Ethics

Posted on: Wednesday October 20, 2021

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 vaad@rabbinicalassembly.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.