Project SARAH

If nothing changes, 1 in 4 women and
1 in 7 men will experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

No More Silence. No More Violence.

Does your partner…

  • Try to control who you see and what you do?
  • Call you names or yell at you?
  • Blame you for their violent actions?
  • Put you down?
  • Act very jealous and/or possessive?
  • Control your finances?
  • Destroy your belongings or hurt your pets?
  • Physically hurt you?
  • Criticize what you wear, what you say, and how you act?
  • Force you to cross your own sexual boundaries?

If you answered yes to any of the above, you may be experiencing abuse. Project SARAH can help. 

SARAH Listens • SARAH Cares • SARAH Helps
Call SARAH (858) 637-3200

And it’s not only physical. Domestic abuse can include emotional coercion, verbal threats and insults, isolation from friends and family, financial control, sexual force, even mockery of your spiritual beliefs. These are all ways to establish power over you. These are all forms of abuse. No one deserves to be abused. You don’t have to take it. We can help.

Project SARAH Radio Interview

On the AirListen to our Project SARAH team on the San Diego Union-Tribune’s SignOnRadio show as they discuss the signs of domestic violence, prevention, and how to escape abuse.

Part 1>>
Part 2>>

Learn More About...
How You Can Help
What About the Children?

Program Services
Workshops and Support Groups
Safety Planning
Abuse in the Jewish Community?
Community Outreach & Education
Clean Out Your Closets for Project SARAH
Request Educational Materials
About Project SARAH 

How You Can Help
You can provide critical support to a friend or family member experiencing domestic abuse (click here to print this information as a PDF).

  • Acknowledge that they are in a very difficult and scary situation. Believe them. Be supportive and listen. Let them know the abuse is not their fault, that support is available, and that you are willing to help whenever they may need it.
  • Be non-judgmental. It’s hard to know someone you care about is suffering, but it’s also important to respect their decisions about the relationship. People stay in abusive relationships for many reasons. They may leave and return to the relationship many times. They will need your support even more during those times.
  • Support their connection to activities and people outside the relationship. The more that someone experiencing abuse feels supported by people who care for them, the easier it will be to leave and stay away from their abusive partner.
  • Help them develop a safety plan. Whether they are choosing to stay, preparing to leave, or have already left, you can help create a plan to keep them safe. Find resources at
  • Encourage them to talk to people who can provide help and guidance. Help connect them to a local domestic violence agency that provides counseling or support groups. If they have to go to the police station, court, or lawyer’s office, offer to go along for moral support.

Adapted from National Domestic Violence Hotline 

What About The Children?
Project SARAH Mother and DaughterIf you’re not safe—are your children? Domestic abuse affects the entire family. Even if they didn’t see it, children know. They can feel it. They see the aftermath. They remember the terror, the fear. Abuse is learned. Children raised in abusive homes are much more likely to be abused or perpetrators of abuse when they grow up. And they’re at higher risk of drug use, teenage pregnancies, low self-esteem, aggression, and more.

Our counselors and clinicians are specially trained to work with children and teens and provide a thorough intake assessment, individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy when appropriate. Don’t hesitate to get help for your children.

No one deserves to be abused. If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, SARAH can help. Call SARAH. (858) 637-3200.

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Program Services
Project SARAH offers a safe, confidential setting for individuals experiencing abuse, and for children growing up in abusive homes. Our services are open to the entire community. You can talk to us.

Our professional staff and specially trained counselors offer:

  • Counseling and support
  • Child and adolescent therapy
  • Support groups
  • Financial assistance
  • Advocacy
  • Assistance for individuals in shelters with observance/dietary needs.

If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, don’t be silent. Project SARAH is safe. And just a phone call away. 
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Workshops and Support Groups

Project SARAH Therapeutic Support Group

Tuesday evenings • 4:30–6:00pm
Confidential location • Details given after telephone registration

 Hoping to better understand and grow from challenging circumstances? Looking to connect with other women who have shared similar experiences? Our Project SARAH Therapeutic Support Group will address:

  • Safety
  • Warning signs of abusive relationships
  • Self-esteem
  • Parenting
  • Family-of-origin issues
  • Dynamics of healthy relationships

This group is open to women who have previously or are currently
experiencing any form of abuse in their intimate relationship. We discuss
any area of life that has been impacted by abuse. Participants are asked
to commit to a minimum of 6 consecutive weekly group sessions. $5 per session. Call (858) 637-3200 for an intake assessment.

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Safety Planning
Whether you are intending to stay in an abusive relationship, preparing to leave, have already left, or are deciding to return—plan for your safety. It just may save your life one day. Or your children’s lives.

If you are planning to stay:

  • Develop an escape plan in case of violence
  • Keep a packed bag with clothes, extra keys, important documents, and money in a safe place
  • Identify safe people for support
  • Learn about your legal rights
  • Identify local domestic violence resources
  • Consider attending a support group

If you are planning to leave:

  • Have a plan of where to go
  • Inform a “safe” person of your plan
  • Identify local domestic violence shelters
  • Have emotional and financial support in place
  • Consider obtaining a restraining order
  • Have a plan of action for unexpected contact
  • Pack all important documents and extra keys

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Abuse in the Jewish Community?
Project SARAH WomanYes. Abuse crosses all gender lines, all economic lines, all religious lines. The Jewish community is not immune to it.

One in four Jewish women experience domestic abuse. Jewish women tend to stay in abusive relationships 5-7 years longer than non-Jewish women. Abuse exists in the Jewish community despite the denial, despite the skepticism, and despite the beautiful Jewish value of shalom bayit - peace in the home. If you are being abused, you may be jeopardizing your health and safety by being silent.

