Lilith Feature

When Jewish Workplaces are Toxic

It’s not news that women and other marginalized people can experience abuse of various forms at work. While pop culture and the #MeToo movement have focused largely on the corporate world (think “Mad Men” and the real-life abuses at the heart of “She Said”), nonprofit organizations and similar mission-driven workplaces are now under scrutiny for gender-based inequities. Lilith, often a magnet for reports of harm that can’t be shared elsewhere, has a special stake in examining the culture of Jewish organizations for two reasons. The obvious one is that the Jewish community ought to be a model for workers’ equity and safety. Less obvious is that when talented people—often young and capable Jewish women—turn their backs on Jewish organizations they feel have treated them unfairly, this brain drain is a loss to the larger Jewish community. 

Here, some accounts of workplace abuse, clues as to what’s behind them, and a guide to the repairs that are needed right now. SUSAN WEIDMAN SCHNEIDER 

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