Shiloh's director, Mimi Scarf, gave the impression that Jewish battered women are somehow different from women of other cultures, religions and races ("Shiloh Offers Shelter from the Storm " by Susan Golant, Dec. 2). Be assured they are just like any other woman who has sought a shelter. They express denial, shame, frustration, hopelessness and lack of self-esteem. These women are from all backgrounds and share exactly the same feelings.
Rabbi Joshua Gordon implied that battering is a "Western social ill" and that American culture has caused a "breakdown in the spiritual immunity system." Seems like a handy catch phrase (to mean) battering happens only in America. The enlightened will know that wife beating is widely condoned throughout the world in a number of cultures and countries.
As a volunteer worker in a battered women's shelter I know any shelter can swiftly provide a kosher kitchen and food. No woman need feel left out because she eats kosher, Chinese, Spanish, Hindu, American or any other type of food.
Nurturing takes many forms in our local shelters. There's as much food for the soul as there is for the body and it's dished out in ample supply by many caring people. There are many hands that offer help--regardless of a person's religion. A battered woman only needs the courage to reach out.
Thank you for the media exposure of the battered woman. Keep up the good work.