In 2006, the “Me Too” movement was founded by a survivor and activist, Tarana Burke. In 2017, #MeToo went viral, and a global movement around sexual violence emerged. It was in the context of Jewish women coming forward privately and publicly, sharing their stories of gender-based abuse, harassment, and discrimination by colleagues and leaders in Jewish workplaces and communal spaces, that SRE Network (then SafetyRespectEquity Coalition) was launched in 2018. With support from Jewish foundations across the United States, our early investments focused on documenting their testimonies, developing robust organizational policies for Jewish institutions, supporting respectful workplace training, improving hiring and advancement practices, and furthering gender equity in the rabbinate. Since that time, SRE Network has invested over $3.75M in efforts to advance gender equity in Jewish spaces, published groundbreaking research, and our Standards for Safe, Respectful, Equitable Workplaces, adopted by over 150 member organizations, provides a roadmap toward making lasting change.
Key Assumptions that Inform Our Approach
Gender-based violence, harassment, and discrimination are age-old, widespread societal phenomena, persisting in all institutions, communal spaces, and communities. Our Jewish communal sector overwhelmingly employs woman-identified staff and volunteers. However, the roles with the greatest power and influence in the sector, such as the CEO role and board of directors, are primarily held by men, particularly in the cases of the largest and best-resourced organizations. This reality reinforces existing gender inequity in the Jewish community.
Gender issues do not exist in a vacuum but are instead inextricably linked with other forms of violence, bias, and inequity in the workplace.
Organizations are capable of creating and sustaining safe, respectful, and equitable workplaces for all, and addressing gender-based harassment and discrimination, provided they are committed and have the skills, tools, and resources to make meaningful change.
We actively support individuals of all gender identities and expressions to ensure we have safe, respectful, equitable workplaces and communal spaces. And we seek to effectively engage cisgender, trans, non-binary, and queer individuals through our workplaces and communal entities to further gender justice work. We know that words matter, and we want to continue to evolve with you. If you have feedback on the language we use around gender or other issues, we want to hear it. Please get in touch to continue the conversation.
A Closer Look at Gender in the Workplace
0%Of nonprofit employees are women-identified
0%Of the largest nonprofits are run by women, while 60% of the smallest are run by women
Pay gap between men and women CEOs at non-profits with budgets of $1M+
In nonprofits with greater women board representation and/or the presence of a woman CEO, the pay gap is reduced
0%Women at large experience gender-based harassment
0%Women experienced gender-based harassment in the workplace
Jewish Workplaces: Insights from Leading Edge
Gender Gap in Jewish Nonprofit Leadership: 5 Keystones
Cause: Boards, funders, and others in power don’t always hold Jewish organizations accountable for addressing the diversity of their top leadership.
Opportunity: Boards, funders, and other powerful stakeholders can hold Jewish organizations accountable and incentivize them to elevate diverse leadership teams.
Cause: Many Jewish organizations have no talent strategy for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
Opportunity: Jewish nonprofit organizations can implement talent strategies to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
Cause: Some members of search committees and boards hold biases about what makes a qualified leader.
Opportunity: Search committees, and the boards that appoint them, can implement processes to ensure that the work of the search committee is professional, equitable, and fair and that the most qualified candidate is chosen for the role.
Cause: There is a perception that you cannot be both a top leader and a primary caregiver.
Opportunity: Community members can work actively to shift our cultural assumptions about the capacity to be a leader and a primary caregiver at the same time.
Cause: Not enough men speak out about or prioritize addressing the gender gap in top leadership.
Opportunity: Institutions can give men the knowledge, support, and incentives to speak out and address the gender gap in leadership (and DEI more broadly).