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Community Outreach & Education
We recognize that awareness is the first step to prevention. Through community education, we have a chance to finally put an end to abuse. We offer educational presentations to the Jewish community including youth groups, clergy, schools, sisterhoods, men's clubs, congregations, Jewish communal employees, and more.

Presentations focus on:

  • Understanding abuse
  • Recognizing abusive behavior
  • How to help someone experiencing abuse
  • Abuse and Judaism
  • Dating violence
  • Healthy relationships
  • Community resources and where to get help
  • Teen education
For more information, contact Anita Paredes at (858) 637-3096 or

"I think what you guys are doing is amazing, helpful, and inspiring. I believe it is so important for people to be aware of the types of relationships we have."

Clean Start Campaign

The Clean Start campaign, administered by Project SARAH, has two simple goals: to provide hygiene products to survivors of domestic violence, and to educate the San Diego community about this global social problem.

In San Diego on any given day 531 women and children are in need of shelter, and over 5,600 calls are made to the Domestic Violence hotline annually. As a community we are responsible to care for those who have been affected by violence. Project SARAH needs your help to not only spread awareness about the pervasiveness of domestic violence in our community, but to serve the survivors as well.

To participate in Clean Start, please email and, or call (858) 637-3258.

Join the campaign on Facebook>>

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My Sister's Closet

Cleaning out your closet to make room for fabulous new fashions? Is it overflowing with clothing, shoes and accessories you haven’t worn in some time? Project SARAH has account at both My Sister's Closet Designer Consignment locations! Please consider consigning your gently worn apparel through our Project SARAH account and the proceeds will directly benefit our clients, all survivors of domestic abuse.

My Sister’s Closet sells current-style men’s and women’s better-label clothing, shoes and accessories. Items should be clean, pressed and generally look new. Clothing is accepted seasonally. And you don’t need to make an appointment to drop-off! Project SARAH can even coordinate and handle the picking up of larger amounts of donations (such as an estate sale). For more information, contact Cheryl Bruser at (858) 637-3322 or

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Request Educational Materials
You can be a part of the education and prevention process by displaying our brochures and bathroom posters inside women's restrooms at your congregation or business. You can help us reach someone who needs our help. To request materials, call (858) 637-3322 or send us an email.

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About Project SARAH
Project SARAHProject SARAH (Stop Abusive Relationships At Home) is Jewish Family Service’s domestic abuse prevention, education, and intervention program. It was created in March 1999 by a community task force consisting of rabbis, Jewish communal professionals, and interested volunteers. Randy Savarese and Eilene Cummins are two members of the Project SARAH volunteer committee who actually sat on that original task force and are still very active members today! As we celebrate the 14th anniversary of Project SARAH, we asked Randy to tell us a little about how this all came about…

“In 1998, I was asked to be part of a task force to bring a domestic violence program to JFS. At that time, a successful program had been launched in Baltimore and we were going to try and use that model to establish a similar program in our community. We were first educated about domestic abuse in general, and then about abuse specifically within the Jewish community. Our initial goal was to prepare ourselves to go out into the community and speak about domestic violence in an effort to raise awareness. We had hoped to speak to all the various Jewish women’s organizations, Jewish high schools and supplemental schools, and synagogue groups. We also made an attempt to speak with the rabbis in the San Diego area to not only inform them of our existence, but to look to them as a referral source for future clients.

A part-time Counselor/Case Manager/Coordinator was hired, who began seeing clients at our former location in Hillcrest, and our program was off the ground. However, like most new programs, getting the word out about our existence was truly the hard part, as was finding ample funding for the program so it could grow and flourish. It literally took several years for the community to know of our existence and to understand what we do.

Feeling that we needed to reach the larger community, two annual events were established—Game Day and Project SARAH’s educational event. Game Day began as a fundraiser in 2005 and has been successful from the start. Approximately 200 women attend and the monies we raise go directly to help the needs of our clients.

Our annual educational event has taken on several forms: luncheons with outstanding guest speakers, dramatic performances in a theatre, and film screenings—all of which have educated our audiences about domestic abuse and its devastating effects. These events typically draw 200-400 audience members."

Today, 15 members on the volunteer committee assist the Project SARAH Outreach Coordinator in the planning and implementation of events, and raising community awareness of the vital services offered by Project SARAH. They talk to their colleagues, friends, co-workers, community organizations, and businesses, etc, and they even help distribute the Project SARAH “bathroom posters” which are displayed in various locations throughout the community. With all this outreach help, the number of clients seen by Project SARAH has more than doubled in the last three years.

In addition to Randy and Eilene, the Project SARAH committee members are: Loretta Adams, Ethel Adatto, Yael Aires, Randi Feinberg, Judy Feldman, Nancy Gordon, Kate Kassar, Linda Levine, Margy Salzberg, Karen Silberman, Debbie Sweet, Susan Weiner, and Polly Wolf. We thank you all for your many years of hard work, passion, dedication, and commitment!

Project SARAH Committee

Pictured (L-R):  Yael Aires, Nancy Gordon, Randy Savarese, Cheryl Bruser (Project SARAH Outreach Coordinator), Loretta Adams, Polly Wolf, Randi Feinberg, Ethel Adatto, Judy Feldman, Susan Weiner, and Karen Silberman. Not pictured: Eilene Cummins, Kate Kassar, Linda Levine, Margy Salzberg, and Debbie Sweet. 

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(858) 637-3200
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Location is confidential.

All communication is strictly confidential.


If you are in an emergency, call 911 immediately

San Diego County Domestic Violence Hotline:
(888) DV LINKS

Access and Crisis 24-hour Hotline:
(888) 724-7240

National Youth Crisis Hotline:
(800) 442 HOPE

Gay & Lesbian National Hotline:
(888) THE GLNH 

Jewish Federation of San Diego County

Jewish Community Foundation

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