May 13, 2021: A CCAR Ethics Update from Rabbis Lewis Kamrass and Hara Person

We are committed to keeping you informed about the ongoing work of CCAR’s investigation into our ethics system. Today we want to share more information about the investigation itself, as well as about Alcalaw LLP, the firm hired by CCAR to undertake the investigation.

In this time of self-reflection, the leadership of the Central Conference of American Rabbis recognizes that in order to prepare for the future, we must first examine and learn from our past. To that end, the CCAR has hired Alcalaw to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation of the CCAR ethics system past and present, and to assist the CCAR in identifying changes that can be made to the system to better serve the goal of fairly administering a process that holds CCAR rabbis to the shared expectations of behavior outlined in the Ethics Code and protects the communities they serve.

Alcalaw is a women-founded firm whose attorneys have extensive experience investigating sensitive matters, including matters involving sexual misconduct, in both the private sector and as former prosecutors at the federal and state level. Alcalaw takes a humanistic approach to the law and provides legal and investigative services grounded in trauma-informed practices. The investigation is being led by Alcalaw founding partners Rena Paul and Margaret Gandy, along with attorney Rahel Bayar.

Hearing personal accounts from members of the community will be vital to Alcalaw’s ability to conduct a comprehensive investigation, and the CCAR encourages anyone with information about the CCAR ethics system to contact Alcalaw here.

Alcalaw is conducting the investigation with integrity and discretion, and with the full cooperation of the CCAR. Alcalaw will report its findings to CCAR leadership, who are committed to listening and applying the information learned to better serve our community. This process will take time, but it is important work that must be done.


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