In 1995, CHANA was started by a small group of advocates, including founder Brenda Brown Rever, under the umbrella of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, as the Jewish response to the community problem of domestic abuse. CHANA is the only organization in the Baltimore area to address domestic violence issues from the perspective of the Jewish culture. Originally, CHANA’s mission was primarily focused on serving Jewish women and their children in the Baltimore area who were victims of domestic abuse by providing culturally-sensitive services.
Over the years, CHANA has expanded its mission, and, in 2009, CHANA adopted The Shofar Coalition as a project that focuses on victims of abuse, children exposed to domestic violence, and adult survivors of trauma, especially sexual abuse in the Jewish community. By offering a culturally-oriented community response, the healing we provide through our clinicians can be far more effective than treatment by people without specialized training.
In 2013, CHANA expanded its services again and created SAFE: Stop Abuse of Elders, in partnership with Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Home and Hospital and Jewish Community Services (JCS). SAFE brings awareness, intervention and shelter, in a culturally-sensitive manner, that seeks to prevent the incidence and mitigate the consequences of interpersonal violence against older adults.