The Rabbinical Assembly takes very seriously its members’ obligation to hold to the highest ethical standards. To that end, the RA has established a Code of Conduct and procedures for its ethics committee, the Va’ad Hakavod, to investigate ethical complaints against rabbis. If a rabbi is determined to have violated the Code, the Va’ad Hakavod is empowered to impose appropriate sanctions. If you have an ethical concern about a member of the Rabbinical Assembly, we encourage you to inform the Va’ad Hakavod. Its email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Code of Conduct: To view the RA Code of Conduct, click here. The Code of Conduct is available in English, Hebrew, and Spanish. Please note that at the end of the Code of Conduct there is a section titled Va'ad Hakavod Guidelines, which describes the procedures of the Va’ad HaKavod.
Committee: A list of the members of the Va’ad HaKavod can be found here.
Revision Process: The Rabbinical Assembly is currently engaged in a process of updating our Code and procedures. For more information about that process, click here.
Information regarding Rabbis who have been suspended or expelled due to violations of the Rabbinical Assembly Code of Conduct can be found in two categories:
Ethics Violations. This is a broad category, since Jewish ethics deal with many types of behavior. These are embodied in our Code of Conduct, and include, but are not limited to, financial malfeasance, addiction, violation of confidentiality, abuses of rabbinic power, and sexual boundary violations. The list of expelled and suspended rabbis in this category can be found here.
Violations of Membership Responsibilities. The Code of Conduct requires Rabbinical Assembly members to fulfill the administrative policies and the halakhic (Jewish law) standards established by the Assembly. Administrative policies include following the required procedures of placement. The halakhic Standards of Religious Practice, enacted by our member Rabbis, obligate an RA member to follow halakhic practices regarding conversion to Judaism; requiring a get (Jewish divorce) in order to officiate at the wedding of someone previously married; and prohibiting officiating at a wedding between a Jew and a non-Jew. The list of expelled and suspended rabbis in this category can be found here.
Eye on Ethics. As rabbis we have each committed to being a "dugma ishit" a personal exemplar of living a life guided by the ethical demands of our sacred texts. We have heard the deep desire for our RA to openly communicate and foster opportunities for continued learning around these questions and other issues pertaining to ethics. One way we are committed to meeting this request is by regularly devoting a section in RA News on this critical topic. It will be called “Eye on Ethics.” Guided by our Gender & Power Committee and Va’ad HaKavod, we envision this section as an opportunity to share updates, communicate opportunities for professional development, and highlight effective practices. Ultimately our goal is to integrate the conversation of ethics into the fabric of our Rabbinical Assembly. The homepage for Eye on Ethics can be found here.