We Commit: Coming Together to Ensure Safety and Respect in Jewish Communal Organizations

What are the steps needed to create safe, equitable, and respectful workplaces in the Bay Area Jewish community? This 4-day series of workshops help address that question with each session dedicated to specific topics and audiences.

All workshops are presented by Fran Sepler, President of Sepler and Associates.

All food provided will be strictly kosher.

Registration is now closed.



We Commit: Community Leadership Covenant
(Download materials)

9:30 am – 12:15 pm
JCCSF, Fisher Hall, San Francisco

Who should attend: CEOs, EDs, board chairs, senior staff and volunteers/professional leadership of Jewish communal organizations

Panel discussion with award-winning journalist Hannah Dreyfus and Debbie Findling, EdD, moderated by Dana Sheanin, followed by a conversation among community leaders with Fran Sepler.

As leaders, we lead from the head, the heart, and with our hands. This morning, we will immerse ourselves in the difficult and important questions we must answer to truly lead. We will hear the voices reminding us that our community is not always safe, fair or respectful, and we will find common ground to provide leadership going forward. Hear a presentation on the values of safety, fairness, and respect, the role of leadership in creating and reinforcing these cultural values and review the challenges the Jewish community faces.

Central questions to be answered are: Can we comfortably provide credible leadership in establishing, sustaining and supporting a safe, respectful and fair environment in every Jewish institution? Are we now, or can we be consistent in our insistence upon accountability for those who threaten or violate our community standards? Do we have a shared commitment to fair process, transparency and protection of individual privacy? Are we prepared to make a joint statement in accordance with our answers to these questions?

Lunch break, 12:15 – 1:30 pm. Kosher lunch will be provided.

Infrastructure: Good, Better, Best: Creating Policies, Procedures, and Training for Respect
(Download materials)

1:30 – 4:30 pm
JCCSF, Fisher Hall, San Francisco

Who should attend: CEOs, EDs, board chairs, senior staff, and volunteers/professional leadership of Jewish communal organizations

Receive guidance on developing an action plan to create a culture of respect, safety and fairness. Please review your own policies, practices, procedures and internal communications around work environment, harassment, bullying and other interpersonal behavior and be prepared to discuss.

Community-wide Session: “We Too,” Building a Strong, Respectful, and Safe Jewish Community

7:00 – 8:30 pm

JCCSF, Fisher Hall, San Francisco

Who should attend: Open to the entire Jewish community

We know it happens here. This is an opportunity to come together as a community to hear the voices of experts, our own leadership and those affected by harassment, abuse, or bullying in our workplaces. Join us to learn, share our ideas and brainstorm commitments for change.

Panel discussion with award-winning journalist Hannah Dreyfus, Debbie Findling, EdD, and Fran Sepler, moderated by Dana Sheanin.



All Employee Training: Respect in the Workplace*

10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Menorah Park, Solarium, San Francisco

Who should attend: All Jewish communal professionals and supervisors 

Learn to understand and promote respect. Identify workplace misconduct including rude, abusive and unlawful conduct and understand your organization's policy. Learn active bystander techniques and strategies along with giving and getting feedback about interpersonal behavior.

Lunch break, 12:13 – 1:30 pm. Light kosher lunch will be provided.

Management Supplement: Leading for Respect*

1:30 – 3:00 pm
Menorah Park, Solarium, San Francisco
Who should attend:
 Jewish communal organization supervisors

Supervisors and managers will focus on understanding and promoting respect, identifying workplace misconduct including rude, abusive and unlawful conduct and hangling employee complaints. Learn to coach employees about behavior and create a culture of respect, safety and fairness.

* Managers must register for both sessions in order to fulfill the CA requirement for sexual harassment training.

