Safe Space Team & anti-harassment policy

September 2018 -- Like most of the country, TLS has learned a lot from this year's #MeToo movement. TLS is committed to fostering an atmosphere of respect and safety for everyone, regardless of gender, race, sexual identity, gender identity, Jewish affiliation or lack thereof, kashrut practice, disability status, etc. In that light, this year we established the Safe Space Team (SST), a group that works within TLS and with other Jewish orgs to combat harassment of any kind and to establish spaces of affirmative consent. SST members wear purple badges in order to be easily identified.

What is affirmative consent, in the context of TLS's sacred space? 
To put it plainly, it is best to ask before touching another person, even a friend. If "would you like a hug?" feels long to you, open your arms and make a questioning sound, like "hmm?" Give the other person a chance to say yes or no. A lack of resistance does NOT equate to consent. A hug can be a source of comfort and affection when engaged in with mutual consent but can amount to assault without it.

In terms of verbal harassment, TLS asks congregants to refrain from making sexualized remarks while in our sacred space. We further ask everyone to remember not to "other" other people. Asking an LGBTQ person when or how they came out, for example, others them and will probably make them feel uncomfortable. Asking a person of color if they converted is another example of othering language.

TLS is actively working to compose more guidelines and priorities around ensuring everyone's comfort and safety. Feel free to reach out with any concerns, questions, or suggestions at
Be'chol Lashon