On Sunday, April 6, 2014, Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple held its Consultation on Conscience program with the theme of “Living and Responding to Violence in Our Time”. This program is held every other year thanks to the generous donation of Gertrude and Milton Kleinman who were long time champions for social justice causes. Members of their extended family shared the history of the family’s efforts over four generations to actively support these efforts. AECDC board member Maurice Rosenstraus chaired the event.
AECDC program director Norka Torres was one of the featured speakers and was introduced by the AECDC board president Bruce Trattler. She told the audience about her experience assisting individuals who have experienced domestic violence. She has done this both in her role with clients of the CDC and also a member of the New Brunswick Police Department Domestic Violence Response Team.
Various other speakers participated, sharing their work on behalf of addressing and preventing violence. Marien Casillas Pabellion, head of New Labor, spoke about her agency’s task of assisting immigrant workers to empower themselves in the workplace, enabling them to combat labor abuses. Lois Schaffer, author of “The Unthinkable: Life, Loss, and a Mother’s Mission to Ban Illegal Guns”, discussed her efforts on gun control after the brutal death of her adult daughter. Nicholas Kristof, New York Times Pulitzer Prize Winning Columnist, shared his and his wife’s work of reporting on social issues concerning vulnerable populations such as the genocide in Darfur and sex trafficking of underage girls. Garland Waller, college professor and director of the award winning documentary film, “No Way Out but One” spoke. She showed part of her film about a physically abused American woman who sought refuge in the Netherlands for herself and her children to prevent their further abuse by her ex husband. Jean Stockdale, cofounder of the nonprofit, Who is My Neighbor, Inc., told about her agency’s work in assisting immigrant men who were enslaved as labor workers.
We are proud of our agency, board and staff in their inclusion in this meaningful program.
The AECDC received a call from the New Brunswick Police Domestic Violence Response Team and St. Mary's Apartments indicating that there was a need for Thanksgiving meals for low income families and seniors living in the area. Recently the federal food stamp program (SNAP—Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) has suffered budget cuts that have impacted those populations.
Norka Torres, program director of the CDC, participated in the Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Fair on October 23 at the Lord Stirling School in New Brunswick. Assisting her at our table were high school students who are members of a school-based volunteer class. Partnering with the CDC was the New Brunswick Police Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT). About twenty-five providers were at the fair, which provided free flu shots, diabetes screening as well as information on community resources.