There are those moments in our lives - moments that are defining, moments that shape the future, moments which give us the opportunity to gain experience and learn from our past. Yesterday was one of those days. After months and months of interviews, an investigative report was released. (see report here: huc.edu/about/presidential-task-force-safe-and-respectful-environments/morgan-lewis-investigation-report) The most significant response I have seen - from too many people - is that while everyone is deeply saddened, devastated and disgusted, NO ONE is surprised. For over 50 years, students, faculty and staff suffered from a culture of harassment while affiliated with Hebrew Union College - Institute of Religion. While the report references quite a bit of damning information, it is the subtle (or not so subtle) behaviors that have caused so many of my colleagues and friends true misery and pain.
Yes, I did experience some of the lesser offenses present in this report. However, I have not had to carry the same experiences with me that many before me have. I am certain this report will allow for teshuva and healing moving forward. Is it too late? Are there those who will never be able to be fully healed? And, I am sure that I have perpetrated some of the same behaviors that affected my classmates and others.
Let me say this here - If I have ever said or acted in a way that made any of my classmates (or anyone I know) feel uncomfortable or unsafe - I apologize from the bottom of my heart. If you would like to speak to me - please reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let us all move forward, seeking teshuva and healing for all.
I am a husband, father and rabbi - just trying to help to make the world a better place!