June 12, 2008
Iranian Jews grapple with tragic death and violence in the community
Web extra: YouTube tribute video for dead teen
(Page 2 - Previous Page)"The culture in Iran in general has always been OK with these forms of physical violence in their society," Abaei said. "If you ask any Iranian today over the age of 35, they will tell you that their teachers or principals would slap them in the face, hit them with a ruler or kick them for doing something wrong, and there wasn't anything you could do about it."
The most serious incident of domestic violence in the Iranian Jewish community occurred roughly 10 years ago in Los Angeles, when a physical altercation between an Iranian Jewish couple resulted in one death, Abaei said.
Abaei said that while incidents of domestic violence among Iranian Jewish families have been on the decline in recent years due to arrests being made and some education given to children at school, he would like to see more proactive steps taken by community organizations to address the issue.
"What I want to see is the rabbis of the community sign a statement that this type of behavior is not acceptable under the laws of Judaism, and circulate it in the community," Abaei said. "We need to have more educational seminars to encourage everyone, that if you get into any physical altercations, call the police because there is zero tolerance for any physical abuse."
Various Los Angeles area Iranian rabbis and community leaders contacted did not return calls for comment on this story.
Listen to Karmel Melamed's podcast on violence in the Iranian Jewish community by visiting: http://jewishjournal.com/iranianamericanjews.
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