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Tuesday, August 11, 2020
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“It was the clearest and most insightful dating workshop I’ve ever attended. Thank you.”

(Courtesy of Shalom Task Force) This was just one take-away message from Shalom Task Force and OHEL’s Dating Goals webinar series that took place on Monday and Wednesday, June 8 and 10.

In the first webinar, Avital Levin, Shalom Task Force’s director of education, and Esther Williams, Shalom Task Force president, addressed a crowd of over 700 single women, parents and mentors. As Levin introduced the evening, she highlighted the importance of the work of the Shalom Task Force education department. “Even if only one person’s life is altered by our workshop, we know we are one step closer to living our mission of having safe relationships, healthy families and a supportive community.”

Throughout the webinar, the presenters discussed the top 10 dating questions they have received, including, “how to navigate pressures in dating” and “what does a healthy relationship look like?”

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The presenters also spoke about self-awareness and the positive impact of having the correct support when dating. Williams explained the supportive role that parents should play in their child’s dating life. “Ask your child the questions they should be asking themselves when dating, open-ended and substantive.”

Over 80 live questions were submitted by participants throughout the webinar. The resounding positive feedback received through anonymous survey responses were ones of validation and empowerment: “This workshop gave me hope that I can have a healthy marriage. I come from an abusive home and I often question if I’ll ever find the one. Thank you for sharing the message that everyone can build a healthy relationship.”

The program ended with the presenters stressing the importance of getting help and the message to never ignore concerns one may have about a relationship. Levin encouraged participants to access the Shalom Task Force’s relationship screening, a self-guided questionnaire with focused questions to utilize when dating. (The guide can be found at shalomtaskforce.org/dating).

Over 200 single men, parents and mentors tuned in for the second Dating Goals webinar hosted by Yeshaya Kraus, community engagement an education manager at Shalom Task Force, and Rabbi Moshe Sokoloff, a Shalom workshop presenter and rabbi of Agudas Yisroel of Kew Gardens Hills, N.Y. The presenters stressed the importance of self-awareness before one begins dating. As Rabbi Sokoloff stated, “Many times one of my students will come to me and say that ‘my roommate/friend/cousin got engaged, so now I have to date.’ The first question I always ask these students is, ‘are you ready to date? Not are your parents and friends ready for you to date, but are you ready to date?”

The presenters discussed the importance of having a trusted mentor while dating. Kraus discussed the traits one should look for when looking for their mentor. “Not only does a mentor need to be objective, they also need to be able to help you understand your personal experience.”

After both webinars, hundreds provided feedback and shared what they gained from the webinar. As one participant wrote, “This webinar was unlike any dating or domestic abuse presentation I have ever attended. Thank you for giving so much valuable, serious information in such a positive and hopeful way.” Since airing the webinars, the program has garnered over 1,000 additional views across platforms and drove over 500 people to visit the dating page on Shalom Task Force’s website.

To listen to the recordings of both “Dating Goals” webinars, visit shalomtaskforce.org/dating. To request a workshop, email education@shalomtaskforce.org. If you or your loved one have questions or concerns about dating, or are currently in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, please call the confidential and anonymous Shalom Task Force Hotline at (888) 883-2323.

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