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Public Statements Policy

Public Statements Policy

Adopted by the Congregation Beth Shalom Board of Directors, January 2021

Congregation Beth Shalom will only make, sign on to, or otherwise endorse public statements when

  1. The statement is consistent with Israel being a Jewish and democratic state, if the statement is related to Israel or Zionism;
  2. The statement does not conflict with the values of Congregation Beth Shalom; and
  3. The decision makers have sufficient notice to make an informed decision, as described further in this Policy.

Votes by the Board

A vote of 2/3 of Board members present is necessary to make, sign on to, or otherwise endorse public statements under this Policy. If the Executive Committee acts in the name of the Board on an issue under this Policy that requires immediate action, as permitted under the Bylaws, the Executive Committee decision requires a vote of 2/3 of the Executive Committee.

To act under this Policy, the Board must have sufficient information and details about (a) the subject of the statement, including any individuals or organizations named in the statement; and (b) any individuals or organizations promoting the statement, far enough in advance to be able to make an informed decision. The Board must also have the full text of the statement at least 14 days before a decision (3 days if the statement has been approved by the Rabbinical Assembly).

In response to a request, the Board may pre-authorize others, as described further in this Policy, to make, sign on to, or otherwise endorse public statements under this Policy concerning specific topics and within reasonably defined parameters. In addition to pre-authorizing a request, the Board may pre-authorize a request as modified, reject a request, or postpone consideration of it.

Votes by Congregational Leadership

A vote of 2/3 of (a) the Senior Rabbi or the Associate Rabbi; (b) the President; and (c) the Executive Director is necessary to make, sign on to, or otherwise endorse public statements under this Policy, but only if the statement is (i) within the reasonably defined parameters of a specific topic pre-authorized by the Board or (ii) clearly uncontroversial (so that the Board would clearly pre-authorize it if given the opportunity). Decisions under this paragraph may be made with any notice deemed sufficient by those voting.

Votes by Committees

A vote of 2/3 of any committee’s present members is necessary to make, sign on to, or otherwise endorse public statements under this Policy, but only if (a) the statement is within the reasonably defined parameters of a specific topic pre-authorized by the Board; and (b) the specific statement is approved by a vote by the Board or by congregational leadership, as described above. Decisions under this paragraph may be made with any notice deemed sufficient by those voting.

Other Statements

Nothing in this Policy affects the ability of members or staff of Congregation Beth Shalom (including the Senior Rabbi or any Assistant/Associate Rabbi) to speak—or to make, sign on to, or otherwise endorse statements—in an individual or rabbinic capacity, in public or in private.

Thu, December 8 2022 14 Kislev 5783