Meet our Forum Leaders
TAHEL Crisis Center for Religious Women and Children
Debbie Gross is the founder and director of Tahel - Crisis Center for Religious Women and Children. She made aliya to Israel in 1978 after having completed her B.A. in psychology from Barnard College. She did her graduate studies in Developmental Psychology in Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Debbie has been one of the trailblazers in the religious community in the areas of domestic violence and child sexual abuse. She has developed an educational workshop program to give children and teenagers the skills to recognize and prevent sexual abuse and domestic violence. She has been an activist in helping communities throughout the world set up protocols to protect their children and women. She has set up training programs for rabbis and religious professionals. She has trained hundreds of volunteers in the areas of crisis intervention. Debbie has trained and set up similar crisis hotlines in Belgium, Australia and South Africa. She received the Jerusalem Foundation Teddy Kollek Award for Community Leadership and Excellence in 2003. In 2001, Debbie received the Jerusalem Mayor's Volunteer Award from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. In 2014, Debbie organized and hosted the first international conference on “The Jewish Community Confronts Violence and Abuse” with over 650 participants from around the world. In 2015 she organized and hosted the second conference “Shedding Light on the Darkness of Abuse”. In 2017 she organized the third international conference “ Creating Safe Communities: Creating Hope”. In 2016 was honored by the Israeli Knesset and received the Knesset award for “Women Who Are Changing The World”. In 2017 Debbie was given “The Award for Recognition for Fighting the Battle Against Violence Against Women” by the Minister of Social Equality of Israel. Debbie lives in Efrat and is the mother of six children and the grandmother of seventeen..