SEPTEMBER 13, 2018

SRE Coalition Leadership,

Last night the Jewish Week published an article detailing allegations against philanthropist Michael Steinhardt. The alleged behavior described is not in keeping with our Jewish values of honoring and respecting the dignity of every person. As such stories continue to come to light, we support the brave women and voices—including those who remain anonymous—who have come forward to share their experiences, as well as those who are raising issues of harassment, discrimination and related abuses of power within the Jewish community.

It is incumbent upon us, especially during these reflective days of awe, to take responsibility for the ways we have fallen short in upholding our Jewish values, particularly in creating workplaces and communal spaces that are safe, respectful, and equitable for all people. As a community, we can and must do better.

To that end, as part of its work, the SRE Coalition has developed Commitment and Standards to help prevent and address sexual harassment and gender discrimination in Jewish organizations in practice, not theory. While we know lasting change will not happen overnight, each voice that comes forward reaffirms the urgency of the work that is happening through the Coalition and beyond. Only by honestly examining our past and being accountable for our words and actions today will we be able to create a better way forward.

We call on all Jewish organizations to commit to this work and address these issues within our community.