Sixteen years ago I began to see that people were coming to Rabbi Weinberg [my husband] with these problems of domestic abuse or other problems in that area and I saw the need of having a safe house where people could go and so I had two homes outside of the Jewish community where the women could come and the men wouldn't know where they are. I tried to give them some relief and I would say that at that time, [understanding of ] Jewish domestic abuse was maybe 5 miles behind; now they're right behind....
[For funding] I went to private people who were willing to give me [money] and to the Maryland Home in Rosewood and they gave me a room there. A room where I could have beds there and a crib and they let me bring in paper goods and a microwave to take care of their needs... [The shelters] were homes, regular homes. There were two homes, one was run by a widow and she would let me use her home and the other was just a woman who had a family who had a room down, an area downstairs in her basement.
What I tried to do is to get, to match up. I would do a lot of matching up. If there is a woman in crisis after she's in crisis to match her up with a family [who was] very closed mouthed, which is very hard to find, and it would be a haven for the batterer plus the battered woman and they would take the woman in and they would learn with the husband and try to behave, I would say, like surrogate parents...I never advertised, nobody knew where [the shelter] was.
I had two women who had been abused who would help me and I would take one or the other along with me when I would go to a home... [In addition] you had to arrange it with the schools, you know with the parents, that the husband would not take them out of school and I had to arrange for people to pick up the children from the home and take them to school and bring them back. It was a lot of that type of work.