The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia Welcomes Ta’amod to Reduce Risk of Harassment
The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia is holding up a torch to shed light on a pervasive problem that has long existed: workplace harassment. While the workplace has become largely remote during the pandemic, the virtual environment has created the space necessary to re-examine and retool Jewish organizations and institutions through the lens of faith-based values and ethics.
Teaming up with Ta’amod: Stand Up, a national initiative that combats sexual and gender-based harassment in the Jewish workplace, the Jewish Federation is excited to bring its holistic workshops, consultations and resources to the local Jewish community. Ta’amod is the only legally compliant respectful workplace training program that uses Jewish values as a framework for deeper exploration of diversity, inclusion and equity.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for Ta’amod and the Philadelphia Jewish community as we develop some new content and program offerings for 2021,” said Nicole Nevarez, national director of Ta’amod. “We hope that we will also return to in-person communal spaces in 2021, and it is incumbent upon Jewish communal professionals and leaders to return with a commitment to creating the most holistic and psychologically safe environment possible.”
Born out of the #MeToo movement, Ta’amod was created in partnership with the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York and the Good People Fund as a call to action to recognize and remedy the growing toxicity for women professionals, who comprise about 70% of the Jewish workforce. Designed for those who are invested in mutual respect, the training program imbues the following six Jewish principals into its curriculum: kavod habriyot (dignity for all human beings), rachmanut (compassion), ometz (courage), emet (truth), derech eretz (the right path) and areyvut (community).
Kicking off this community collaboration, all are welcome to attend one of two launch events, scheduled for Jan. 19 and Feb. 4. During these virtual sessions, participants will gain a greater sense of Ta’amod’s vision for creating a healthier Jewish community that intrinsically reduces the risk of harassment and gender abuse. Victims of workplace harassment will also give first-hand testimonials, which will underscore the need for change to the current Jewish communal landscape.
Following the community-wide launch, the Jewish Professionals Network (JPRO) will continue to host subsequent Ta’amod workshops for synagogue and Jewish agency professionals throughout Greater Philadelphia.
“It was a natural fit for our local JPRO chapter to partner with Ta’amod on their work,” said Addie Lewis Klein, director of community engagement at Jewish Federation. “We are delighted to be hosting and recruiting for the Ta’amod training sessions, which will begin later in the winter.”
Leading these training sessions is Andrea Jacobs, Ta’amod’s Philadelphia community trainer and the co-founder and partner at Rally Point for Collaborative Change, a consulting practice that transforms workplace culture. Bringing in more than 25 years of relevant experience, a doctorate in sociolinguistics and a background in theater, Jacobs provides a creative entryway to reevaluate the impact of words and actions as well as systems, once thought set in stone.
“As a member of the Philadelphia Jewish community, I’m thrilled to be raising the profile of this work,” said Jacobs, the former director of education at Keshet, the national Jewish LGBTQ organization. “We have a real opportunity to engage in a community-wide conversation about these issues and engage in truly transformative work.”
The launch events and training series will be free of charge, thanks to the support of Women of Vision (WOV), the Women’s Foundation of the Jewish Federation.
“Our goal is to advance and support Jewish women and girls, and this includes working toward equity for women in the workplace,” said Carly Zimmerman, chair-elect for WOV and co-chair of the group’s Grant Review Committee. “When considering grants, we prioritize organizations whose work will have a cascading effect, and Ta’amod’s mission to help Jewish organizations develop cultures of respect, safety and equity will not only affect Jewish professionals, but will have a larger impact on the Jewish community as a whole. We’re grateful to be part of Ta’amod’s Launch in Philadelphia.”
Have you experienced or witnessed abusive behavior, discrimination or harassment in the Jewish workplace or communal space? Call Ta’amod at 833-760-0330. It’s free, anonymous and confidential. To learn more about Ta’amod, please visit taamod.org.
To register for the launch events and workshops, please visit: jewishphilly.org/taamod