Tag : Jewish Studies

January 16, 2020 by

Action on #MeToo Violations

In the ongoing painful saga of #MeToo reports in the Jewish world, there’s heartening news. The Association for Jewish Studies president Christine Hayes announced in November the creation of a formal Committee on Sexual Misconduct, following two years of work by a Sexual Misconduct Task Force, chaired by Laura Levitt, Temple University Professor of Religion, Jewish Studies and Gender. Paths to addressing sexual misconduct by academics in Jewish Studies now include an “ombuds” system and direct, detailed ways to discuss and report violations with strict confidentiality. The AJS website: “The Committee constitutes an accessible and trained body that can answer inquiries, provide information about its procedures, facilitate the resolution of informal complaints, and fairly and expeditiously hear formal complaints of sexual misconduct.”

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The Lilith Blog

August 7, 2018 by

When an Accused Sexual Harasser is an Academic Superstar

The news report that Steven M. Cohen, a luminary in Jewish sociology, is an alleged serial sexual harasser sickened me. New York Jewish Week broke this story that brought the #metoo movement to the heart of Jewish Studies. Cohen is currently a professor at Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion in New York and has just voluntarily resigned his position as the director of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at Stanford University; his work on contemporary Jews is widely known and supported not only by prestigious academic institutions but also by well-regarded Jewish communal networks.

Cohen’s sexual misconduct has apparently been part of his professional modus operandi for decades. He has not denied the multiple charges against him, which include touching women’s breasts in public, propositioning mentees for sex, and using sociological research as a screen for homophobic conduct.

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