Take a Stand: a Jewish Response to bullying and abuse

Follow up to Take a Stand against Abuse 3-day program...


Almost 600 men, women and teens learned how they can personally take a role in preventing bullying and abuse when Jewish Family Service hosted Jackson Katz, PhD for Take a Stand: a Jewish response to bullying and abuse, a scholar-in-residence program March 5-7, 2011. He spoke to the general community, High School students, Jewish community leaders, and mental health professionals.


Katz, who is an internationally recognized author, educator and filmmaker in the field of gender violence prevention, focused on shifting the paradigm from domestic abuse as a women’s issue to making men aware that it is really a men’s issue.


“Women have built the domestic violence prevention movement. But over 99% of abusers are men. True prevention is going to the root of the problem. We need to change the culture so it is not okay for men to abuse.” said Katz.


Katz taught that our current culture puts the focus on the victim, 90% of which are female, instead of the perpetrator.


One example he gave is showing how our accepted language takes the focus off men by deconstructing the male responsibility in violence. The typical language changes from “John beat Mary” to “Mary was beaten by John” to “Mary is a battered woman.” A video taken, which shows this passive voice, is available on the Jewish Family Service website at www.jfscinti.org.


Another example of victimization is how colleges teach women not to be a victim. “Colleges teach risk reduction, not prevention. Don’t walk alone. Watch your drink. But if that woman does all the right things, it won’t stop the perpetrator. He’ll get the next woman instead,” said Katz.


Katz emphasized that silence is complicity, “Adult men and fathers need to challenge sexism by taking a leadership role with boys as they grow to be men. Men need to speak up when in a group with other men. They need to hold each other to certain standards that the expectation is that men do NOT abuse, and let the other guys know they will not gain status among peers with this behavior.”


He also showed how media depictions of men and women contribute to gender violence. “The majority of men perpetrators are average normal guys. But media ‘monster-izes’ perpetrators, showing them as scary looking or evil so they become easier to accept in the film or TV show. It makes it someone else’s problem and reality, not ours.”


Katz’s expectation is that the male leadership role to prevent abuse be built into school curricula, professional trainings, the college Greek system, and athletics.


Billy Bie (Montgomery), who attended three of the four sessions, agrees. Bie teaches an all male Reform Judaism High School class and uses Katz’s videos in his class. “I get parent feedback that they see a difference in their sons. The class starts as a ‘locker-room’ mentality, and ends as a place for safe and open discussion.”


Sponsors for this event were Verizon Wireless; the National Council of Jewish Women, Cincinnati Fund; Jewish Women International; Family Violence Prevention Project/ End Abuse, Embrace Hope; Adath Israel Congregation; Rockdale Temple; Isaac M. Wise Temple; KULANU-Cincinnati Reform Jewish High School; and Mercaz.


As a follow-up to Take a Stand: A Jewish response to bullying and abuse, Jewish Family Service is holding trainings with camp leadership and counselors to help them create camp environments that prevent and respond to bullying effectively. For more information about this or other domestic abuse prevention issues, contact Linda Kean, director of Family Life Education at Jewish Family Service 513.766.3318 or lkean@jfscinti.org.

JFS hosts anti-bullying activist Jackson Katz, PhD...introducing event

CINCINNATI: February 22, 2011


Jewish Family Service hosts anti-bullying activist Jackson Katz, PhD


Internationally recognized author, educator and filmmaker Jackson Katz, PhD will discuss ways to prevent bullying and abuse when Jewish Family Service presents the free program More Than a Few Good Mensches 7 pm Saturday, March 5 at Wise Temple, 8329 Ridge Road, Amberley, OH 45236.


Adults of all ages are invited to join Katz for a witty and engaging multi-media presentation where they can learn new ways to be proactive in preventing bullying and abuse. The evening will begin with a dessert reception.


“Bullying and abuse affect us all, even if we never experience it personally,” said Linda Kean, director of Family Life Education at Jewish Family Service.


Kean chairs the committee that arranged for Katz to come to Cincinnati as a scholar in residence for a 3-day event called Take a Stand: a Jewish response to bullying & abuse. Other committee members include Phyllis Binik-Thomas, Sandee Golden, Howard Goldwasser, Amy Greenbaum, Andrea Herzig, Sherry Kaplan, Erin McNew, Sharon Mirman, Danielle Sabarese, Rabbi Michael Shulman, and Sarah Weiss.


On Saturday night, Katz will encourage dialogue by sharing clips from his award-winning films as well as stories from his experiences working with the U.S. Marines, collegiate athletes and college fraternities.Particular features of Jewish American masculinity in the late 20th and early 21st centuries will be discussed. He will also illustrate how sports culture, comedy, advertising and other media depictions of men, women, sex and violence contribute to pandemic levels of gender violence. With humor, he will show how homophobia prevents many people from dealing honestly with sexism.


Katz has lectured on hundreds of college and high school campuses, and has conducted hundreds of professional trainings, seminars, and workshops in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan. He created and co-created several educational films including Tough Guise: Violence, Media, and the Crisis in Masculinity, Wrestling with Manhood and Spin the Bottle: Sex, Lies and Alcohol. He is also a recognized leader throughout the Jewish community in the area of domestic abuse prevention.


While Katz is in Cincinnati, he will also present additional programs intended for specific audiences. High school students will learn how mainstream media such as video, sports, TV and film promote violent behavior. This is co-sponsored by KULANU-Cincinnati Reform Jewish High School, and Merkaz.


Professionals will be eligible to earn 1.5 CEUs when Katz introduces them to a creative new way of conceptualizing the role of men in raising awareness about domestic violence. This is co-sponsored by Family Violence Prevention Project.

For more information about these programs contact Jewish Family Service at 513-469-1188 or visit jfscinti.org.


Take a Stand: a Jewish response to bullying & abuse is sponsored by Verizon Wireless, the National Council of Jewish Women, Jewish Women International, Adath Israel Congregation, Rockdale Temple, and Isaac M. Wise Temple.