This study aims to address the paucity and obsolete nature of current research on partner violence within the Jewish community by focusing on the experiences of rabbis as centers of Jewish life. The current study considered the attitudes of rabbis toward intimate partner violence and gender roles, the level and quality and of intimate partner violence training received both during and post rabbinical school, and the intimate partner violence prevention efforts provided by rabbis. Participants in the study completed an online survey created by authors of this study, which included The Inventory of Beliefs about Wife Beating and The Sex Role Egalitarianism Scale (Form BB). Data were collected from 104 rabbis (age 28-72) representing 26 states. This study found high endorsement of egalitarian views amongst rabbis and low tolerance for partner violence; beliefs which were almost universally not significantly related to age, gender, or denomination. However, male rabbis endorsed higher beliefs that partner violence may be justified and Reform rabbis endorsed higher beliefs that relationships should be egalitarian. Majority of participants received training on partner violence issues but many felt these trainings were lacking in information and did not help in counseling congregants. Receiving training on issues related to partner violence did not have a significant relationship with partner violence attitudes and gender roles. With the exception of counseling, rabbis reported more engagement in passive methods of service provision related to intimate partner violence. Rabbis identified considering many factors when recommending divorce or separation to congregants (i.e. relational, religious, professional, personal, and victim/perpetrator centric factors). This study concludes with implications and suggestions for future research.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology; Intimate partner violence -- Religious aspects -- Judaism

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Bryant-Davis, Thema;