|Institutional Teshuvah: Taking Responsibility for and Healing from Our Past
|Build a meaningful teshuvah process to understand survivor experiences and hold ourselves accountable.||
- Nov. 2021 – HUC-JIR publicly released the Morgan Lewis report.
- May 2022 – HUC-JIR formed a Teshuvah Working Group under the leadership of Rabbi Laura Novak Winer and Rachel Margolis, RJE.
- Summer 2022 – The Teshuvah Working Group convened learning sessions with Dr. Guila Benchimol and Rabbi Rochelle Robins for HUC-JIR, CCAR and URJ board and ethics process members to develop a shared framework for Reform Movement Teshuvah work.
- The Teshuvah Working Group is developing recommended approaches for listening forums with survivors, as well as opportunities for survivors to document their stories, to be shared with HUC-JIR’s leadership in early 2023.
|Design rituals moments of healing.||
- The Teshuvah Working Group is developing recommended approaches to optional reaffirmation of ordination and other ritual moments of healing, to be shared with HUC-JIR’s leadership in early 2023.
|Remove endowed chairs, statues, and other public recognitions that memorialize or honor wrongdoers.||
- Principles and Procedures for Renaming Buildings and Other Features at HUC-JIR were adopted in June 2022.
- HUC-JIR’s Board Chair and President have empaneled a Renaming Committee to issue recommendations on named features to the Board.
- In the interim, certain statues and portraits have been temporarily relocated and some faculty with named professorships have ceased using those titles
|Setting Jewish Ethical Expectations for All Who Enter Our Sacred Space
|Review and revise policies and procedures consistent with the findings of the Presidential Task Force on Safe and Respectful Environments and the Morgan Lewis report.||
- Fall 2020 – Reviewed and updated HR policies impacting faculty, staff, and students following a Board-led review of policies and policy changes. Initiated a process to align faculty, staff, and student handbooks to reflect revised policies.
- Spring 2021 – Implemented updated Name Change policy which allows for legal or preferred names throughout all internal systems and on diplomas and ordination documents.
- June 2022 – Created webpage for non-academic policies to promote and reinforce communal standards of behavior for students, staff and faculty.
- June 2022 – Created Sacred and Respectful Community webpage to clarify incident reporting protocols and share ethics and DEI content in a centralized location.
|Set forth clear expectations regarding behavior and hold people accountable when they do not comply.||
- The Offices of Human Resources and Student Support have clarified and updated behavioral expectations for all community members and codified incremental disciplinary processes for those who do not comply.
|Build more transparency into the system so community members feel comfortable coming forward.||
- "Incident reporting protocols are clearly outlined on the HUC-JIR website and are reinforced with all students, staff, and faculty."
- Additional transparency measures will be developed through HUC’s ongoing DEI work.
|Consider modifying the smichot process.||
- A proposal for modified process for signing ordination certificates is currently in development.
- It will be reviewed by faculty and enacted before May 2023 ordination.
|Develop a centralized record retention system.||
- Record retention protocols and processes are being reviewed and will be revised and implemented as appropriate in 2023.Centralizing record retention is an ongoing process taking place alongside upgrades to HUC-JIR’s databases.
|Consider implementing a student discipline panel or an escrow system.||
- The Director of Student Support role was created in 2020 to oversee student affairs, including disciplinary matters.
- Under the new Director, the Office of Student Support is responsible for addressing documented matters of student misconduct and recommending disciplinary actions when warranted.
- The Student Support Help Desk was created for reporting concerns and potential policy violations.
- HUC-JIR implemented new case management software in 2020 to streamline investigations of misconduct.
|Appoint an ombuds.||
- HUC-JIR instituted a system of third-party anonymous incident reporting in Summer 2020.
- In Summer 2023, HUC-JIR will transition to a new external report capture provider with an anonymous hotline for receiving reports and complaints.
- Appointing an ombuds to help community members navigate reporting pathways is currently being explored in conjunction with the Teshuvah Working Group.
|Enhancing a Sacred Space: Fostering a Culture of Shared Accountability and Support
|Conduct a culture assessment.||
- September 2019 – HUC-JIR announced the Presidential Taskforce on Safe and Respectful Environments. Their report was released in February 2021.
- February 2021 – HUC-JIR engaged DEI consultant Dr. Taj Smith for a preliminary Cultural Climate Assessment per the recommendations of the Presidential Task Force on Safe and Respectful Environments.
- May 2022 – SEES (Strategic Ethical Expert Solutions), a consulting firm specializing in diversity, equity and inclusion, was engaged for an 18-month process to design and embed best practices for cultural change at HUC-JIR.
- SEES is currently completing a robust cultural assessment based on interviews and focus groups with staff, faculty and students as a foundational element of their work with the College-Institute.
|Conduct training on creating a culture of respect.||
- Fall 2020 – Title VII and Sexual Harassment Training conducted for Board of Governors and HUC’s academic and administrative leadership.
- March 2021 – DEI training for faculty conducted by Rabbi Micah Buck-Yael from Keshet.
- June 2021 – Two-day faculty in-service training with Dr. Taj Smith focused on building syllabi, course materials, and classroom environments with a focus on equity and inclusion.
- Spring 2023 – SEES will be developing and implementing trainings for students, staff, and faculty to support a culture of respect at HUC-JIR.
|Consider making trained mental health services available at each campus.||
- Each campus has mental health referral resources available to students.
- LA students have access to the USC Mental Health Center.
- Cincinnati students obtain referrals to local mental health resources and support for services through the Dean’s Office.
- Jerusalem and New York students have access to on-call counselors for short-term mental health support.
|Promote a culture of diversity and inclusion||
- September 2021 – Secured a generous gift to establish the Berkman Scholarship to Support Diversity at HUC-JIR, the Berkman Fellowship to Promote Equity and Inclusivity at HUC-JIR, and the Berkman Student Support Programming Fund.
- Ongoing – HUC-JIR is continuing its efforts to strengthen a culture of diversity and inclusion in partnership with DEI consultants, SEES.