You are not alone

Important message about social distancing and social isolation:

Dear Community Members,

The recent COVID-19 pandemic calls upon us to maintain health and safety by using a strategy called social distancing as well as self-quarantines for people who are ill or exposed to illness.  These measures are a matter of public safety to ensure healthy individuals, families and communities as much as possible during this unprecedented time.  

However, this combination of social isolation and increased societal stress creates an increased risk for domestic violence for many of our friends and family members.  SHOFAR, an initiative of Jewish Family Services (JFS) and the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, calls on all community members to reach out to loved ones who may be at increased risk for violence in their relationship during this time. 

When you are home, please consider taking a few minutes each day to reach out to friends, family members, and neighbors to check-in.  You can start by simply asking “are you OK?”  You can follow-up by asking if they are safe, if they need anything, if they are feeling scared and listen closely to their answers. For these loved ones, always remember that a potential abuser may be with them.  

If your gut says that they may be in danger, then call the Sojourner Family Peace Center 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline at 414-933-2722.

As an additional resource, the National Domestic Hotline offers 24/7/365 support in more than 200 languages by calling 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Please also feel free to email the JFS clinic for additional information: clinic@jfsmilw.org  JFS will get back to within 24 hours Monday – Friday.

You are not alone.

Are you in a relationship with someone who…

Keeps track of your time? Makes it difficult for you to see others, go to school, see the doctor, or go to work? Destroys your belongings? Hurts you, your children or pets? Controls your money? Mocks you or your beliefs? Forces you to be intimate?

Domestic abuse is never acceptable and it is not your fault.

Get Help Now

Sojourner Family Peace Center has been designated the 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline for the City of Milwaukee and outlying communities since 1986. Staff and volunteers speak directly with victims from the scene of domestic violence incidents investigated by the Milwaukee Police Department and 18 suburban police departments in situations that are subsequently reviewed for criminal charges by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office.

The 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline also receives calls for information and support, and can help callers of all ages. All calls are confidential. 414-933-2722

Sojourner Family Peace Center is a resource partner with the Milwaukee Jewish Federation’s SHOFAR initiative. They are supportive of the Jewish community and strive meet everyone’s individual needs.


Sojourner Truth House has been in existence since 1978. The 54-bed emergency shelter offers a safe respite for battered women, sexual assault victims and their children. Each victim is provided with basic necessities such as food, transportation, and clothing, warmth, security, empathy and support, counseling and support groups, advocacy services and children’s programming.

Call Sojourner at 414-933-2722 and take the first step to building a violence-free life.

Kosher meals and Shabbat accommodations can be arranged.

Counseling and Support Groups

SHOFAR is partnering with the following organizations who provide counseling, support groups, and other resources.

Jewish Family Services
Jewish Family Services’ specially trained clinicians provide sexual assault and trauma-related counseling to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence in multiple locations including at the Sojourner Family Peace Center. Their clinical practice advances a holistic approach with each client, helping individuals, families and children achieve stability, emotional healing and mental well-being. Services are provided on a sliding fee scale. 414-390-5800 | 1300 N. Jackson St., Milwaukee

Sojourner Family Peace Center
Sojourner’s primary goals are to ensure the safety of victims of family violence and provide a pathway out of violence for victims and abusers through opportunities to make positive and lasting changes for themselves and their children. Sojourner Family Peace Center is the largest nonprofit provider of domestic violence prevention and intervention services in Wisconsin, serving over 9,500 clients each year. Sojourner provides an array of support aimed at helping families affected by domestic violence achieve safety, justice and well-being. Sojourner Family Peace Center has two therapists from Jewish Family Services on site. 414-276-1911 | 619 W. Walnut St., Milwaukee

SHALVA is a Chicago-based organization focused on meeting the unique needs of Jews who are struggling with domestic abuse. They provide confidential counseling services to the Jewish communities of metropolitan Chicago and Milwaukee in a culturally-sensitive and caring environment. Clients receive free and individualized services for as long as needed. Kosher meals and Shabbat accommodations are available. 24/7 Help/Crisis Line 773-583-4673

Community Training and Awareness Events

Click on the events below for full event details.

Supplementary Readings

Download SHOFAR material for your Pesach Seder.

What is SHOFAR?

SHOFAR (Safeguarding Healthy Families and Relationships) is an initiative of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation that addresses child sexual abuse, sexual harassment and domestic violence. Our goals are to build awareness and share resources with the Milwaukee Jewish community and to train community members on how to prevent and address abuse. The project is named after the shofar, a ram’s-horn trumpet used by ancient Jews as a battle signal, that in modern times is sounded on some Jewish holy days. It’s a fitting name for this initiative, which is a call to action against abuse. For more information, read an eJewish Philanthropy article about SHOFAR. If you would like to be involved with SHOFAR, contact Tziporah Altman-Shafer, Jewish Education Community Planner, at 414-963-2718.


The SHOFAR initiative is generously supported by:

  • Irving L. Chortek in memory of Robert and Jennie Chortek Charitable Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation
  • Richard and Nina Edelman
  • The Pamela Frydman Donor Advised Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation
  • Barbara Stein
  • Young Leadership Division of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation