Insights ~ July 2018


Remote Controlled?

Debbie was sure that the stress of her divorce was causing her to be paranoid. Though her husband had moved out, he seemed to know about her private conversations. More puzzling was that her coffee maker and other small appliances would all conk out at the same time. She also could not understand how he kept getting into the house because she changed the alarm code daily. Coincidence?

Debbie hired a private detective to look for “bugs” but what he found was a small device on her computer that could monitor and control any devices connected to the internet. Using his cell phone, her husband could remotely manipulate any technology in the house. According to Barbara Siegel, SHALVA’s clinical director, Debbie was experiencing gas lighting, a type of psychological abuse that makes a victim question their reality. “Gas lighting is an efficient way to undermine a woman’s sanity,” explains Barbara.

You can read more about the ways that technology can be used as a tool for abuse in the New York Times article: “Thermostats, Locks and Lights: Digital Tools of Domestic Abuse.”


Thanks to you, Luncheon a Huge Success

Thank you for making this year’s luncheon our most successful ever! More than 400 guests came to The Standard Club on June 20 and heard Cara and Hope Brookins tell their story of rebuilding their lives after Cara left her abusive relationship. Cara wrote after the event, “I wanted to let you know again how much Hope and I enjoyed your hospitality…You’ve really built a beautiful, warm organization, and I applaud you all.”

Reflecting on the event, board member and luncheon co-chair Stacy Halpern was thrilled with the results of all the hard work that went into the day. “I was so happy to see so many people come out and support SHALVA at the luncheon. Domestic abuse needs to end and our donors are helping to make that happen.”

We are grateful for the community’s commitment, raising over $200,000 to provide counseling and supportive services to the women who walk through our doors every day.

A huge thank you to sponsors CIBC, G&M Electric, Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation, GUTNICKI LLP, Viki and Tom Rivkin and Terry Schwartz.

View event photos here.

More Talent Coming to the SHALVA Board

Join us in welcoming our new board members! Executive Director, Carol Ruderman, is looking forward to our next meeting in September. “We have a strong, capable board in place and our new members will be wonderful additions.”

Lauren Cohn works as a Consultant/Senior Attorney with Axiom Legal Solutions. She is a trusted legal advisor, business partner, and leader with extensive in-house and law firm experience driving practical solutions to legal issues and challenges. “I would like to be part of the core leadership team for SHALVA as I am passionate about the work the organization does on behalf of women subjected to domestic abuse.”

Carol Ring is a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker.  She joined the board because “I have watched SHALVA change the conversation about domestic violence amongst my friends and family…SHALVA is serving a real need in our community and I feel a need to be a part of this very important organization.”

Aaron Senser is the E-Communications Implementation Manager at Shedd Aquarium. “I feel that there is a gap between the psychology of young males and the current methods used to teach them about gender and sexuality issues…Especially in this age of radicalization, I want to strengthen outreach and education initiatives towards other young men.”

Dr. Esther Shkop serves as director of the Wisdom of Torah Institute.  In addition, she is well known for her passionate approach to Jewish learning and teaching. She established and taught at the Blitstein Institute of Hebrew Theological College, a college for women that provides undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, while advancing women’s opportunities for scholarship in Jewish Studies.

Dear Evan Hansen,

the Broadway musical sensation,

is coming to Chicago…


Sunday, March 3, 2019

2 pm matinee @ the Oriental Theatre


A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in. DEAR EVAN HANSEN is the deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live it.

“One of the most remarkable shows in musical theater history,” says The Washington Post. The New York Times calls DEAR EVAN HANSEN “a gut-punching, breathtaking knockout of a musical” and NBC News says that the musical is “an inspiring anthem resonating on Broadway and beyond.”

Click here if you would like to submit an Interest form.

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