JWI leads critical discussion on harassment in the Jewish community

 pictured from l-r) Lori Weinstein, Chai Feldblum, Sarah Wildman, Rabbi Elka Abrahamson

pictured from l-r) Lori Weinstein, Chai Feldblum, Sarah Wildman, Rabbi Elka Abrahamson

"Sexual harassment is not an isolated form of intimidating and abusive use of power, but rather, harassment, campus sexual abuse, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking are all part of a continuum. No one stands alone, no one stands apart." -- Loribeth Weinstein, CEO JWI

With these words, Lori Weinstein, CEO of Jewish Women International (JWI), began a powerful, honest dialogue about sexual harassment in the Jewish community. Sponsored by the Tikkun Olam Women' Foundation, "Revealing #Metoo as #Wetoo in Jewish Communal Life" shed light on the pervasiveness of harassment and inequity within our community.

Weinstein moderated the conversation among panelists Chai Feldblum, commissioner of the EEOC, Rabbi Elka Abrahamson, president of the Wexner Foundation, and Sarah Wildman, deputy editor, Foreign Policy. Before an audience of hundreds gathered in the sanctuary of Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, their discussion was punctuated by actors reading stories of sexual harassment experienced by women from the Greater Washington community:

 "The incidents that occurred were mostly with colleagues.  

  … with our partners.   

 … board members.   

… with donors.  

I was told:

'It’s part of the job.'"

Above all else, last night underscored our belief that the path to shifting the systemic imbalance of power is through women's leadership -- when women lead, we create workplaces and communities that are equitable, safe, and respectful. Lifted by the courage of all those who have come forward, we commit to fortifying our work strengthening Jewish women leaders and mentoring the next generation through our Young Women's Leadership Network.

Thanks to the Tikkun Olam Women's Foundation for hosting this important forum. We invite you to join us as we move into a future in which all women thrive.

Join JWI for the launch of Chicago’s Young Women’s Leadership Network.

Media Alert


Jewish Women International (JWI), the leading Jewish organization addressing the empowerment of women and girls, is thrilled to announce the launch of its Young Women’s Leadership Network in Chicago, part of a multi-city, multi-year expansion effort to create engaged communities of young professional Jewish women nationwide. The Chicago expansion is made possible by a generous grant from the Crown Family Philanthropies which has provided seed funding for the project. Through its established Networks in D.C., New York, L.A., and Denver, JWI is bringing together thousands of young women in their 20s and early 30s to build their professional skills, strengthen their personal and career networks, advance their leadership on critical issues that impact women and girls, and give back to their community.


Thursday, May 17, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.


WeWork, 20 West Kinze Street, Chicago


Dr. Sonat Birnecker Hart is founder and president of internationally award-winning KOVAL Distillery, Chicago’s first distillery since the mid-1800s.

Roberta Rosenthal Kwall is the Raymond P. Niro Professor at DePaul University College of Law. Kwall is an internationally-renowned scholar and lecturer and has published more than 30 articles on a wide variety of topics including Jewish law and culture, authorship rights, and intellectual property. 

Liz Traines is a career and lifestyle coach who empowers her clients to love their careers, thrive financially and live in alignment with their values. 

Kim Oster-Holstein (moderator) is a brand architect, mentor, and serial food entrepreneur with a passion for creating food concepts/products that nourish our world community. Kim's expertise in innovation, ideation, product development, packaging look/feel/spirit, and vision/strategy for go-to-market have contributed to successful endeavors including The Crave Bar, Kim & Scott’s Gourmet Pretzels, and Industry Juice, of which she currently serves as chief mocktail officer. 


Interested in attending? Contact Meredith Jacobs, COO, JWI [email protected] 202-464-4803

For more information, go to: https://www.jwi.org/ywln/

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About Jewish Women International (JWI):  Jewish Women International (JWI) is the leading Jewish organization working to empower women and girls by ensuring and protecting their physical safety and economic security, promoting and celebrating inter-generational leadership, and inspiring civic participation and community engagement. JWI is a principal leader of the Coalition to End Violence Against Women and Girls Globally and a Steering Committee member of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women. JWI’s advocacy efforts focus on the passage of legislation that supports women and girls, ensures their economic security and their ability to live life free of violence. For more information, please visit www.jwi.org or call us at 800-323-2823.