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From Surviving to Thriving

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  • Avremi Zippel was an 8 year old boy, the eldest son of the Chabad Rabbi and Rebbetzin in Salt Lake City, Utah, when the family nanny began sexually abusing him. As the abuse continued over the next 10 years, Avremi didn’t say a word. Shame made him swallow his secret. Nearly 20 years after the abuse began, he decided to press charges against his abuser and to become the first Orthodox rabbi to speak publicly about being sexually abused. His decision to come forward would catalyze a #MeToo movement in the observant Jewish world and inspire hundreds of other survivors to step out of the shadows. Avremi’s story is one of faith, hope and the determination to overcome. It addresses coping with trauma, forgiving your inner child after decades of shame, empowering a religious community, finding the light inside oneself and being that light for others, and realizing that sometimes you find your calling in the last place you would think to look.
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