The following FAQs provide an overview of the work of the Safety Respect Equity Network. If you have any questions not listed here, please let us know so we can continue to strengthen this resource.
SRE is an initiative to ensure safe, respectful, and equitable Jewish workplaces and communal spaces. Inspired by broader national movements and informed by Jewish values and traditions, SRE is specifically committed to addressing sexual harassment, sexism, and gender discrimination. We aim to help support, coordinate and amplify change in individual organizations as well as accelerate a broader culture shift.
We recognize that there are many other forms of discrimination and harassment in addition to gender-based discrimination and harassment, including race, national origin, disability, age, and others. This is why we Refreshed our SRE Network Standards in July 2021, to bring a more inclusive and intersectional lens, with the intention that these Standards provide a roadmap for all. For this reason, our programmatic offerings and communications highlight both “for all” in addition to the specific issue area of gender equity and gender justice.
We recognize that sexual misconduct and discrimination happen in Jewish workplaces and communal spaces, too. We cannot tolerate these behaviors within our institutions. We are called upon by the ethical standards of our tradition to address them within our community, as well as to lend our voices and action to the national movement seeking a culture shift in our country.
The rise of #MeToo and related movements, as well as ongoing media coverage of new incidents, have propelled greater awareness and ignited action, but not enough is being done at a system-wide level to reduce occurrences or to assure that organizations deal with these issues appropriately when they do happen. More must also be done to ensure that women and people of all genders who are impacted feel empowered to speak up without fear of repercussions.
SRE is currently comprised of approximately 150+ organizations, funders, individuals and experts. This effort is meant to be inclusive and diverse. The participating organizations are based across the United States and embody a range of missions, perspectives and activities within the Jewish community. The individual leaders who are part of SRE represent a broad array of Jewish professionals, volunteers, students, board members and donors.
As members of SRE, we are united by a shared set of goals. We are committed to ensuring workplaces and communal spaces in the Jewish world are safe, respectful and equitable. We acknowledge that this work is in progress and not necessarily complete for all organizations who have made this commitment as part of SRE. Realizing the goals of the coalition will require persistence, time, individual self-reflection and collective action.
We will continue to roll out opportunities for more people and organizations to get involved with this movement.
SRE helps develop, support, coordinate and amplify the work of organizations and individuals who are pursuing the goals of this initiative. The following four priorities guide our initial set of activities:
- Commitment and standards to address ethical workplace and communal space behavior;
- Awareness and education to support organizational and culture change throughout the community;
- Policies and procedures to prevent and respond effectively to sexual harassment, gender bias, sexual orientation discrimination and their related abuses of power; and
- Training and support to help organizations create cultures of fairness and civility.
Jewish workplaces and communal spaces are safe, respectful and equitable, and sexual harassment, sexism and gender discrimination are no longer tolerated.
SRE’s goal of changing the culture of Jewish workplaces and communal spaces regarding sexual harassment and gender discrimination demands a collective impact approach. When it comes to dealing with something pervasive—like sexual/gender harassment and discrimination—the problem is embedded in organization and structures. While it might be possible to convince many organizations to try and change individually on their own, change can happen much more efficiently by using a collective impact approach.
We seek to include agencies of varying sizes, movements and locations; people of all genders, sexual orientations, abilities, ages and origins; professionals and volunteers, board members and community members; religious and secular, and the diverse racial and ethnic mosaic that makes up today’s Jewish community.
While SRE is specifically focused on creating change in Jewish workplaces and communal spaces, it is by no means limited to those who identify as Jewish. We aim to impact all employees, members of and participants in Jewish communal activities. We value the voices, input and action of anyone or organization that shares SRE’s goals. We hope the commitment, standards and resources we create will be relevant for and used by organizations beyond the Jewish community.
Become a member of SRE by committing to implement the SRE standards for creating safe, respectful, and equitable Jewish workplaces and communal spaces. Join SRE’s email list to ensure you receive the latest updates, newsletters, get access to resources and learn about opportunities to take action in support of SRE’s goals.
The Jewish community has a strong legacy of taking action in the face of injustice. We have a responsibility to acknowledge and address any sexual harassment, sexism and gender discrimination that exists in the places where we learn, gather and worship.
SRE is focused on creating lasting change within the Jewish community, and our efforts are specifically designed to support, coordinate and amplify change at the organizational and systemic levels. We are inspired by national efforts like Time’s Up Now and #MeToo. We hope SRE complements these important initiatives and contributes to achieving our shared goals of safety, respect and equity that transcend any one single effort.
If you are an individual who may be currently experiencing harassment or abuse, call the RAINN National Sexual Assault hotline at 800.656.HOPE, or 800.656.4673. If you or someone you know is experiencing gender discrimination, including sexual harassment in the workplace, we encourage you to contact the National Women’s Law Center at nwlc.org and to report issues to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at eeoc.gov.