Governance Training

4:00 – 5:30 pm
Menorah Park, Solarium, San Francisco
Who should attend:
Board members of Jewish communal organizations 

Review the organizational traits of respect, safety, and fairness and how they show up in organizational structure, leadership and messaging. The training will also cover workplace misconduct including rude, abusive and unlawful conduct and the specific role of a Board of Trustees in setting the ton e, enforcing the policy and responding to concerns about organizational leadership.



Breakfast with Female Clergy

9:30 – 11:00 am
JCCSF, Fisher Hall, San Francisco

Who should attend: Women-identified clergy

A safe space to discuss the challenges that are specific to women-identified clergy members on and off the Bimah. All food provided will be strictly kosher.

All Clergy Roundtable Lunch

11:30 am – 1:00 pm
JCCSF, Fisher Hall, San Francisco

Who should attend: All clergy

Submit your questions beforehand and Fran will address them over lunch. All food provided will be strictly kosher.

Collision Course: Fundraising/Development Professionals Roundtable on Safety  

2:00 – 3:30 pm
JCCSF, Fisher Hall, San Francisco
Who should attend:
 Jewish communal development and fundraising professionals

Fundraisers face special issues in managing relationships that do not have traditional boundaries or conventions. Often, there are confusing or mixed messages about how to set boundaries, or what boundaries may be set in anticipation of a significant donation. We’ll have an opportunity to talk about problems, solutions, strategies and tactics.

Address the complexities of setting boundaries in fundraising. Bring your questions and learn strategies and techniques to ensure a safe, respectful and equitable workplace.

In the Era of #MeToo, What’s a Donor to do?

7:00 – 8:30 pm
JCCSF, Fisher Hall, San Francisco
Who should attend:
 Open to the entire Jewish community

Doing good and being generous, what are the appropriate ways of interacting when you give. Do I shake a hand or give a hug? Navigating the network.



8:30 am – 4:00 pm
Who should attend: Invitation only

Our training specialist, Fran Sepler, will provide 45-minute consultation appointments for organizations feeling stuck. Have a question or current challenge and need some help? Did you leave the room with the greatest of intents and already have questions and facing barriers? Send us your request and we will provide consultation time with Fran and other local professionals to coach you through.



Steering Committee: 
Debbie Findling, Marci Glazer, Abby Porth, Stephanie Rapp, Dana Sheanin, Joy Sisisky, Amy Tobin, Naomi Tucker

Host Committee: Rabbi Adina Allen, Rabbi Melanie Aron, Amy Asin, Julie Batz, Rachel Brodie, Cantor Jennie Chabon, Ellen Bob, Roxanne Cohen, Dr. Beth Cousens, Sandy Edwards, Rabbi Amy Eilberg, Rabbi Serena Eisenberg, Aliza Elias, Adina Danzig Epelman, Sue Fishkoff, Sally Flinchbaugh, Danielle Foreman, Becca Freedman, Rabbi Stacy Friedman, Linda Gerard, Julie Golde, Rabbi Jessica Zimmerman Graf, Rabbi Nicki Greninger, Mara Kassoff, Rabbi Stephanie Kramer, Terry Kraus, Mimi Kravetz, Debbie Kirsch, Lilly Krenn, Rabbi Noa Kushner, Lexi Leban, Stephanie Levin, Joan Levison, Rabbi Chai Levy, Susan Lubeck, Danielle Meshorer, Rabbi Alissa Miller, Deborah Newbrun, Shana Penn, Sue Reinhold, Rabbi Dorothy Richman, Wendy Rosov, Cindy Rogoway, Toby Rubin, Dr. Peg Sandel, Rabbi Julie Saxe-Taller, Tania Schweig, Elaine Sigal, Jamie Simon, Abby Snay, Jennifer Spitzer, Lori Starr, Maharat Victoria Sutton, Lisa Tabak, Katherine Tick, Diane Tobin, Wendy Verba, Sarah Waxman, Judy Wolff-Bolton, Rabbi Bridget Wynne

Interests: Meetings
May 13, 2019 to May 16, 2019
9:30 AM - 8:30 PM
Various Locations
San Francisco


Organized By: 
The Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund
Event Contact Person: 
Amy Kellogg
Fran Sepler
Fran Sepler is the President of Sepler & Associates. Ms. Sepler is best known for her pioneering work in harassment prevention and workplace investigations. She has developed techniques and protocol used by organizations throughout the United States to investigate complaints of workplace misconduct and is the author of “Finding the Facts: What Every Workplace Investigator Needs to Know,” published in 2008.

