SEXUAL HARASSMENT: Statement by the President of the Board of Deputies

I am very concerned about reports of sexual harassment occurring in public life in our country.  It is important and timely to give a Jewish communal response.

Every person has the right to be treated with dignity and respect.  No-one should have to suffer unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature.  Society must recognise and uphold clear boundaries in the way that we interact with each other.  No-one should be left in any doubt that behaviour towards another person that they find offensive or which makes them feel distressed, intimidated or humiliated is completely unacceptable.

These standards apply to all sections of British society and our own community is no exception.

It is important that we have a much clearer picture of the extent of any sexual harassment allowed to occur and whether it is being properly addressed.  The community must set itself high standards and adopt equally high expectations of behaviour in our communal, professional and personal life.

The Board of Deputies is keen to look into ways to put in place robust and clear procedures whereby unacceptable behaviour can be effectively challenged and an environment created where every person feels respected, secure and protected.  We shall be consulting across the community accordingly.

Jonathan Arkush


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