Impact Story 3: Hebrew Free Loan


Julie’s (not her real name) fairytale romance turned horror story is sadly familiar. At first she was flattered her husband seemed a little jealous, checked in throughout the day to see what she was doing, who she was with. Before long, the casual check-ins became accusations, accusations became verbal abuse, shoving started, then worse. The day Julie woke up too bloody to leave the house, she swore she would get her children and herself out. But how?    

The money she’d earned from many years working was in accounts controlled by her husband. She was dependent on him for a roof over their heads, health insurance, car payments, even basic living expenses.

With support from a local domestic violence organization, Julie got her kids and herself to safety. She soon learned she needed immediate legal help for urgent financial and custody actions. She could not afford to retain an attorney. 

Julie’s counselor from a local Jewish non-profit suggested she apply for a Hebrew Free Loan. Julie was encouraged to learn Hebrew Free Loan would provide immediate turnaround on her application for up to $6,500 -- at no interest. It was a Godsend, Julie says, giving her access to the attorney who would guide her through the complex legal maze. During the process, Julie saw how one wrong move can disadvantage battered spouses struggling to establish solid footing for themselves and their children. Along with the many other types of support she received from close friends, Jewish organizations, and secular services, her Hebrew Free Loan enabled Julie to take care of herself and her children in smart ways leading to self-sufficiency.    

Today Julie and her kids are making a life for themselves, surrounded by a supportive community and helping other families affected by domestic abuse.

Julie recalls feeling empowered each time she made a payment on her Hebrew Free Loan, knowing the dollars would help countless others in need – not of a handout, but a hand up. “Hebrew Free Loan helped lift us up, she says. I am grateful to the Jewish community for this life-saving resource.”

The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey is a proud partner of The Hebrew Free Loan of NJ, which helps members of the Jewish community by providing zero-interest loans with a personalized, confidential, and respectful application process. Loans are provided for many purposes, for example:

  • Emergencies
  • Medical Expenses
  • Debt Consolidation
  • Home Improvement or Repair
  • Adoption and Fertility Costs
  • Domestic Violence Legal Assistance
  • Starting or Expanding a Business

For details, contact Jewish Family Services of Middlesex County at 732-777-1940 or Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Monmouth County at 732-774-6886. All calls are strictly confidential.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, call 1-800-799-SAFE to find a local domestic violence program and other resources, such as shelters, housing assistance, and since according to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, abusers often use money as a way to maintain power over their victims, emergency financial assistance.