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Justice John Leventhal, Brooklyn D.A. Charles Hynes and
Rabbi Joseph Potasnik

Geraldine Ferraro and Rabbi Diana Manber

New Initiative Helps
In Domestic Violence

Story and Photos by Tim Boxer

LINED UP New York State Supreme Court Justice John M. Leventhal and New York Board of Rabbis executive vice president Rabbi Joseph Potasnik for a picture, and Charles Hynes insisted, "I want to be the goy in the middle."

Who am I to argue with the Brooklyn DA?

The three were among 37 men (and 101 women) at the inaugural Voices of Valor Luncheon of Dayenu at the Mutual of America boardroom on Park Avenue. Dayenu ("enough for us") is a domestic violence initiative of the Board of Rabbis that was founded three years ago by Rabbi Diana Manber.

Justice Leventhal accepted the groupís Elijah Award from the DA and observed, "You know that Elijah went to heaven alive. Does this award indicate that my time has come?"

The judge was accompanied by his mother. "Sheís 91, maybe 93. Who knows? She lies."

Geraldine Ferraro said the
Miriam Award she received
from Dayenu was
appropriately named.

Ferraro was compelled to
leave Hillary Clintonís
presidential campaign after
she told a newspaper that
"if Barak Obama was a white
man, he would not be in this
position" (of a presidential

In accepting the
Miriam Award, Ferraro
compared herself to Mosesí
sister. "Just as my statement
about the son of a Kenyan
man caused controversy, so
too did Miriamís observation
about Moses marrying a
Cushite [black woman] prove

Hynes revealed that he grew up in a home where his mother was abused. "No child should be forced to watch that," he said. "We all agree that it is extremely important to restore sholom bayis [domestic tranquility]."

Geraldine Ferraro, 72, the only woman ever nominated for vice president, on the Democratic ticket in 1984, said abuse of children in the church was silenced too long. "Then it came out in the open. I am a church-going Catholic and Iíve never been more angry and disgusted. I wish Dayenu can be duplicated across the nation."

"Domestic violence happens in every community, no matter how wealthy or how observant," Rabbi Manber said. "Enough silence Ė itís time to speak out."

"Weíve been guilty too long," Rabbi Potasnik agreed. "The rabbis were silent. Now we are ready to rectify the injustices."

Dominic Carter, NY-1 TVís political reporter, said this issue is very personal. He grew up 40 years ago in a New York housing project where domestic violence was no stranger at home.

Carter, who served as emcee at the luncheon, has something in common with Rabbi Potasnik. Carterís daughter and Potasnikís son Harrison are students at Syracuse University. So Carter gave the rabbi a Syracuse basketball T-shirt.

"This tee cost me $84,000," the rabbi sighed.


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