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Who We Are

OSM Members

The AJS Office on Sexual Misconduct consists of reporting members (members who can be contacted to initiate a report of an incident) and core members (members who serve on hearing panels only). The reporting members are the chair; the secretary; and a team of up to 6 Ombuds who answer inquiries, provide information about AJS’s sexual misconduct policy and procedures, receive reports of incidents, and handle informal complaints. The Office on Sexual Misconduct also includes up to 12 Core Members who do not answer inquiries, provide information, or receive reports of incidents but who are trained and available to serve on formal complaint hearings if needed. The AJS President and Executive Director also receive formal training in sexual misconduct policies, procedures, and confidentiality protocols and can receive a report of an incident.

If you have questions about the AJS’s sexual misconduct policy and procedures, or if you wish to initiate an informal or formal complaint, you may contact the chair, the secretary, or an Ombud.

Meet the Members

Chair and Secretary

The AJS Office on Sexual Misconduct is chaired by Laura Levitt, Professor of Religion, Jewish Studies and Gender at Temple University who administers the general activities of the Office and directly oversees formal complaints. The Office secretary, Lisa Fishbayn Joffe, Lecturer in Philosophy and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University and Shulamit Reinharz Director of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, works with the AJS Executive Director to organize the OSM’s activities and correspondence; works with the OSM chair and if necessary, the AJS President and Executive Director, to resolve informal complaints; and acts as a liaison with participants in the Office’s formal complaint procedures.

Meet the Chair and Secretary


The AJS Office on Sexual Misconduct maintains a unit of up to six Ombuds. Ombuds participate in annual training on the dynamics and patterns of sexual misconduct; the AJS’s policies and procedures for handling complaints of sexual misconduct; the importance of confidentiality, fair process, and impartiality; and other related topics. Ombuds are the OSM’s primary reporting members. Their role is to help individuals and groups in the organization understand and make use of the options available to them by the organization’s procedures for resolving conflicts, problematic issues or concerns. Ombuds listen and understand complaints, maintain a neutral/impartial position with respect to the concerns raised, help individuals understand and evaluate options (informal and formal), facilitate informal resolution processes (archiving, accommodation, mediation), and help individuals understand and access the formal resolution procedure. In addition, Ombuds bring general systemic concerns to the attention of the organization for resolution.

Meet the Ombuds

Core Members

The AJS Office on Sexual Misconduct maintains a unit of up to twelve core members with knowledge of the AJS Sexual Misconduct policy and procedures, and specially trained in the procedures for addressing formal complaints of violations of the AJS Sexual Misconduct policy. Core members are not reporting members and do not answer inquiries; they stand ready to be empaneled for formal complaint hearings. Each panel will consist of the OSM chair and 4 core members. The secretary will be present at all panel meetings as a nonvoting member.

Meet the Core Members

Decision Makers

When a panel hearing a formal complaint of sexual misconduct results in a positive finding, the panel sends a written report of its findings and its recommendations concerning a penalty to the AJS Executive Committee. The Executive Committee considers the report and recommended penalty and makes the final decision in the resolution of the formal complaint. Penalties may range from temporary or permanent revocation of the ability to participate in AJS-sponsored events, to temporary or permanent revocation of the various privileges of AJS membership or AJS membership itself. Membership privileges include but are not limited to full or partial participation in AJS-sponsored conferences, events, programs, and activities; holding office or a position of responsibility in the AJS; publication in any or all of the AJS’s publication venues.