SRE Network Responds to the Release of USCJ Report on Investigation of Sexual Abuse & Misconduct in USY

March 10, 2023 — SRE Network, in response to the release of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) Report on Investigation of Sexual Abuse & Misconduct in USY, appreciates the brave individuals who came forward to share their difficult experiences, commends USCJ for publishing their report, and expresses serious concern about the findings of decades of misconduct.

This report follows the August 2021 announcement by Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal, CEO of the USCJ, the umbrella entity for the Conservative Movement, that its affiliated organization United Synagogue Youth (USY) would hire an independent consultant to investigate allegations of adult on teen abuse/sexual misconduct during USY’s 70-year history, and the involvement of program officials or volunteers.

The report, a summary of the work completed by the independent investigator Sarah Worley, Esq. over the past year and a half, together with the recent investigative reports from the Reform Movement, underscores the need for institutional and communal introspection, t’shuvah and action. The Jewish community and its institutions can learn from USCJ and others who have taken steps to investigate and account for historical harm.

SRE Network applauds all those who courageously agreed to participate in interviews with the investigator. We honor your bravery by ensuring that tangible steps are taken to ensure progress moving forward, so that these truth-telling efforts are not in vain.

In response to the report’s release, Elana Wien, Executive Director of SRE Network stated, “Publishing this report is a positive step towards accountability and addressing past harm. We appreciate the steps that have already been taken, as outlined in the report summary, and look forward to USCJ adopting the report’s additional recommended actions to create meaningful, lasting change.”

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About SRE Network:

SRE Network is a network of over 160 Jewish organizations rooted in a shared commitment to safety, respect, and equity-for all. We inspire meaningful change in workplaces and communal spaces by bringing people together to address gender- based harassment, discrimination, and inequity. Our work is focused on building community, research & learning, and strategic community investments, using an intersectional lens of gender justice.

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