Newsletter – Spring 2017


The Place to be for Lunch

Join SHALVA at The Standard Club for our Annual Luncheon on Wednesday, June 21.  Dr. Michael Kimmel will be our guest speaker, discussing the documentary The Mask you Live In. The film highlights how boys and young men struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating a narrow definition of masculinity. Dr. Kimmel’s talk will discuss the mixed messages of being a “good man” and a “real man,” and how that relates to the treatment of women and domestic abuse.

We will be hosting a film screening at 10:00 a.m. and the lunch program will begin at noon.  For more information and to register for the event, click here.


Self Care is not Selfish

The 24-hour news cycle filled with danger in the world and the negative tenor of news stories and social media can be triggers for many people, including our SHALVA clients. The bullying, name-calling and basic disregard for human compassion towards others portrayed in the media can cause upsetting emotional responses.

Not only do SHALVA clients live with verbal and emotional abuse every day in the privacy of their own homes, but now the news and rhetoric “at our fingertips” makes abuse more feel pervasive.  The SHALVA clinical staff works with clients to help them develop strategies when they experience these overwhelming feelings of fear and anxiety.

It is important to have several self-care options available when you feel triggered.  These can include:

  • Going for a walk or doing other exercise you enjoy
  • Deep breathing
  • Making a call to a trusted friend/therapist
  • Using a meditation app on your phone

Please share ways that you get to a feeling of calm at  We will include your ideas anonymously in our next newsletter and on our website.


Compassionate commitment… Donor spotlight

Estate planning is, for many, like dipping a big toe in the spring “warmed” waters of Lake Michigan. You test the waters a bit and quickly a second thought emerges with the toe—try again in August. But August comes and you try again in June– next year.

Founding SHALVA member Fayge Siegal has a more passionate approach to the planned giving concept. She jumped in feet first. Call it passionate compassion or compassionate commitment.

“SHALVA is something I believe in, says Ms. Siegal. “I believe in the organization and I believe in it very strongly, because it is close to my heart. I believe strongly in the work that it does and that it needs to continue to do.”  This vision for SHALVA’s future is her incentive to provide a legacy for SHALVA in the form of a planned gift.

“It is a relatively easy way to donate and it should be encouraged,” she says. “A legacy gift has a small impact on a person’s family, but leaves an important mark on continuing the agency’s work into the future.”

We are delighted to acknowledge members of SHALVA’s Legacy Circle, who have made the commitment to leave a gift through our Create a Jewish Legacy program. A heartfelt thank you to the following for their generous support and leadership:

Avrohom and Fayge Siegal, in loving memory of Mrs. Goldie Klein
Sara B. Block
Yishai & Bluma Broner
Marilyn Eisenberg
Jacqueline & Howard Gilbert
Neil J. Hochstadt
Helene Paris
Victoria and Thomas Rivkin
Marc & Sarah Rosenstock
Carol K. Ruderman
Terry L. Schwartz
Naomi and Jerry Senser
Linda Schiffman
Dianne Tesler
Amy and Jim Tuchler
Jeffrey & Carolyn Winick
Anonymous (3)


Financial know how for everyone: A conversation with our Legal Liaison, Rosemary McKillip

SHALVA clients who are contemplating divorce are able to meet with our Legal Liaison, Rosemary McKillip.  Divorce is a difficult and emotional process, but for a survivor of domestic abuse who is prepared, it can represent freedom and a fresh start. Planning for divorce does not guarantee that it will happen, but it empowers a client with knowledge.  There are several steps that Rosemary recommends to the clients she meets with, but this information is also helpful if you simply want to learn more about your household finances.

1. Find out as much as you can about your finances.
Consider your current financial situation and determine what that situation will look like if you lose your spouse’s income. This kind of forecasting can be frightening and unthinkable, but it is best to be prepared.  As part of every divorce in Illinois, the parties must complete a Financial Affidavit that discloses assets and debt, as well as monthly expenses. This information will be used in calculating maintenance and child support, so it is vitally important.  You can obtain a copy of the Financial Affidavit on the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s website in your county.  Of course, this cannot be completed until you know what you have.

2. Be a good detective.
Start recording household and personal expenses for several months before you complete the Affidavit. Documentation should include, among other things, costs for mortgage, utilities, telephone, internet and cable services, groceries,  clothing, personal care, vacations, and expenses you have incurred for your children.

3. Be up to date on your family finances.
Learn about your online bank accounts and credit card accounts used to pay household, family, and personal expenses. Especially helpful are year-end summaries of charges, broken down by category, that are produced by many credit card companies. Call credit card companies or banks for help with your search.  If you are concerned about your spouse learning that you are collecting this information, use a safe phone number for any possible returned calls.

Look for the following information:

  • bank statements
  • credit card accounts
  • insurance policies
  • stock certificates
  • safety deposit boxes
  • real estate, mortgage loans, and property taxes
  • federal and state income tax returns (available on

These are just a few examples of the steps SHALVA clients learn by working with our Legal Liaison program to become active participants in the legal process. For more information, visit our website or call the office at (773) 583-HOPE.

This program is supported by the Jewish Women’s Foundation of MetropolitanChicago,
Jewish United Fund and the Adrienne Reiner Hochstadt Memorial Fund.


How much do you know about domestic violence?  

1. Domestic violence is not a problem in your community.
False. Domestic violence happens in every community. Unfortunately many cases go unreported.

2. Couples counseling is recommended for abusive relationships.
False. SHALVA does NOT recommend couple’s counseling when there is abuse in the relationship. It can be very dangerous to the partner being abused. An abuser may use what is said in therapy later against their partner. Individual counseling may be helpful but couple’s counseling is not recommended.

3. The cost of domestic violence is extremely high to society.
True. Each year, domestic violence costs more than $5.8 billion dollars, with $4.1 billion of that amount being spent directly on medical and mental health services (NCADV).

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