Beth (not her real name) held a senior position in one of the community’s leading organisations for more than 20 years. During her communal career she regularly witnessed and experienced sexual harassment, and was discouraged from reporting a serious incident by a senior figure. The worst incident came early on in her career, she said.

We were based in a central London office and had just been assigned our own security guard. I walked past him every day on the way into work. He was very friendly and I’d say good morning. There was an air lock which we had to go through to get into the building, which is common in most communal buildings.

One day he followed me in and tried to kiss me. It came out of nowhere. I was really shocked and pushed him off. It was completely inappropriate. He was supposed to be there to protect us.

Beth immediately informed her line manager about what had happened.

I was encouraged to just forget about it and was told that if I made an official complaint we ‘might lose the guard and it would be my fault.’ The worst thing for me was that I was not supported.

Here is an excerpt from another woman's story:

I have experienced sexual harassment at work but I don’t feel safe in saying so. The Jewish community doesn’t move on, and senior people like to remind you: ‘You don’t want to become known as the person who said that’. People remind you of that constantly. There should be no stigma attached to saying you’ve been sexually harassed, but there is. 

These quotes are from an article first published in the Jewish Chronicle, ‘He tried to kiss me – I was so shocked’ November 9th, 2017