"This is a problem, and we have to do something about it."
-HaRav Avroham Pam zt”l
In 1992, a pediatrician in New York approached several members of the community to discuss a problem he was seeing repeatedly in his practice: Jewish women and children with bruises and other clear signs of domestic abuse. Alarmed by this, a small group of concerned women came together in an effort to address this uncomfortable and unspoken reality.
The seed was planted for what has grown into a dynamic national organization: an agency whose aims are to help individuals and families struggling with troubled relationships at home. Our goal is to sensitize our communities so that anyone experiencing troubles at home has the ability to ask for help. We offer professional guidance to community leaders who may be approached for advice by someone in a complex, and possibly dangerous, situation, and we aim to provide preventative education to young adults and community members.
Information and compassion from highly trained advocates
1000+ calls annually
Providing victims with legal advice and assistance
Over 100 clients helped annually
Reaching over 3000 young people in high school, seminary, and post-Seminary and college students
Focuses on relationship enhancement and conflict resolution skills
Raising awareness and providing important training to leaders and key participants in our communities
Over 1500 Rabbis and Rebbitzens and over 1200 Community Leaders
Teaching engaged and married couples the art of effective communication and the practical tools to achieve and maintain a healthy and happy marriage
Endorsed by prominent Rabbonim and professionals
Dr. Shoshannah Frydman, PhD, LCSW
Shoshannah Frydman, PhD, LCSW is the Executive Director of Shalom Task Force. She was previously the Managing Director of Family Violence and Social Services at the Met Council and founded the family violence program in 2006. She has been in the field of domestic abuse and family violence in the Jewish community for over 15 years. As a licensed clinical social worker she provides a range of services to diverse survivors of abuse and sex trafficking. Shana is a graduate of University of Maryland School of Social Work and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York/Hunter School of Social Work. She speaks regularly and has published on the subject of intimate partner abuse within the Jewish community. Shana has been honored by the Jewish Communal Service Association and the New York Board of Rabbis for her work in the field of domestic violence and commitment to the Jewish community.
Avital Levin, LMSW
Avital Levin brings passion and innovation to every aspect of her work for Shalom Task Force, believing strongly in the impact that the organization has on the lives of countless individuals. She develops and implements high-impact education-awareness programs for communities on abuse prevention and healthy relationship building, and supervises a team of dedicated education presenters and interns. After obtaining her Master’s degree in Social Work from NYU, Avital went on to counsel individuals and families in various clinical and scholastic settings. As a clinician at Jewish Family Service, she ran support groups and provided counseling to individuals and couples. At the Jewish Board in Flatbush, Avital provided counseling to families and at-risk adolescents. Passionate about education, Avital has taught at Machon Maayan and the OU Center in Jerusalem, served as the Education Coordinator for MEOR, and graduated from Yeshiva University Women’s Midrashiya with certificates in infertility counseling and teaching Taharat Hamishpacha. Previous to joining Shalom Task Force, she served as the OU-JLIC Co-Director at Johns Hopkins University Hillel where she partnered in facilitating the growth and vibrancy of an Orthodox kehillah within the greater university community.
Dr. Sarah Chana Silverman, PhD
Director of Program Development and Evaluations
Sarah Chana Silverman has been working in non-profit grant writing, evaluation, and administration for over 30 years. She completed her undergraduate work and received her BA from the University of California at Berkeley. As a graduate student, she did ethnographic fieldwork on women in Nepal and received a doctorate in Social Anthropology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1978. After getting her degree, she conducted applied research for the Colorado Department of Highways and the American Foundation for the Blind in New York City. Between 1985 and 2006, she worked as an evaluation consultant for the Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and as an Associate at Ukeles Associates Inc. (UAI). As a UAI Associate, she worked on strategic planning teams for Jewish communal organizations including The Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, Gratz College in Philadelphia, Yeshiva University, and The United Jewish Federations of New York, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and New Haven. As a consultant to Shalom Task Force, she helped organize two grass-roots women’s organizations focusing on domestic violence in the Bukarian and Persian communities in New York, joining STF’s staff in 2006. As Director of Program Development and Evaluation, writes and manages STF’s foundation, federal, NY State, and City grants. She also acts as Project Director on federal grants, develops and implements program evaluation plans along with the staff, and has a role in financial management for STF. She also works with community partners to expand STF’s victims’ services and prevention education programs. She is author of a number of evaluation and research studies and co-authored the monograph, The Himalayan Woman: A Study of the Role of Limbu Women in Marriage and Divorce, published by Mayfield Publishing Company, in 1967.
Meira Zak Gorbaty, LMSW
Director of Hotline Services
Meira Zack Gorbaty, LMSW is a social worker passionate about trauma recovery, mental health, and access to care for all. Meira joined the Shalom Task Force team as Director of Hotline Services in July 2019, and believes in the importance of having a dedicated place for women to turn to for support, validation, and guidance. In addition to directing the hotline, Meira works part-time at the Yeshiva University counseling center pursuing her clinical social work license. She has prior experience providing counseling services, crisis intervention, and coaching of medical providers in best risk assessment practices, as well as previous experience combating domestic abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community, having served as Assistant Director of ORA (Organization for the Resolution of Agunot). Meira is a graduate of Yeshiva University Stern College for Women, and Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service, and an alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. Meira is excited to continue advancing Shalom Task Force’s work empowering women and promoting healthy relationships.
Yeshaya Kraus, LCSW
Community Engagement and Education Manager
Marketing and Outreach Coordinator
Yeshaya Kraus, LCSW is a clinical social worker in Far Rockaway, NY. He graduated with honors in 2013 from Long Island University, following which he spent several years working as a psychotherapist in both outpatient and school settings. He currently works for Shalom Task Force as the Community Engagement and Education Manager, expanding both the scope and depth of community and men’s educational programming. He also runs a private practice in the Bayswater section of Far Rockaway, working with individuals, couples, and parents.
Jeffrey Younger is the Marketing and Outreach Coordinator. He began his involvement with Shalom Task Force as an intern during summer 2017 and returned full time in February 2018. He recently graduated from Queens College with a BA in Economics and Psychology minor. As part of his role, Jeffrey runs the internship program. Jeffrey is passionate about making a difference in the Jewish community and is motivated by the meaningful work he is involved with.