WRN Responds To Release of CCAR Report

The Women’s Rabbinic Network (WRN) remains profoundly grateful to every person who shared their experience of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) ethics process with the Alcalaw legal team. We are glad that CCAR’s leadership chose to solicit this comprehensive report and demonstrate an ongoing commitment to improve and strengthen the ethics process. This report and the changes that we hope it will bring represent another important step toward the transformation WRN believes is necessary for the Reform Movement to become a place of safety, respect, and equity for all. 

 

WRN supports the recommendations of the Alcalaw team and the CCAR’s intent to put them into place. As the CCAR considers best practices, survivors must be consulted for vital feedback. 

 

We especially highlight the following recommendations from the report: 

For the CCAR to 

  • engage in a teshuvah (restoration and repair) process to repair harms caused by the CCAR ethics process, 

  • expand opportunities for reporting, 

  • incorporate more trauma-informed practices,

  • engage more third-party experts throughout the process,  

  • require rabbis to make restitution for harms they caused, 

  • increase coordination among the CCAR, HUC-JIR and Union for Reform Judaism (URJ),

  • address the legacies of those who have abused their positions, and

  • improve and clarify the reporting, investigative, teshuvah, and censure processes.  

 

WRN expects the teshuvah process to include opportunities to record the scope of harm experienced by survivors. We also call upon the CCAR as an organization and all of our rabbinic colleagues to examine the underlying culture that has resulted in the harm of individuals and communities.

 

Greater coordination among the CCAR, HUC-JIR and URJ is a critical step toward the institutional and cultural transformation needed, and we are heartened to know that this is a Movement-wide goal. WRN commends the leadership of our Movement partners for committing to deepen this work. 

 

WRN works to make our Movement a space where all people are safe and treated equitably.  We have always been and will continue to be committed to supporting those who have survived sexual misconduct, as well as all forms of harassment and discrimination. We will continue to work in active partnership with the CCAR and other institutions of our Movement to ensure this historic reckoning process meets the needs of survivors and represents our highest Jewish values.

 

If you are a survivor or witness of harassment, abuse, or misconduct, you can visit WRNresources.org for resources.