Top Jewish sociologist out at 2 organizations over misconduct allegations

Steven M. Cohen resigns as director of Berman Jewish Policy Archive at Stanford and is removed from board of New Voices magazine after accusations of decades of sexual harassment

Sociologist and Jewish social policy researcher Steven M. Cohen. (JTA)
Sociologist and Jewish social policy researcher Steven M. Cohen. (JTA)

Sociologist Steven M. Cohen resigned from one Jewish affiliation and was removed from another after several women accused him of sexual misconduct.

On Monday, Cohen voluntarily resigned from his position as director at the Berman Jewish Policy Archive, a centralized electronic database on Jewish communal policy research at Stanford University, according to The New York Jewish Week, which published the allegations against him last week.

New Voices, a magazine for Jewish college students, said Tuesday that it had removed Cohen last week from his position as a board member in light of the allegations.

The claims of inappropriate behavior against Cohen, a research professor of Jewish social policy at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, span decades and come from women who have worked with or associated professionally with him. They include inappropriate touching and grabbing, sexual propositions and advances, and inappropriate sexual remarks.

Cohen did not deny the allegations and apologized for them in a statement to The Jewish Week.

The Jewish Week reported that Hebrew Union College has launched a Title IX investigation into Cohen’s behavior.

Asked by JTA about the investigation, HUC sent a statement dated July 2 that did not mention Cohen’s name but said the university was “investigating the circumstances of a complaint to determine what occurred, ensure complainant safety, and provide remedies, as appropriate.”

It continued: “In the event that HUC-JIR finds misconduct has occurred, it will take immediate and appropriate steps to eliminate the harassment or misconduct, prevent its reoccurrence, and address its impact.”

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