, Jennifer Trevor Hochman and Bill Woolis continue to do a wonderful job leading this task force and are always looking for new volunteers.

Coming Up

This year, we will be looking for volunteers to accompany the Hope’s Door residents to the orchards for apple picking. We'll be asking those who attend the Sukkot BBQ to please consider donating gift cards to use for our families from Target, Wal-Mart, Stop & Shop, A & P, etc. We’ll also be working with Sarah Canfield-Dafilous to coordinate activities for Kesher families, and are planning to invite a speaker to a Friday night Shabbat service. If you are interested in joining our committee or want to know more about how to help, please contact us. 

Leaders: Judy Stiefel, Jennifer Trevor-Hochman and Bill Woolis,

Fri, December 8 2023 25 Kislev 5784