February 17, 2022
Today the Union for Reform Judaism released the findings of their investigation into sexual misconduct.
We recognize that this is a painful time for many of us connected to the Reform Movement, its history, its institutions, and its impact on our lives, and the lives of our family and friends.
We appreciate the hard, thoughtful work that went into the report and leadership’s decision to embark on this very necessary investigation. We agree with the clear need expressed in the recommendations for more sharing of information between the CCAR and the URJ, as well as clarity and rigor around the sharing of reports of misconduct. We are pleased to see the recommendation that the URJ provide on its website the list of expelled, suspended, or publicly censured rabbis; the CCAR already publicizes this list, and it is important that these names also be shared by the URJ.
We cannot grow into a better Movement without investigating our shared past; for the shame and pain we carry as a Movement pales in comparison to the pain of the survivors.
We are grateful for the report’s recommendations, which echo the recommendations in our own CCAR ethics investigation, and we appreciate that the URJ is also committed to making improvements in its system. For us at the CCAR, updating our own ethics system and accountability continues to be our top priority, and we are currently in the process of planning a great deal of follow-up based on our own ethics investigation, which will include implementing many of the concrete recommendations listed in the report. We know that in order to be as effective as possible, we must work in alignment with our Reform Movement partners toward shared goals.
Above all else, we thank those who have come forward and shared their story despite their pain. It is with the utmost gratitude that we thank and hold these survivors in our hearts as we build a stronger Reform Movement.
Rabbi Lewis Kamrass
Rabbi Hara E. Person
Central Conference of American Rabbis