Preventing Sexual Abuse by Clergy

The Conservative movement has for the first time issued guidelines for dealing with sexual abuse and harassment in synagogues. Conservative leaders were following on the heels of the more liberal Reform and Reconstructionist movements. The Conservative guidelines include admonitions to rabbis and cantors to maintain appropriate boundaries in their relationships with the people they serve, and state “their relationships with congregants are not those of equals; any action that seeks to exploit these relationships may constitute a breach of their authority.”