Don’t Talk to the so-called Independent Investigators about Abuse at JOFA or the Detroit Federation

In the aftermath of the scandal of abuse/harassment of two previous executive directors by the sometime president, Bat Sheva Marcus, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA) announced an “external review” by the  Cozen O’Connor law firm.

While it has not been publicized, the Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit (JFMD), in response to complaints about misconduct by their Endowment Division’s Director of Philanthropy, Hy (Chaim Isaac) Safran, has authorized the prestigious Michigan law firm, Miller Canfield to speak to those with complaints about Hy. Complainants were directed to MC “Principal” Jennifer L. Sabourin according to a since-deleted April 2022 Instagram post by Brittani Schwartz. Others have confirmed to me reaching out to Ms Sabourin but quickly ending the initiative because they suspected the arrangement was designed to protect the federation, not the alleged victims.

In both cases I would advise against speaking to these firms. Their loyalty and their obligations are to protect the interests of their clients including minimizing their exposure to lawsuits for damages of all sorts. I am not saying that the firms will lie or be dishonest. But their sharing of findings will be asymmetric. Their clients will know all. The public will only know what the firms and their clients choose to put out there. 

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