Temple Beth-El Ethics Code
Temple Beth-El is a Reform Jewish community that exists in the context of our people’s covenantal relationship with God. Ours is a vibrant, multi-generational congregation, guided by tradition, grounded in the modern world, and infused with the sacred values of our faith.
Temple Beth-El is an inclusive congregation that demonstrates respect for the needs of all. Through worship, learning, and a concern for social justice, we strive to better ourselves, our community, and the world at large.
Our Jewish values embody the teaching that every human being is created in the image of God (b’tzelem Elohim). We therefore strive to hold ourselves to the highest standards of personal integrity, social responsibility, and human decency. When we behave ethically and hold ourselves accountable, Temple Beth-El is a safe, welcoming, and sacred environment.
This values-based code of ethics sets forth the principles and expectations for adherence to standards of conduct for our clergy, congregants, staff, visitors, and guests, whether participating in a Temple Beth-El activity that is in the building, online, or offsite.
Code of Ethics
Exemplify Holiness (K’dushah)
Temple Beth-El welcomes all who wish to engage with our sacred community.
- We embrace everyone without regard to religious background, age, ability, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, or socioeconomic status.
- We strive to make all who participate in our community feel a sense of belonging with the expectation that their ideas and concerns can be openly stated and responded to with respect.
Temple Beth-El expects all who engage in our community to conduct themselves in an honest manner.
- We promote open and honest communication that allows for addressing differences constructively.
- We protect the confidentiality of privileged information, either about an individual or the synagogue, and do not disclose it without permission. For example, this includes personnel information such as employment status, compensation, and performance review, as well as personal information about an individual’s health, financial status, or family matters.
- We respect the efforts of others and do not take credit for their work.
- We recognize, respect, and protect the intellectual property rights of our synagogue and others. We obey copyright laws governing the use and distribution of published materials.
- We make decisions regarding synagogue-related matters with transparency, openness and accountability, unless confidentiality dictates otherwise. For example, it is especially important that we protect inadvertent and premature release of names of candidates for employment. This includes adhering to placement guidelines of the CCAR (Central Conference of American Rabbis), ACC (American Conference of Cantors), and ARJE (Association of Reform Jewish Educators) when hiring clergy.
Temple Beth-El values acting with integrity.
- We act solely according to the synagogue’s best interest when acting on its behalf.
- We refrain from using one’s synagogue position for personal advantage or benefit. For example, we refrain from hiring or firing, rewarding or punishing staff or volunteers, and awarding or denying contracts based solely on personal considerations such as favoritism, nepotism, or bribery.
- We conduct financial matters related to synagogue involvement with complete honesty. For example, we refrain from financial impropriety in decisions regarding restricted, committed, and discretionary funds.
- We are bound by sacred obligation to uphold financial agreements made with the synagogue. If a change in personal circumstances occurs, we will inform those charged with managing synagogue finances and make appropriate arrangements.
- We conduct employment practices and related decision-making in an ethical and legal manner. We establish and enforce the appropriate policies and procedures to protect the employees of the congregation, such as fair employment policies, grievance reporting, and conflict resolution procedures.
Temple Beth-El embraces the fundamental value of performing acts of lovingkindness (g’milut chasadim).
- We treat others with respect, dignity, fairness, and compassion.
- We refrain from derogatory speech, negative talk, gossip, and slander, whether in person or on social media.
- We oppose bullying, including any unwanted behavior that degrades, humiliates, or oppresses another. Verbal, physical, or cyberbullying is never acceptable.
Temple Beth-El believes everyone entering our sacred space has the right to feel safe and respected, and that we are morally and ethically responsible for one another (kol yisrael areivim zeh bazeh).
- We do not tolerate sexual harassment, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, physical, written, or visual conduct of a sexual nature.
- We do not tolerate acts or behaviors that exploit the vulnerability of another, take advantage of a power imbalance, compromise one’s moral integrity, or create an intimidating, offensive, abusive, or hostile environment.
- We strive to protect those who appear to be the victims of abuse or neglect, including spousal abuse, child abuse, verbal abuse, physical abuse, and other types of domestic violence.
Procedures for addressing allegations of unethical behavior are available on request from Temple Beth-El’s main office.