Town Hall Meeting Puts Spotlight On Harassment

A number of the stories told in the dramatic reading were about harassment at the hands of major donors, a particularly uncomfortable topic for nonprofits. (In the wake of The New York Times expose of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s alleged behavior, Democratic politicians and organizations were pressured to return money donated by Weinstein, according to media reports.) A similar push, if allegations against major Jewish philanthropists come to light, could be devastating for Jewish organizational budgets.

The stories and panel highlighted characteristics of the Jewish organizational world that make it prone to inappropriate conduct. Jewish organizations are often characterized by an informal, familial culture as a result of the tight-knit nature of the Jewish community as a whole; some of the stories recounted took place in private homes or other intimate spaces transformed into ad-hoc work spaces for organizations low on cash.

The Jewish Women’s Archive is currently collecting stories of harassment and abuse within and outside of the Jewish community. The Jewish Board and JOFA are organizing a panel discussion of sexual harassment in Jewish communal organizations.

Visit JWMG for the full story.