Beth Shir Shalom is a vibrant, multi-generational Reform congregation, guided by tradition, grounded in the modern world, and infused with the sacred values of our faith. Beth Shir Shalom is an inclusive congregation that demonstrates respect for 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.
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 Beth Shir Shalom activity that is in the building, online, or offsite.
CODE OF ETHICS
EXEMPLIFY HOLINESS (K’DUSHAH)
Beth Shir Shalom 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 create a sense of belonging for all who participate in our community, with the expectation that their ideas and concerns can be openly stated and responded to with respect.
Beth Shir Shalom embraces the fundamental value of performing acts of lovingkindness (g’milut chasadim). Every individual who enters our holy community is valued.
● We treat each other with respect, dignity, fairness, and compassion.
● We refrain from derogatory speech, negative talk, gossip, and slander, whether in person or digitally.
● We do not tolerate bullying, including any unwanted behavior that degrades, humiliates, or oppresses another. Verbal, physical, or digital bullying is never acceptable.
● We encourage open discussion while maintaining confidences.
● We encourage openness and willingness to engage with all congregants and staff members and support one another’s work.
Beth Shir Shalom 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 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 and staff
● Synagogue staff, members and families should avoid conflicts of interest and the appearance of conflicts of interest. Those in positions of authority and influence, including members of the board, officers, and staff members, must conduct all congregational business in a manner that is morally, ethically, and fiscally of the highest order and can bear public scrutiny at all times. Decisions of the board, officers, and staff must always be guided by the policies of the synagogue and in its best interests.
Beth Shir Shalom values acting with integrity. We are expected to behave in a manner that brings credit to our congregation and to the community. This behavior includes, but is not limited to:
● Conducting ourselves in an honest manner and being respectful and truthful in communications and conduct.
● Conducting all financial affairs with complete honesty and integrity and refraining from financial impropriety (e.g., embezzlement, nonpayment of just debts, inappropriate use of restricted funds, conflicts of interest or tax evasion).
● Refraining from hiring or firing, rewarding or punishing staff or volunteers, and awarding or denying contracts based solely on personal considerations (e.g., favoritism, nepotism, or bribery).
● Establishing and enforcing the appropriate procedures to protect the assets of the Congregation.
● Staying informed of and providing accurate information on issues, practices, policies, rules, regulations, and laws that govern our work, professional, and volunteer activities – always striving to implement them in a forthright, fair, and equitable manner.
● Reporting unethical or illegal conduct to appropriate internal and/or external authorities.
In regards to digital communication, there are inherent challenges in using the internet, email, and social media, as well as texting and other electronic communications. A positive reputation, including our presence on social media, is one of the most difficult assets to establish and one of the easiest to lose. Beth Shir Shalom staff, members and families should:
● Demonstrate respect, professionalism, and good judgment when using any such technology.
● Take special care to protect confidentiality when using social media (e.g., blogs, message boards, chat rooms, electronic newsletters, online forums, social networking sites, and other sites and services that permit users to share information and photography with others).
● Be mindful of when our personal communications could be misconstrued as representing the views of the synagogue or another organization
● Refrain from communications that are inappropriate (e.g., obscene content and defamatory statements).
Beth Shir Shalom 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 areivimzeh 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.
Beth Shir Shalom staff, members and families should never:
● Use a position or authority to intimidate, bully, or unduly influence others or allow other partners or guests of the synagogue to do so.
● Engage in abusive, harassing, or bullying behavior or unlawful discrimination.
● Engage in physical assaults or violence, or any attempt to commit such acts.
● Engage in unwanted, intentional physical contact.
● Engage in unwelcome sexual activities, advances, comments, bullying, electronic communications, stalking or invasion of privacy.
Procedures for addressing allegations of unethical behavior are available on request from our office.