She has conducted over 1000 workplace investigations, served as an expert witness regarding employer response to employee complaints, and provided anti-harassment, anti-bullying and implicit bias training for thousands of organizations. She has also conducted workplace climate assessments for workplaces of all sizes.

Fran has pioneered training focused on creating respect, safety and fairness in workplaces. She was commissioned by The EEOC to develop “Respect in the Workplace” and “Leading for Respect,” which they now offer nationwide. She has been the lead trainer for B’Kavod, an effort to bring meaningful and effective training to Jewish workplaces nationwide, and has provided training for private, public, nonprofit and higher education workplaces that focuses on the evidence-based value of human connection, feedback, coaching, empathy and mindful efforts to build workplaces that people where people show up with full engagement.
Hannah Dreyfus
Hannah Dreyfus is a Staff Writer for the New York Jewish Week, one of the largest Jewish newspapers in North America. Her impact-focused work shines a light on abuses of power within religious and non-profit organizations, including several investigations into sexual harassment in the workplace and a deep-dive into child sexual abuse at youth serving organizations. Her work has been credited — in the New York Times, the Forward, and Lilith Magazine — with sparking a #MeToo reckoning in the American Jewish community. Recently, she was selected as a "Writer of the Year" by the New York Press Association for her work in 2018 and received First Place in Investigative Reporting from the New Jersey Press Association for her series on NJY Camps and the network's former executive director, Len Robinson. Her investigative work has appeared in The New York Times, ProPublica and Mother Jones.
Debbie Findling
Debbie Findling is a Strategic Philanthropic Advisor at the Lisa & Douglass Goldman Fund. She has a Doctorate in Education, a Masters degree in Education, a Bachelors degree in Literature, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Women’s Studies. She was a visiting graduate student at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and dropped out of Yeshiva University's Graduate School of Social Work. She was a Wexner Heritage Fellow, Mandel Teacher Educator Institute Fellow, and was nominated twice for the prestigious Covenant Award in Education (she lost both times).

She has appeared in Newsweek, Ms. Magazine, MSNBC, Associated Press, KQED/NPR and KRON TV. Her book, Teaching the Holocaust, is based on her doctoral dissertation. She is co-founder and writer of The Jewish Skinny and co-founder of the Memory Garden memorial site that aims to raise awareness about fertility loss and infertility. In 2019, she received the Fammy Award from the San Francisco-based Jewish Family & Children's Services for her work to destigmatize fertility loss by creating a first-of-its-kind Memory Garden.
Dana Sheanin
Dana Sheanin, Chief Learning Officer at Jewish LearningWorks, focuses on educator support, professional development, and strategic initiatives. She has spent more than twenty years working in the areas of informal Jewish education, professional development, strategic planning, and organizational capacity building. Dana is fortunate to have served two Federations – UJA Federation of New York and the Jewish Federation of the East Bay – as well as the Union for Reform Judaism and several family service agencies over the course of her career.

Dana is the co-author of a chapter on social emotional learning in Reform Jewish education included in Growing Jewish Minds, Growing Jewish Souls. Her writing on mentorship, recruitment and retention of Jewish professionals and on integrating Jewish values in clinical social work has been published in the Journal of Jewish Communal Service. Dana holds graduate degrees from the Hebrew Union College School of Jewish Communal Service (now School of Non-Profit Management) and the University of Southern California School of Social Work.