USY, the United Synagogue Youth, and its parent organization, the USCJ, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism – which represents the Conservative movement – is now in crisis mode. This month, several lawsuits were filed against a former USY adviser accused of sexually assaulting Jewish teens – including one that asserted that the USCJ had been alerted as far back as 2002 about the alleged perpetrator (who continued to work for Conservative-affiliated organizations until 2020).
This week, the USCJ took a proper step in allowing an independent firm to investigate the allegations. It hired Boston-based Sarah E. Worley Conflict Resolution, P.C., as third-party investigators to review the claims, and has set up a reporting hotline for potential victims.
According to USY, it has 15,000 members across the U.S. – making it one of the largest Jewish youth groups in the country. The allegations the organization faces present the biggest challenge it has ever faced. In order to move forward, it must commit to a full and thorough investigation into all allegations and any new claims that may be reported to its hotline. Its future depends on truth and transparency.