As Jewish institutions create individual policies to prevent abuse within their domains, the leaders of these institutions are invited to make their own personal commitment to this work. The Sacred Spaces Ethics Code for Jewish Leaders represents the principles that underlie the best practices in policies designed to prevent and respond to institutional abuse of power. The Code highlights leaders’ fundamental commitment to creating environments that protect vulnerable populations from institutional abuse. Signing this code is not a public statement, but rather a personal commitment to the work ahead.
At Sacred Spaces, we look forward to seeing a wide array of Jewish communal leaders—rabbis, principals, camp directors, Jewish non-profit executives, Jewish Federation leaders, and others— make their personal commitment to a safer future by signing our code.
I approach my task as a Jewish communal leader with a profound awareness that God’s image (צלם אלוקים) is embedded in every human being. This acknowledgement entails a dual commitment: to treat all people with the utmost dignity and to hold myself to the highest standards of behavior. Aspiring to the ideal that God is said to model in Psalms 84:12, I strive to be a source of “light and protection” (שמש ומגן) to my community, promoting transparency within my institution and guarding the welfare of its constituents.
I recognize that the authority I wield is not my own, but is rather entrusted to me by the community I serve; thus, I am duty bound at all times to exercise my authority mindfully and appropriately. I acknowledge the harmful physical, emotional, and social consequences that abuse victims have often suffered at the hands of those in positions of Jewish communal authority, and I personally pledge to use my own authority to help create safer and healthier communal spaces. Toward this end, I hereby publicly undertake the following commitments:
I strive to cultivate the strength, wisdom, and humility to carry out successfully the sacred task of guiding others. Through the above commitments, I hope to help create a true sanctuary (מקדש) of safety and holiness for all that dwell within it.