WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08), a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means and House Budget Committee, today announced that a $297,000 federal grant has been awarded to the Jewish Family Service & Children's Center (JFS) in Clifton. The grant, awarded through the Department of Justice’s Grants to Enhance Culturally and Linguistically Specific Services Program, will allow JFS to continue its "Stop Abusive Relationships At Home" (SARAH) project which aims to alleviate issues of domestic violence and sexual assault.
"I want to congratulate Jewish Family Services of Clifton on putting together an extraordinary application that has resulted in a $297,000 Department of Justice grant to continue Project SARAH," said Rep. Pascrell. "Project SARAH has long supported the Orthodox Jewish Community by providing important services to victims of domestic violence. Through this grant, JFS will be able to continue the great work they have been doing in the community, bring in additional staff, and help countless more people in Clifton, Passaic and across the region.”
The Grants to Enhance Culturally and Linguistically Specific Services Program was created by the Violence Against Women and the Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (VAWA 2005). Congressman Pascrell voted for this reauthorization and is currently a cosponsor of H.R. 4271, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012, to reauthorize the program until 2017.
"There may be victims of domestic violence that don't know what resources are available to them, and they need to know that we are the key to those resources," said Mark Ricklis, Director of Operation for JFS. "Project SARAH will allow us to work with different parts of the community, including law enforcement and medical professionals, to identify signs of both physical and mental abuse. Without a question, this federal funding is crucial in allowing us to continue our programming."
The purpose of the Department of Justice’s Grants to Enhance Culturally and Linguistically Specific Services Program to create unique opportunities for targeted community-based organizations to address the critical needs of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking victims in a manner that affirms a victim's culture and effectively addresses language and communication barriers for the identified underserved population.
Jewish Family Services of Clifton’s "Stop Abusive Relationships At Home" or "SARAH" project, aims to alleviate issues of domestic violence and sexual assault particularly within the Jewish Orthodox community. Project SARAH will: 1) increase access of services available to victims such as emergency Kosher food kits, 2) increase awareness in the Orthodox community of domestic violence and sexual assault issues, 3) increase services directed specifically toward sexual assault victims, 4) provide training for influential members of the community (rabbis, rebbetains, mitveh attendants wig makers, and kallah teachers) to identify and respond to domestic violence and sexual assault, and 5) provide trainings for social service providers (law enforcement officers, hospital works, domestic violence and sexual assault response teams) to promote increased awareness of Orthodox culture.
Specifically, the grant will support a full-time outreach coordinator, a part-time trauma specialist, a psychiatric nurse, a publicity specialist as well as a small portion of the salaries of the project coordinator, agency director salary and director of operations for oversight and supervision of the project. JFS will partner with the New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women, which will provide a direct liaison to the New Jersey shelter system and help develop strategies to increase public sector awareness of the needs of the Orthodox community.
Founded over 50 years ago, JFS provides comprehensive services to the Jewish community of Clifton-Passaic. These services include community-based geriatric services, family counseling, crisis intervention, case management, child-centered mental health services, school consultations and domestic violence services.