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From Hiding to Healing

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A Multimedia Online Event

Sept 3 from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm PT

In this online event, we will explore the complexity and consequence of domestic violence in the Mizrahi and Sephardi communities – doing so in a way that facilitates healing and transformation, on the individual and collective levels.This event is closed to survivors of domestic violence and will not be recorded, in the interest of facilitating safety for all participants. “Domestic violence” includes physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, and spiritual forms of violence.

What You’ll Experience

This event will include original music and spoken word performance, personal storytelling, and facilitated group conversation. It will address the complex interplay between, trickle-down effect of, and snowball effect of these six forces:

Nationality

  • Ethnic and religious persecution of our parents and/or grandparents
  • National exile and dispossession of our family’s personal and communal property
  • The refugee experience – loss, grief, disorientation, and instability
  • Historical legacy of Jewish persecution and uprooting  

Community

  • Disregard and devaluation of our stories and experiences – gaslighting, erasure, and invisibility, in the Jewish community and on the world stage
  • Wholesale loss of communal knowledge and practice, in a single generation – liturgy, ritual, history, language, scholarly works, and culture
  • Patriarchal family norms – dominance and deference, as a socially-sanctioned, unquestioned way of life
  • Violence embedded in religious and cultural practice
  • Impossibility of anonymity – distinct Mizrahi/Sephardi names in a sea of Ashkenazi names

Psychology

  • Causes and consequences of mental illness 
  • Biochemical imbalance
  • Individual and collective trauma
  • The cause-effect loop
  • Inter-generational impact

Family

  • Physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional forms of domestic violence
  • Covert and overt forms of domestic violence
  • Violence as a target, violence as a witness 
  • The complexity of loving the one who would have destroyed you

Religion

  • The complications of mahalnu – exploring forgiveness in a domestic violence context
  • Examining Al het – questioning the annual practice of asking forgiveness for sexual violence, with no structure in place for personal responsibility or communal accountability
  • Exploring tshuba – cultivating a space that holds the paradoxes of rage and love, accountability and compassion, reparation and restoration
  • Your story is my story is your story – ethical considerations of personal storytelling, to release and move beyond trauma

Exile

  • Familial and communal circling of the wagons – protecting the abuser, reinforcing the abuse
  • Considerations of safety, integrity, and authenticity, when navigating through, or fleeing from, a community that neither recognizes nor responds skillfully to domestic violence
  • Triple exile from ancestral land, community, and family, and accompanying loss and grief 

How You’ll Benefit

This program series additionally will explore how to heal from the personal devastation and potentially life-long impact of domestic violence, by identifying potential consequences of this violence and tools for recovering from it.

Consequences

  • Chronic illness
  • Mental illness
  • Suicidal risk
  • Addiction
  • Repeating the cycle of domestic violence

Healing

  • Healthy forms of raw rage release
  • Creative arts and self-expression 
  • Therapy and support groups
  • Journaling and prayer
  • Nature and whole foods
  • Meditation and bodywork 
  • Books and workshops
  • Families and communities of choice

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