Sex, Power, and Abuse in the Orthodox Community

A Night of Learning with Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and Uri L'Tzedek

November 2, 2009


Sexual violence and abuse is a serious problem in the Jewish community, and one that we often fail to address. Rabbi Mark Dratch from JSafe, Ben Hirsch from Survivors for Justice, and Shayna Weiss explore these issues and how systems of sexual power within our community enable these crimes to continue. Co-sponsored by Drisha and JOFA.

Click here to listen. (Right-click to save the file to your computer.)


Rabbi Mark Dratch is founder and director of JSafe: The Jewish Institute Supporting an Abuse Free Environment. He served as a congregational rabbi for 22 years, was a Vice President of the Rabbinical Council of America, is chairman of its Task Force on Rabbinic Improprieties, and is responsible for spearheading and formulating its new policy guidelines for responding to allegations against member rabbis. Rabbi Dratch is also a member of the Clergy Task Force on Abuse of Jewish Women International, a member of the Jewish Advisory Committee of the FaithTrust Institute, a member of the Editorial Board of The Journal of Religion and Abuse, and a sought after speaker and consultant in matters of domestic violence and clergy abuse.

Shayna Weiss graduated summa cum laude from Brandeis University in 2007 with a double major in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and International and Global Studies. At Brandeis, she received highest honors for her thesis on religious women in the Israeli Defense Forces. She is a 2008 graduate of the Drisha Beit Midrash Program, in which she spent the year studying Talmud and other Jewish texts full time. Shayna is now pursuing her Ph.D at NYU, focusing on issues of religion, gender, and nationalism in israeli society.