This Covenant articulates an understanding of the commitments and responsibilities of the Jewish communal professional. It identifies the values underlying the field and acknowledges the role of the professional in contributing to the enrichment of Jewish life and the broader community. Jewish communal professionals are trustees of both institutional mantles and communal interests. The insights and values of the Jewish tradition undergird the Jewish communal system and serve as a guide for the conduct of the Jewish communal professional. The openness of North American society, that honors and encourages religious, ethnic and cultural pluralism, provides a unique context for the Jewish communal enterprise and informs the work of the Jewish communal professional.
Jewish communal professionals are engaged in the sacred task of helping the Jewish people realize its potential to be “a nation of priests and a holy people.” Regardless of one’s personal religious beliefs, being a Jewish communal professional is a sacred calling to serve the needs of both Jews and non-Jews, repair the brokenness of our world—Tikkun Olam,—and lead the creative evolution of the Jewish experience.
As a Jewish communal professional, I agree to conduct myself in accordance with the spirit and intent of the following standards of professional excellence:
The Jewish People (Clal Yisrael)
I am committed to the continuity and well-being of the Jewish people. Thus, I have the responsibility to:
- Cultivate positive Jewish identity, commitment and literacy,
- Promote a sense of Jewish peoplehood,
- Enhance the quality and vitality of Jewish life,
- Ensure the care of our most vulnerable community members.
- I recognize that the diversity of the Jewish community contributes to its strength and I strive to promote mutual understanding and acceptance within and between the various religious, ethnic and national elements of the Jewish people.
I understand that as a member of my local Jewish community, I have a responsibility to participate actively in the affairs of the community, both as an expression of good citizenship and as a model for others.
- I recognize the unique relationship between Israel and the Jewish Diaspora and the vital role of Israel in Jewish life.
- I will increase my understanding of this relationship and remain educated about current events in Israel and those impacting Israel around the world.
- I will be engaged with Israel and will work to promote greater Israel-Diaspora communication and interaction.
Continuing Education (Limmud)
- I will continue to expand my Jewish understanding and knowledge.
- I will continue to improve my professional skills.
- I will contribute my knowledge, skills and support to improve the quality of Jewish professional practice through avenues appropriate for me including mentoring, writing, speaking, or other methods.
- I will stay current with contemporary issues facing the Jewish community, both locally and globally.
Ethical Conduct (Derech Musar)
- I accept responsibility for helping to protect the community against unethical practice by any individual working in the Jewish community or by any organization with which I am involved.
- I will hold myself responsible for the quality and integrity of my work.
- I will endeavor to balance my professional responsibilities with my personal responsibilities so that neither will be neglected for the sake of the other.
- I will distinguish clearly and publicly between my statements and actions as an individual and as a representative of my organization and profession.
- I will conduct myself in a manner consistent with and respectful to that of the organization I serve, even if my personal views and observance may differ.
Respect for the Individual
- As professionals, we are committed to the well-being of all individuals, Jewish or non-Jewish, regardless of age, race, cultural background, religious practice, belief, gender, sexual orientation or sexual identity.
- I will respect the confidentiality, viewpoints and privacy of persons served by my organization, of volunteer associates, and of colleagues.
- I will act upon all information gathered in professional relationships in a responsible and disciplined manner.
- I will treat the findings, views and actions of my colleagues with respect and will use appropriate channels whenever I express judgments on these matters.
- I will work to prevent and eliminate all forms of discrimination in the work place in hiring polices and practices.
- I will respect the richness of the diversity within both Jewish and non-Jewish life and practices.
I understand the need to recognize the good work of both colleagues and lay leaders and will endeavor to give my colleagues and volunteers the honor and recognition they deserve for their work.
I will demonstrate my understanding of and belief in the principles of tzedakah through appropriate participation in the philanthropic support of the Jewish community and its institutions, locally, nationally and globally.