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REPORTING MISCONDUCT

WRN is providing this information to help everyone in our community connect with the appropriate resources. We commend and honor the strength of all survivors of harassment, abuse, and misconduct. We stand with you and offer you our support.

 

CLICK ON ANY OF THE OPTIONS BELOW TO GO DIRECTLY TO JUMP TO THAT CATEGORY OF RESOURCES.

The following information is current as of February 17th 2022.

Resources for Reporting Misconduct In the Reform Movement

 

WRN is providing this information to help everyone in our community connect with the appropriate resources. We commend and honor the strength of all survivors of harassment, abuse, and misconduct. We stand with you and offer you our support.

 

While resurfacing difficult and even traumatic memories in order to participate in an investigation can be challenging, it can also be a critical step toward meaningful healing, and it can help build a stronger, safer future for the Jewish community. Sometimes survivors internalize society’s message that their experiences weren’t “that bad” or aren’t “egregious enough” to warrant a report. However, WRN encourages anyone who has experienced anything that felt unsafe, transgressive, or unjust to share their story- either anonymously or with attribution- with the appropriate investigative team(s) and ethics committee(s). Unfortunately, you may need to report to more than one institution. We know that this can be daunting, but it is very important, as one survivor’s story bolsters another’s and helps our entire Movement become a safer environment. 

 

In order to help you and other community members navigate the process of reporting misconduct, we have compiled the contact information for all of the investigations that are currently taking place within the Reform Movement. We will update this resource if and when we learn of new investigations or additional information is shared. 

 

We have also included the contact information for the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the American Conference of Cantors’ Ethics processes. Remember: There is no statute of limitations on ethics complaints and before you decide whether to file a complaint, you can have a confidential, supportive conversation with the chair of the Ethics Committee. Anyone with knowledge of misconduct, whether or not an alleged victim, may submit a complaint.

 

The information provided below has been gathered from the announcements provided by the organizations or from their public-facing websites. 

 

INVESTIGATIONS IN REFORM MOVEMENT PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS

 

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR):

 

On August 16th, HUC-JIR and Morgan Lewis concluded their investigation. On November 9th, HUC-JIR released the report that resulted from that investigation. CLICK HERE to read the report.

 


Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR):

On August 27th, CCAR concluded their investigation. On December 22nd, CCAR published the report from Alcalaw. CLICK HERE to read the report and learn about the Teshuvah Task Force.

 

Union for Reform Judaism (URJ):

 

On February 17th, the URJ announced the release of the Ethics Investigation Report. 

CLICK HERE to read the report.

 

INVESTIGATIONS AT SYNAGOGUES OR ORGANIZATIONS:

Central Synagogue:

Excerpted from Central Synagogues April 27th Message:

As our tradition teaches, we cannot shape our future if we ignore our past. We must model how a sacred community treats harmful misconduct, no matter when it happened, with integrity and transparency. We also want to fully understand the scope of the situation. If you or someone you know has something to tell us about Rabbi Zimmerman or anyone else at Central Synagogue, we ask you to please contact our independent legal team at Morgan Lewis at this dedicated email address: CentralSynagogue@morganlewis.com. The senders of any emails to Morgan Lewis will not be identified to Central Synagogue unless they explicitly give our lawyers permission to do so.

 

Temple Emanu-El, Dallas, TX:

Excerpted from Temple Emanu-El’s April 28th Message:

Our Board’s Executive Committee has authorized retaining an independent law firm with specialization in these matters, Arcadi Jackson LLP, to conduct an independent review of our past and present practices, to gather facts and to report them to a special committee established by our congregation’s President.

 

Most importantly, we wish to ensure that anyone who wishes to report misconduct, past or present, will feel safe in doing so. We have therefore established multiple channels for reporting, including contacting our clergy, our Executive Director, our President, our Director of Member Support, and our independent outside counsel. Not all violations of safety and dignity constitute violations of the law; our clergy and leadership are here with open doors and open hearts for any of these difficult conversations as well.

 

Contact Information for Temple Emanu-El:
Ann Marie Arcadi, Arcadi Jackson, 214.865.6537

Temple Clergy, 214.706.0000. Clergy may also be contacted at their own email addresses.

Beth Gold, Temple President

Meredith Fried, Executive Director, 214.706.0000, ext. 130

Meredith Pryzant, Director of Members Support, 214.706.0000, ext. 122

Stephen Wise Temple

Excerpted from Stephen Wise Temple’s May 19th Message:

“Recently, our Temple received a letter from the same complainant accusing Cantor Lam of engaging in a sexual relationship that abused his position as a senior Clergy member of our Temple and alleged that some of Cantor Lam’s actions took place on our campus. We were unaware of this information when we announced his retirement. 

 

Stephen Wise Temple has a zero-tolerance policy regarding behavior as described here. We have comprehensive policies and procedures in place governing unacceptable behaviors and a process for reporting any abuses. We take allegations of misconduct by a member of our Clergy very seriously, and we are disheartened by any actions that violate the sacred trust placed in our institution and our leaders.

 

As a result of the new information that has come to our attention, the Temple has retained independent outside counsel to conduct a complete, fair, and impartial investigation of these allegations and any other misconduct that may be disclosed or discovered in the process. We will also undertake a thorough review of our policies and procedures to determine whether they need to be updated and improved in any way. We have an obligation to model how a sacred community responds to misconduct, regardless of when it occurred, in a manner that is informed by our highest values and is responsive to any of you who may have experienced harm as a part of this beloved community. 

 

We wish to fully understand the scope of the matter. If you or someone you know has something to tell us about this investigation, or any other situation at Stephen Wise Temple, we ask you to reach out to our Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer Sharon Spira-Cushnir — at any time — at SSpira@WiseLA.org or 310.889.2390. As always, if you are in need of pastoral support, contact any member of our Clergy, or let us know at ClergyOffice@WiseLA.org.”

 

INTERNAL ETHICS PROCESSES


CCAR Ethics Committee:


For information about the CCAR’s ethics code, you can visit https://www.ccarnet.org/about-us/ccar-ethics/. If you would like to have a conversation or file a complaint, send an email to ethics@ccarnet.org

There is no statute of limitations on ethics complaints and before you decide whether to file a complaint, you can have a confidential and supportive conversation with the chair of the Ethics Committee. Anyone with knowledge of misconduct, whether or not an alleged victim, may submit a complaint.


American Conference of Cantors (ACC) Ethics Committee:


Click here to access the ACC’s ethics code. For those who would like to file a complaint, contact the chair of the ACC’s Ethics Committee by sending an email to Cantor Kari Siegel Eglash at kseglash@gmail.com.
There is no statute of limitations on ethics complaints and before you decide whether to file a complaint, you can have a confidential and supportive conversation with the chair of the Ethics Committee. Anyone with knowledge of misconduct, whether or not an alleged victim, may submit a complaint.

 

ARJE: Association of Reform Jewish Educators

Click here to access ARJE's ethics code. Any person with knowledge of misconduct may report a complaint. Complaints should be made at ethics@reformeducators.org which gets automatically sent to the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Ethics Committee and the Executive Director. There is no statute of limitations for reporting.

 

 

FEDERAL AGENCIES

For Students:

The U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is a federal agency with the responsibility of ensuring equal access to education through the enforcement of civil rights. https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/howto.html

 

For Employees:

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency that regulates workplace discrimination. You can contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by calling 800-669-4000 or check out its website at www.eeoc.gov. The website will help you locate an EEOC field office in your state.