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About Us

The Purpose, Passion and People Behind Koleinu

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Our Mission:

Koleinu exists to create and promote concrete, long-term solutions to address domestic violence and sexual abuse in the South African Jewish community.

We aim to change the way the entire community — from children to neighbors to educators to community leaders to medical professionals — thinks about and responds to abuse

By partnering with and learning from leading abuse prevention organizations both the Jewish and broader communities in South Africa, we bring the best practices in abuse treatment, prevention, and advocacy.

Koleinu is a registered Section 18A PBO. (930052277)

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We believe that

  • We’re not here to reinvent the wheel. The best outcomes are when we draw on local and global resources that have the experience, possible professional skills & insights we need. To make sure we follow world-class abuse prevention standards, we model ourselves after and work closely with, globally renowned organizations in this space.

  • Abuse impacts more than the victim. Supporting the victim is our first priority — but not our last. We look at the whole environment: addressing the factors that contributed to the incident, directing everyone impacted to the services they need, and putting into place protocols for safer environments.

  • Keeping our community safe is everyone's responsibility. When every individual keeps their eyes open, understands what to look out for, and knows they can turn to us at any time, a safer community is possible.

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Our Story:

After experiencing a lack of support when faced with their own abuse at the hands of a trusted professional, our founders Wendy Hendler and Rozanne Sack founded Koleinu as an anonymous helpline to give victims a safe, supportive place to turn. 

We soon realized that while victim support was vital, it wasn’t enough. Our community was ill-equipped to talk about, respond to, and prevent abuse.

Over and over we heard people gasp: “But surely these things don’t happen in our community”.
Unfortunately, they do — but were hidden, ignored, or covered up.


There was no dedicated address for victims to turn to. There were inadequate policies and structures. There was no one teaching children and parents about real-life and online safety skills. We realised that our community was years beehind other Jewish communities in terms of awareness, education, prevention training, advocacy, and best practice

We realized that if we wanted to build a safer community, we had to have hard conversations.

Talk about frightening things. Face up to uncomfortable realities. Empower parents. Educate children. Provide

information. Challenge assumptions. Demand changes. Give a voice to the most vulnerable. Make a space for those unheard and unseen. Listen to those that are too afraid to speak out.
 

We had to become the voice of change

Nine years later, we’re grateful to have brought light to these issues. We’ve seen changes as parents, schools, leaders and organizations appreciate the importance of reporting abuse, addressing abuse, being aware of the different forms of abuse, having obligations to report, and do everything in their power to prevent abuse.

 

We could never have done it alone.

 

We’re grateful for the support of each donor, volunteer, and advocate, and look to the future with hope as we continue our sacred mission together.

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Our Team

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Wendy Hendler
Founder + Director

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Rozanne Sack
Founder + Director

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Aliza Bilman
Phd Clinical Psychology

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Charles Chemel
Statistician and Senior Banking Consultant

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Melanie Uranovsky
Cape Town Representative

Koleinu SA is proud to have been nominated for the ABSA Jewish Achievers Award - Women in Leadership

Supporting victims with compassion.

Confronting abuse with strength.

Raising awareness with courage.

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Every voice counts

Your support will help change tomorrow’s story.

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