Letter from Mimi Kravetz, Chief Talent Officer:
It has felt in recent weeks that every day brings forth new accusations of sexual harassment and assault. While the stories of inappropriate actions by politicians, actors, journalists and executives make headlines, we know there are thousands of other stories that don't make the headlines of those who have been equally victimized, and that our community, like all others, is similarly affected.
As Eric shared last month, Hillel as a movement has absolutely no tolerance for acts of sexual assault or harassment by any of our professionals or stakeholders. All Hillel professionals, students and community members should know they are valued, respected and entitled to be treated with dignity and respect at all times. Hillel has long stood up against rape culture on campus, partnering with It's On Us nationally, and supporting students through incidents of sexual harassment and assault.
With this recent rise in awareness and reporting, Hillel is actively working to bring together some existing resources and develop new tools to help you navigate these issues, personally and in your role providing counsel to students and serving the broader community. We are also arranging discussions and trainings to provide the education and support you need and to allow us to navigate this environment together. Here are some of those resources and supports that you can access immediately or in the near future:
- To report and get support on an incident that has occurred to you or a fellow employee, contact Amy Martasin. We are committed to investigating any allegations of sexual assault or harassment in our movement, including our partner stakeholders.
- To get support related to a student incident, contact Sheila Katz.
- The resources we've compiled to date are linked in a document called Sexual Harassment and Assault Resources on Hillel Q (make sure you are signed in). We’ve also attached as a PDF with links into Hillel Q. This includes guides to help you create a safe workplace and support students, information on how to protect yourself, and how to be an ally to survivors.
- Please save the date for an All-Staff Town Hall Meeting on January 11th, 3-5pm EST on the topic of Sexual Harassment and Assault: What we can do on prevention and response. We will be joined by Fran Sepler, an expert in creating respectful workplaces, who we've hired to create custom training for Hillel, to be rolled out in March. This session will include a Q&A with Eric Fingerhut.
- Hillel International is also creating a task force to consider scenarios that may arise around the issue of sexual harassment and assault in our movement. Contact Mimi Kravetz before January 5 to volunteer your interest in taking part in this group.
- Below our signatures are additional steps you can take now, as well as details on upcoming trainings.
- After reviewing these materials, please let Mimi know if you recognize a need that is not being met, have additional resources to share, or can serve as a resource.
We also recognize that these topics may trigger your own personal feelings about sexual harassment or violence. We want to make sure that you are getting the support you need. As part of our Hillel family, we care about you and are always available to help you. Please connect with your Campus Support Director or Mimi - we’re ready to help you get what you need.
Wishing you a joyful final night of Hanukkah and some well-deserved rest before the new year.
Mimi and Eric
What you can do next:
- Familiarize yourself with Hillel International’s Fair Employment Practices Policy, which prohibits all forms of harassment, starting on page 3 of the current Personnel Code.
- Review the relevant section in our revised Employee Handbook (formerly the Personnel Code) outlining Hillel International’s new stand-alone Policy Against Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation, beginning on page 5. As we are in a 60-day review period of the handbook, suggestions can be sent to Amy Martasin by February 16th.
- Ensure all staff understand the reporting process, and that there is a protocol in your Hillel to report incidents, which can include contacting Hillel International. Encourage local conversations among your professionals and stakeholders. You may want to consult with your campus law enforcement, student affairs, and other departments to ensure you’re aligned with the campus philosophy and expectations.
- Have a proactive meeting with the Counseling Center and Title IX Coordinator on campus to be trained to access the resources available to your staff and students.
- Make sure students know Hillel does not tolerate sexual assault or harassment, and is a place where they can access support.
What's coming up through Hillel U:
- Starting in March, we will be offering training on ‘How to Create a Safe and Respectful Environment at Work’ for three audiences - lay leadership; executive directors and supervisors; and professional staff. The course instructor, Fran Sepler, brings over 25 years of experience in harassment prevention training and research across industries, including the public sector, non-profit and academia. She has also conducted over 700 workplace investigations and has served as an expert witness and advisor to many organizations. You can meet Fran during our January 11th All-Staff Town Hall referenced above.
- Hillel U will also be running a training on 'Responding to and Supporting Sexual Assault Survivors on Campus' open to all Hillel professionals on Tuesday, January 17th, 2-3pm EST. Please save the date. We will share more details in January.
This email was sent to all Hillel professionals and local lay leaders.