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Presidents Conference should bar abusers

Presidents Conference should bar abusers

Your editorial congratulating Dianne Lob on her selection as chair-elect of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations argued that as just “the third woman to serve as chair” of the conference, “she’ll bring fresh perspective to a field where a small minority of women hold top leadership positions,” (“Conference of Presidents names the right chair,” April 23).

We hope that Lob’s fresh perspective will include a recognition of the urgency of addressing the crisis of sexual harassment and abuse in Jewish professional life. In recent years, a number of important figures in our community have been revealed as sexual abusers. Unfortunately, not all Jewish organizations and institutions have taken meaningful measures in response to these revelations.

We urge the Conference of Presidents to lead the way by adopting a policy of barring from its activities any Jewish organizational representative who has committed sexual harassment or assault. Such a policy would set an example of leadership on this critical issue for zero tolerance of sexual harassment or abuse in Jewish communal life. It would also ensure that the Jewish community can have full confidence in the integrity of those who represent our interests.

Rafael Medoff
Susannah Heschel
Shulamit Magnus
Thane Rosenbaum
Steering Committee
Committee on Ethics in Jewish Leadership

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