Bivracha: Valuing Kindness in the Jewish Workplace

Image by reneebigelow from Pixabay

Nearly two years ago, we asked in eJewish Philanthropy whether Jewish organizations are living up to the values professed in their mission, funding, founding, and delivery of services. After we published the article, several stories flooded our inboxes about people being treated inappropriately by their supervisors, board members, and/or peers. We realized that this anecdotal evidence shared could represent a larger story, and we needed to dive deeper. 

Last summer, a small grant enabled us to convene a group of current and former Jewish professionals to think together about the scope of the problem and potential interventions. While there are many initiatives in the field today ably working to bring Jewish nonprofits toward living into these values more fully, we uncovered gaps in our systems where people are not being protected. Calling our initiative “Bivracha” (“With Kind Regards” in Hebrew), we articulated the challenge via a mission statement: 

To protect and advocate on behalf of Jewish communal professionals, Bivracha’s mission is to help Jewish organizations become and remain kind, value-based, great places to work.

We’ve spent the last year learning more, asking for feedback across the field, and seeking to further define our scope in order to focus an impact. We have engaged consultants to help us field a survey focused on the ways employees leave their jobs, the process leading up to these transitions, and the impact on the employees themselves.  

To take the anonymous survey, please click here: The intended audience is anyone who currently or has ever worked at a Jewish nonprofit organization, including those who have chosen to leave the field. If you are comfortable, we also encourage you to share it with your past and present colleagues. Please note that the responses will only be used in the aggregate – we will not call out specific institutions or share personal information. 

An important caveat – we know this study will not be fully scientific. With that said, we believe that developing a greater sense of the field in this purposeful way will help determine whether our anecdotal evidence is pervasive. Simply put, we need more information, and we need to understand the types of support systems that would have been helpful to the departing professionals in order to determine an action plan moving forward.

If you have questions, you may reach out to

With Kind Regards, 

David Phillips
Harrell Wittenstein
Sara Miller-Paul
Richard Levin