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Our Safe Environment Policy

Temple Emeth prides itself on being a caring community. We are committed to providing a safe, friendly, respectful, and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, political affiliation, disability, appearance, religion, marital or domestic partnership status, race, or other personal characteristics or socioeconomic status. As a K’hillah K’dosha (sacred community), Temple Emeth believes every individual who participates in our community (members, guests, clergy and other staff, vendors, and all others) will be valued and treated with respect. Every participant, whatever their role, has a right to a safe and welcoming experience, including treatment that is fair, honest, non-judgmental, and dignified.

We believe that as a caring community we owe it to one another to understand the definitions of bullying, harassment, and sexual misconduct in order to protect our welcoming environment and prevent unintended offenses. Temple Emeth does not accept, condone, or tolerate actions of harassment, bullying, or sexual misconduct.

Harassment involves behavior that is personally offensive, fails to respect the rights of others, lowers morale and, therefore, interferes with ability to participate in the spiritual, communal, and intellectual life of Temple Emeth. Harassment covers a wide range of behaviors of an offensive nature. It is generally defined as a course of conduct which threatens, intimidates, alarms, or puts another person in fear of their safety.

Bullying is unwanted, hostile behavior, either as a single act or repeated over time, with the intent to degrade, humiliate or oppress another person. It can include, but is not limited to: verbal or written behavior such as making threats, inappropriate sexual comments, and taunting; social misbehavior like spreading malicious rumors and purposeful exclusion; physical behavior that involves hurting a person’s body or possessions; or cyberbullying such as persistent unwanted texts or phone calls or posting private and personal information to social media. At the same time, honest criticism of one’s work and activities, even if sometimes harsh, is not bullying. Bullying often involves a real or perceived power imbalance such as using physical strength, access to embarrassing information, a position in an organization, or popularity in order to control or harm others. Actions, words, jokes, or comments based on an individual’s sex, race, color, ethnicity, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, domestic partnership status, or any other personal characteristics, will not be tolerated.

Sexual misconduct is unwelcome, unsolicited conduct of a sexual nature, requests for sexual favors, sexually oriented gestures, noises, remarks, jokes, or comments about a person’s sexuality or sexual experience, or any other conduct of a physical, verbal or non-verbal nature (including improper touching, degrading comments, offensive pranks, “dirty” jokes, sexual innuendo, or sexually suggestive pictures) where:

--submission to such conduct is either an explicit or implicit condition or term of participation in Temple programming/employment; or

--submission to and/or rejection of such conduct impacts upon or is used as a basis for decisions affecting the individual in question; or

--such conduct interferes with an individual's ability to worship, volunteer, or work; or

--such conduct has the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for congregants, clergy, and other staff, as well as other participants in congregational activities.

Congregants, guests, clergy and other staff, vendors, and any others who believe that they have been subjected to harassment, bullying, or sexual misconduct at Temple Emeth or a Temple Emeth-sponsored event should promptly report any incidents to the Rabbi, Cantor, Temple President and/or Temple Administrator. If these individuals are unavailable or the person experiencing harassment is uncomfortable contacting these individuals, the individual should immediately contact any other member of Temple Leadership (Board members and Committee Chairs) with whom the individual feels comfortable. Under no circumstances need an individual report the harassment to a person whom he or she is accusing of inappropriate behavior. All such reports will be kept confidential to the degree possible. However, investigation of such complaints may require disclosure to the accused party and any witnesses in order to gather pertinent facts. That being said, there will be no reprisals or retaliation for reporting such occurrences to the leadership of the Temple.

After a complaint is received, the Temple will investigate the matter promptly. Our goal is to assure fair treatment and, in the event that someone is found to have acted inappropriately, to work with that person to rectify his/her/their behavior to prevent further episodes. Temple Emeth will not tolerate retaliation or repetition of these unwanted acts. In the event of retaliation and/or repetition of these acts, we will take appropriate action in accordance with the guidelines of Reform Judaism and secular law.

This is a robust and overarching policy, not because we believe that such actions will happen in our congregation, but because we trust one another and care about one another enough to constantly be vigilant in our protection of the wellbeing of this K’hillah K’dosha and every person who participates in it.

Tue, July 16 2024 10 Tammuz 5784