June 14, 2022: CCAR Ethics System: Progress Report #2

Dear friends,

When the Alcalaw written report into the CCAR ethics system was released, we committed to sharing ongoing progress reports about changes and updates to the ethics system. Our first progress report was shared and made available here.

Much work has been going on since that time. There have been some immediate changes that have already impacted the ongoing work of the Ethics Committee. The Ethics Process Review Committee (EPRC) has been making the first round of changes to the Ethics Code based primarily on the Alcalaw recommendations, which were voted in yesterday. The Ethics Task Force has been hard at work developing ideas for long term changes. The T’shuvah Task Force has also been engaged in its work.

The following is an updated report of specific parts of the ongoing work.

Changes to the Ethics SystemThe Ethics Task Force, under the leadership of Amy Schwartzman and Nicki Greninger, is studying the ethics processes and codes of different professional organizations, as well as religious membership groups. They are also consulting with experts in areas like restorative justice and mediation. At the culmination of their two-year process, they will bring proposals for changes to the CCAR board and then to the membership.
Listening SessionsThe T’shuvah Task Force has spent numerous hours speaking with those directly impacted by the ethics process, and their perspectives and ideas on the CCAR’s t’shuvah.
T’shuvahThe T’shuvah Task Force, under the leadership of Erica Asch, informed by the listening sessions referenced above, is currently completing recommendations for the CCAR board in regard to institutional t’shuvah.
Ethics CodeA special sub-committee of the Ethics Process Review Committee (EPRC) was formed to expedite changes to the Code and present them to the membership for a vote. The proposed changes were shared with the membership in May and additional revisions were made based on feedback. This revised set of proposed changes went out to the membership on June 6, 2022.
Voting on the Ethics CodeOn May 17, 2022, we held a special education session about the proposed changes to the ethics code.

On June 9, 2022, we convened virtually for a special business meeting of voting on changes to the Ethics Code. The proposed changes were voted in.

We will vote on another set of changes to the Ethics Code on December 8, 2022.
Additional Education for the Ethics CommitteeIn February 2022, the Ethics Committee met for its annual training retreat. As part of the retreat, there was a special training done by outside consultants on trauma-informed best practices. Members of the EPRC and the Board of Appeals (BOA) were also included in this training, as were members of the Ethics Task Force and the URJ ethics team.

In addition, we have just received a grant from the Safety Respect Equity Network to implement two years of additional special training with outside experts for the members of the Ethics Committee, in collaboration with our colleagues doing ethics work in the RA and the RRA.
More Transparency on CCAR WebsiteThe names of members of the BOA, the EPRC, and the Ethics Committee, as well as the Ethics Task Force and the T’shuvah Task Force, are now all on the CCAR website.

There is still much work ahead of us. We remain committed to advancing and prioritizing this work. We are also in conversation with our partners at HUC-JIR and URJ about formal ways in which we might collaborate for the good of the Movement as a whole.

We will continue to share updates as the work progresses.


Hara Person, Chief Executive
Lewis Kamrass, President
Central Conference of American Rabbis

Review the CCAR Code of Ethics and communications related to CCAR Ethics.