Over the past two weeks we have highlighted the issue of sexual harassment within our community. It is important to note that there is no evidence to suggest that it is any more widespread among Jewish communal organisations than elsewhere. But equally, it is no better — which is simply not good enough.
And, as we report this week, inappropriate comments are prevalent even among those who pride themselves on their innate decency and good conduct. One female rabbi, for example, spoke about congregants who refer to her looks rather than her conduct as a rabbi; another discovered that she was known as “the rabbi with the nice legs”. The congregants doubtless thought they were being flattering; in reality they were demeaning the subject of their remarks.
It is, in some cases, a generational divide, but that can no longer be an excuse. Such comments are simply inappropriate. It is welcome that the Board of Deputies has decided to focus on this and other behaviour, in part in response to our reports.There is a long way to go.
Circus performer; pig farmer; bouquet presenter. They’re not your classic jobs for a Jewish boy or girl. But the usual career patterns are breaking down, according to the experts. We can, apparently, expect to see Jews in all kinds of traditionally unlikely jobs over the next few years.
But there really is nothing new under the sun. This week we speak to the Jewish neo-Nazi. Beat that.