Why I Became a Ta’amod Trainer

Dec 16, 2019

By Leemor Ellman

As a workplace training facilitator for over a decade, I have steered away from opportunities to train employees on topics related to harassment or respect in the workplace. While important and certainly timely in today’s world of work, I felt uneasy around the subject matter as I imagined getting lost in the complex legal aspects. But when I saw Ta’amod’s announcement about a train-the-trainer program that would qualify me to deliver trainings on safe, respectful and equitable workplaces and through a Jewish lens I jumped at the opportunity. I was attracted to learning in a cohort of professionals with whom I would gain the knowledge and skills to deliver such critical training to Jewish non-profits. As a former Jewish communal professional, I had witnessed incivility and rudeness countless times. I found myself perplexed at how disrespectful norms, rudeness, incivility, or even abuse could pervade a values-based organization.

Ta’amod’s train the trainer program was inspiring and enriching. Digesting the two and a half days of training content with a small group of Jewish professionals who were committed to creating safe and respectful workplaces was empowering and exciting. I enjoyed reviewing research and case studies brought to us by Fran Sepler, an expert in the field. I liked the emphasis on the value of shared responsibility for building a respectful culture and especially the notion that incivility and rudeness are gateway drugs to harassment and abuse. It occurred to me that only organizations that invest in this kind of training can call themselves values-based or engagement-focused. I look forward to delivering my first training and encountering eager learners who want to bring back a greater understanding and language around this critical workplace issue!

Ta’amod: Stand Up seeks to help Jewish communal institutions and all who work, learn, or worship at them develop cultures of safety, respect, and equity. Ta’amod is an initiative of JWFNY and The Good People Fund.