It has been two years since the Harvey Weinstein abuse-and-misogyny story broke the floodgates: since then, the reprehensible behavior of one powerful man after another has been exposed in newspapers, magazines, and TV reporting revealing everything from improper behavior at work to sexual assault and even abuse of minors. This cascade of stories changing our culture has been brought to you mostly by the brave and dogged work of reporters and their sources. Two new books by New York Times reporters demonstrate the care and persistence that go into what has been called “slow journalism.” She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement, by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, unearths details of the Weinstein case. And The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation, by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly follows clues the government ignored.
Reporter Hannah Dreyfus, at New York’s Jewish Week newspaper, has consistently exposed the sexual misconduct of men prominent in the Jewish community. In 2018, Dreyfus uncovered a pattern of harassment by New Jersey Y Camps founder Len Robinson. Then, extensive #MeToo reporting on the sexual harassment of a more junior academic, Keren McGinity, by Steven M. Cohen, influential sociologist shaping community planning in American Jewish life. Then, reporting on inappropriate behaviors of mega-philanthropist Michael Steinhardt, whose anxiety about Jewish “continuity” led to Birthright Israel and its emphasis on pairing up young single Jews. This August, her report appeared about a Title IX investigation at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Lilith’s digital editor, Sarah M. Seltzer, first connected with Dreyfus after reporting on #MeToo allegations on Birthright trips. All these stories are part of a continuum. In Lilith, this includes Sarah Blustain’s groundbreaking 1998 report on the sexual misconduct and predations of the late rabbi and singer Shlomo Carlebach and, more recently, Alice Sparberg Alexiou’s coverage of Long Island pediatrician Stuart Copperman’s alleged sexual abuse of his pre-adolescent girl patients.