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Ethics Code for CBH

Adopted October 10, 2023.

The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) is encouraging every congregation to adopt an ethics code that outlines appropriate behavior within the congregational community, including lay leaders, volunteers, congregants, and staff. Accordingly, on October 10, 2023, the CBH Board of Directors adopted the following Ethics Code for CBH. This Code reflects the values and expectations of our community.

Congregation Bet Haverim

Ethics Code – Final

Adopted October 10, 2023

Congregation Bet Haverim is an inclusive congregation that demonstrates respect for the needs of all. Through worship, learning, and 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). As participants in our holy community, including partners, lay leaders, clergy and professional staff, we hold ourselves to the highest standards of personal and professional integrity, moral conscience, and social responsibility. When we behave ethically and hold ourselves accountable, Congregation Bet Haverim is a safe, welcoming, and sacred environment. 

This value-based congregational code of ethics articulates expectations for ethical behavior and provides the structures and processes necessary to implement and enforce the code with respect to all Congregation Bet Haverim activities, whether onsite, offsite, or online.


Congregation Bet Haverim welcomes all who wish to engage with our sacred community. Every individual who enters our holy community is valued. As reflected in our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) pledge, we embrace the rich, diverse, interwoven fabric of our community as a source of strength, celebration, and learning.

  • We embrace everyone without regard to religious background, age, ability, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital/family status, medical condition/disability, 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.
  • We express openness and willingness to engage with all other partners of the Congregation Bet Haverim community and support one another’s work.

Through these commitments and the policies set forth in this Code of Ethics (the “Code”), we strive to create a safe and holy place, a true sanctuary, where all will feel welcome.


Congregation Bet Haverim expects all who engage in our community to conduct themselves in an honest manner.

  • We conduct ourselves in an honest manner and are truthful in communications and conduct.
  • We promote open and honest communication that allows for addressing differences constructively.
  • We uphold confidentiality, especially as it pertains to personal or private information about partners, employees, volunteers, and business and financial data of the synagogue, and do not disclose it without permission.
    • 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.
  • These principles extend to the use of technology, such as the internet, email, and social media, as well as texting and other electronic communications. We demonstrate respect, professionalism, and good judgment when using any such technology.


Congregation Bet Haverim values acting with integrity. We are expected to behave in a manner that brings kavod (honor) to our congregation.

  • 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 a 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 consider the impact of accepting gifts, always being mindful of perceptions that such acceptance may generate.
  • We conduct employment, volunteer-related 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.
    • We treat our volunteers with honor and respect.
    • We treat CBH employees with honor and respect, recognizing the established supervisor-employee relationships.


Congregation Bet Haverim embraces the fundamental value of performing acts of lovingkindness (g’milut chasadim).

  • We treat others with respect, dignity, fairness, and compassion. Our community embraces diversity and strives to promote equity and inclusion for all.
  • We refrain from lashon hara (derogatory speech, gossip, and slander), whether in person or on social media.
  • We should be mindful of when our personal communications could be misconstrued as representing the views of the Congregation, and refrain from such communications.
  • We oppose bullying, including behavior that degrades, humiliates, or oppresses another. Bullying, whether verbal, physical, or online, is never acceptable. Such behavior includes making threats (e.g., inappropriate sexual, discriminatory, or hurtful comments), social misconduct (e.g., spreading rumors and exclusion), physical behavior (e.g., harming a person’s body or possessions), or cyber-bullying (similar conduct using electronic media).


Congregation Bet Haverim believes everyone entering our sacred space has the right to be 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, or 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, discriminatory 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. We are a community that listens to, believes, and supports survivors of domestic abuse.
  • We do not tolerate retaliation against those who have made a complaint under this Code.


The Congregation Bet Haverim Code of Ethics (the “Code”) will be communicated to all partners, staff, and clergy regularly. Visitors and guests will be able to see the Code on request from the Congregation Bet Haverim main office. The Code will also be published on the Congregation Bet Haverim website. The Code will be updated as appropriate. Examples contained in the Code are not all-inclusive.

Congregation Bet Haverim is committed to responding appropriately to allegations of conduct that violate this Code. The following procedures delineate how allegations of unethical behavior based on the Code will be addressed:

  • Within a reasonable time frame after the approval of this Code by the Board, Congregation Bet Haverim’s President will appoint a partner to chair a Standing Ethics Committee for receiving and addressing allegations of unethical behavior and/or violations of the Code. The President also will select 3 partners to serve as committee members based on the following qualities: integrity, leadership, independence, and ability to handle challenging and sensitive situations. The term for serving on the committee will be two years with the option to renew for one more term.
    • One member of the Executive Committee will serve as the liaison to the board and will participate on the committee as an ex-officio member.
    • A member of the clergy also will sit on the Ethics Committee in an advisory role.
  • Members of the Ethics Committee or a member of the clergy who sits on the Ethics Committee in an advisory role must recuse themselves if an allegation is related to them in any way, including an allegation related to a family member or close friend.
  • The Ethics Committee shall define the process for filing an allegation of unethical behavior.
  • The Congregation Bet Haverim Executive Director shall post this Code on the synagogue’s website, along with the names and contact information for the members of the Ethics Committee, and the process for filing an allegation of unethical behavior.
  • If the President or members of the clergy receive an allegation of unethical behavior, they shall immediately refer the allegation to the Ethics Committee.
  • If an allegation of unethical behavior pertains to a member of a professional organization or the Congregation Bet Haverim Board with its own code of ethics such as the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR),  Association of Reform Jewish Educators (ARJE)National Association for Temple Administration (NATA)Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), or the Congregation Bet Haverim Board Covenant (Brit), the Ethics Committee will determine whether to handle the allegation and/or refer it to the appropriate organization.
  • Where an allegation raises the possibility of imminent and substantial harm to the person(s) of concern, legal obligations will take precedence and supersede any procedures otherwise delineated by this Code.
  • When an allegation of unethical behavior is made to the Ethics Committee chair, the chair will decide with the President whether they should consult independent legal counsel representing the synagogue.
  • The Ethics Committee will decide on a process that includes information gathering, deliberation, and resolution based on the particularities of each allegation that is received. All efforts will be made to resolve matters as promptly as possible.
  • Everyone involved in an Ethics Committee process is expected to comply with all Ethics Committee requests to assist in information gathering. All steps, from an initial allegation of unethical conduct to ultimate resolution, will be documented in writing by the Ethics Committee.
  • Confidentiality will be maintained throughout any Ethics Committee process to the extent practicable and consistent with thorough assessment and restoration of the matter.
  • All attempts will be made to protect those who make an allegation of unethical behavior from retaliation.
  • The Ethics Committee processes will balance the Jewish principles of judgment (din) and compassion (rachamim). All allegations will be responded to with sensitivity and compassion. Judgment will be withheld pending completion of a full evaluation. During information gathering and/or consideration of a resolution for an ethics violation, the committee shall bear in mind that, as a sacred community, healing and reconciliation are important goals to achieve for everyone involved.

Additional Code of Ethics for Rabbis

The CBH Ethics Code applies to all partners, lay leaders, volunteers, staff, and clergy. In addition to this code, our rabbis are beholden to the ethics code of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. Violations, which may be reported anonymously, may be submitted by emailing ethics@ccarnet.org

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