This cohort will begin in March 2024

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Building on SRE Network’s prior offerings supporting accountability around sexual harm in Jewish spaces, we are excited to provide a new opportunity for deeper learning. In January 2024, we will launch a new cohort learning experience, consisting of a 6-session training series led by Dr. Alissa R. Ackerman and Dr. Guila Benchimol from Ampersands Restorative Justice on institutional accountability, teshuva, and restorative justice. 

The calls to accountability around sexual harm in Jewish spaces have continued to grow over the last five years. This has left Jewish organizations and professionals with many questions about how to respond to and repair harms they have caused or enabled. When an organization fails to respond appropriately, this is known as institutional harm or moral injury.

The series will provide you with:

  1. An overview of restorative justice - what it means and entails and who it involves,
  2. A framework for understanding secondary victimization and institutional harm and betrayal,
  3. A jewish lens on restorative justice and inst accountability, using teshuva as a guide,
  4. An understanding of institutional courage and institutional accountability,
  5. An assessment of readiness for accountability, teshuva, and restorative justice at an institutional level.

This is a cohort learning opportunity.  Applications coming soon.

If you have any questions, please contact

Who Should Apply

This training series welcomes applicants who are Jewish professionals working in Jewish organizations or communal spaces that are SRE Network Members (please email to learn about how to become a member) who are looking to understand what they need to know and do if they:

  1. want to help their organization or institution take accountability in the aftermath of harm for which their organization is responsible and/or
  2. want to understand how they can respond more appropriately to survivors’ needs following their disclosures of harm
  3. want to understand what to expect when sitting down with those they have harmed and how to involve the appropriate stakeholders.

Please note that if you are not the organizational leader, your organizational leader’s sign off on your participation in this cohort is required.

This series is not for people attending in these roles: expert practitioners, individual harmdoers, survivors of harm.

Application Timeline

Applications coming in early 2024.

About the Trainers

Dr. Alissa R. Ackerman (she/her): Alissa R. Ackerman, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Division of Politics, Administration and Justice at California State University, Fullerton. She has dedicated her career to studying sex crimes policy and practice, the etiology of sexual offending, the effects of sexual victimization, and, more recently, restorative  justice options for those impacted by sexual harm. She is a “survivor scholar”, in that she integrates her personal experience with sexual violence with her professional expertise as a sex crimes researcher.

She facilitates restorative justice cases and trains future restorative justice practitioners. She has worked with over 500 men and women who have perpetrated acts of sexual harm using vicarious restorative justice.

She has written extensively on topics related to sexual violence in blogs and magazine articles and has published over 35 peer-reviewed journal articles.  She has authored or edited six books and recently served as co-editor on a special edition of the Journal of Sexual Abuse.  Her most recent book, Healing from Sexual Violence: The Case for Vicarious Restorative Justice, co-authored with Dr. Jill Levenson, was published in 2019.

Dr. Guila Benchimol (she/her/hers) is the Senior Advisor on Research and Learning with SRE Network and was one of the key advisors who guided its launch in early 2018. As a researcher and public educator on sexual violence, she has crafted standards and policies for Jewish workplaces, institutions, and communal spaces and has been invited to address Jewish professionals and clergy across Canada and the US, as well as other faith communities. Guila is also trained in restorative and transformative justice facilitation.

Guila holds a PhD in Sociological Criminology and an MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice Policy from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Her doctoral dissertation examined how victims of sexual violence become advocates and activists against sexual violence, and explored the processes that survivors experience, including victimization and disclosures, which lead them to advocate. Her MA thesis examined the 2011  murder of Leiby Kletzky (z”l) in Brooklyn, NY and its impact on the orthodox Jewish community as they discussed addressing communal concerns that arose from the crime and its aftermath.

Guila serves as a Research Associate at the Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence, where she works on projects related to homicide and domestic violence deaths, and sits on the board of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). Her first career as a Jewish educator informed her understanding of the need to address victimization of all kinds in Jewish communities. She was the Director of Judaic Studies at Tiferes Bais Yaakov where she also taught grades 9 through 12. She was also the Managing Director for the National Conference of Synagogue Youth in Canada, where she founded and directed an international camp for high school girls.

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