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The role of the Shofar Coalition is to serve as a catalyst for change in the way the Baltimore Jewish community responds to adverse childhood experiences, including childhood abuse and childhood exposure to domestic violence and family dysfunction. Sidran Institute’s role is to lend its expertise in collaboration, training, and technical assistance regarding the effects of traumatic stress.

The primary populations served by Shofar Coalition activities are victims of childhood maltreatment and their families:

1) Children and adolescents
2) Parents and other family members and
3) Adult survivors of childhood trauma who are struggling with the long-term effects.

The secondary populations include:

4) Frontline professionals and advocates who work with children; and
5) The entire Jewish community at large.

We all benefit when our children are safe, developmentally on course, behaving in healthy ways, and growing into stable and productive young adulthood.

In collaboration with its partner agencies and individuals, the Shofar Coalition’s strategies are to:

Conduct and publish a general population survey on adverse childhood experiences and the long term effects of such experiences, to begin to determine the scope of the problem in the Baltimore Jewish community.

Cultivate partnerships with and educate local rabbis, cantors, and synagogue lay leadership.

Facilitate relationships between rabbis and other frontline professionals who work with children, adolescents, and adults, and who can make referrals when necessary.

Educate frontline professionals (potential sources of referrals) including: teachers, clergy, camp staff, big brothers/big sisters, doctors and nurses, and others.

Offer specialized clinical skills training on trauma therapy to therapists who work with Jewish childhood maltreatment survivors of all ages and their families.

Provide free trauma peer consultation and clinical supervision to therapists who donate their time to treat low-income trauma survivors.

Fill identified service gaps including:

  • peer support groups for parents of traumatized children
  • trauma therapy groups for sexual abuse survivors
  • educational support groups for adolescents
  • a Jewish crisis line.

Provide comprehensive, in-depth assessments of children and adolescents who exhibit behavior typical of exposure to domestic violence, abuse, parental addictions, or other adverse childhood experiences.

Develop and maintain Resource Directory of contact information for a wide variety of trauma- related services offered by both Jewish community and secular providers.

Publish an anthology of survivor testimony to educate the community, to give survivors a “voice,” and to prevent future abuse.