Join the URJ Congregational Ethics Code Campaign

April 14, 2023Amy Asin

The URJ is committed to ensuring that our environments are safe, equitable, and inclusive. As part of our ongoing work to create a culture that prioritizes safety and accountability, we encourage every congregation to craft and adopt a congregational ethics code.

On January 8, the URJ announced a campaign for all our congregations to adopt ethics codes, with at least 60% of congregations having adopted or in the process of creating a code by the 2023 High Holidays. To support congregational leaders in this effort, the URJ is providing sample codes, a template, and suggested processes. We will also assign a coach to congregations upon request.

In February and March, members of the URJ North American Board started contacting congregations to find whether they have a code, are working on one, would like to get started on one, or aren't ready yet.

We are excited about the results so far! As of April 14:

  • 56 congregations have codes
  • 32 congregations have submitted codes to the URJ
  • 47 congregations are in the process of writing and adopting a code
  • 73 congregations are in the process of starting to write a code
  • 125 congregations are interested in writing a code

The URJ and our partners are proud to recognize the congregations that have completed ethics codes. Congregations that have written codes and submitted them to the URJ are listed on our website and will receive a special logo for their website. The Central Conference of American Rabbis now joins the American Conference of Cantors in offering congregations the opportunity to note that they have an ethics code when they fill out their applications to enter placement.

What you can do:

  • If you have completed your code and submitted it to the URJ - add the logo to your website and share the news with your congregation!
  • If you have completed a code but haven't submitted it to us yet, please send it to Emma Osborn. This will allow us to update our website and send the logo to you.
  • If you are working on a code and need resources, coaching, or have questions about how to get started, check out the Congregational Ethics Codes group in the Tent or email Emma Osborn.
  • If you haven't yet spoken to a URJ North American Board member (in most cases, they will contact the president of the board) please respond or encourage your president to respond when they call so that we can count you in the campaign, no matter where you are in the process.
  • If you aren't ready to get started on this yet, make a plan. While the target is 60% for this year, we want all congregations to have codes eventually.

We look forward to a day when all spaces connected to the URJ network are safe, equitable, and inclusive and to sharing and celebrating as more congregations join this campaign.

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