KI Social Justice Policy

KEHILLAT ISRAEL
SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE
Procedures for Response to Social Justice Issues
Adopted by the Board of Trustees September 6, 2012

The following are the procedures to be followed by Kehillat Israel when any party submits a written request[1] for the Congregation[2] to address a social justice issue[3]. The procedures applicable to consideration of the request depend on the nature of the request and the circumstances.
These procedures apply to requests both for “Endorsement” of an issue (committing the Congregation to support a proposal or to take any action relating to the social concern) and for “Education” (announcing the existence of a social justice issue and/or educating the Congregation or the Public, or facilitating a discussion on the issue by the Congregation or the public, but not committing the Congregation to any position or to any action to address the issue).

I. Introduction
a. General Provisions
(i) Any Request relating to a social justice issue submitted to anyone on behalf of the Congregation should be forwarded promptly to the President of the Congregation, with a copy to the Social Justice Trustee, who chairs the Social Justice Committee (SJC).
(ii) These Procedures are subject to the provisions of the Amended and Restated Bylaws of the Congregation approved on October 23, 2008, including, without limitation, Article XIV thereof with respect to the Congregation participating or intervening in the consideration of a proposition or referendum on which a public vote is to be taken.
b. Nature of request: “Endorsement” or “Education”
(i) If the request is for the Congregation to endorse any position relating to a social justice issue or to endorse or participate in any activity regarding a social justice issue, then the request is an “Endorsement Request”.
(ii) If the request is for the Congregation to participate in an effort to make either the members of the Congregation or the public aware of any social justice issue and/or to educate the Congregation or the public regarding such issue, then the request is an “Education Request.”
c. Consultation with Clergy
The Clergy of the Congregation shall be consulted by the President, the SJC or any other party considering a Request pursuant to these Procedures.
d. Timing for Review: “Expedited” or “Standard”
The President, with the consensus of the Clergy, will determine whether a Request is time critical, and may consult with the SJC on this issue. If a Request is time critical, the Expedited Procedure is utilized. All other Requests will be considered under the Standard Procedure.
e. Review from a Reconstructionist Jewish Perspective
The review of any Request under these Procedures shall be guided by the philosophy and practices of Reconstructionist Judaism on the issues presented. The subject matter of the Request must have a direct bearing on the Congregation or the Jewish community, or affect the society at large in a way which implicates Jewish values or laws.
f. Costs and Expenses

Except in unusual circumstances, the Congregation does not have the financial resources to expend significant funds for out of pocket costs or expenses in connection with the implementation of any Request and the proponent of any Request shall be so advised.
g. Consultation with Executive Director or other Senior Staff

The person(s) considering any Request shall consult with the Executive Director of the Congregation or other Senior Staff to make sure that the Congregation has the facilities and resources necessary to perform the actions which are the subject of the Request.

[1] A request must be in writing and specify the details of the request. A Social Justice Request Form must be completed, or the information requested in it must be provided by other written means.
[2] The procedures cover a request to the Congregation to take a public position on or to endorse a proposal or activity, such as participating in a phone bank on a voter proposition or referendum on an upcoming ballot or a planned demonstration on an issue or signing a petition on behalf of the Congregation. An existing policy governs public statements and conduct by any member of the Congregation’s Board of Trustees to the Congregation or to the general public. See Trustee Communications Policy and Code of Conduct, Adopted by Board Resolution on February 15, 2007.
[3] The term “social justice issue” is defined in Appendix A to these Procedures.

MORE...

KI Kashrut Policy

Guidelines for all food served at Kehillat Israel as well as food served at Kehillat Israel events outside the building:

* No foods specifically forbidden in the Torah such as pork and shellfish.
* All meat must be kosher from an approved kosher restaurant or a kosher brand from a grocery store.
* Meat and dairy should not be present at the same meal.

Click here for the complete KI Kashrut Policy.

We join with so many others in our KI community in celebrating the Supreme Court decisions which have given equal rights to same sex couples seeking to marry. The expansion of a right has always been a crucial step in helping to guarantee that right for the future, and we welcome the opportunity to expand the legal protections for same sex partners and their children that this court has made possible in California. We pray and will continue to work to bring about full legal rights for all same sex families at the Federal level as well, for we believe that one of the fundamental spiritual teachings of Judaism is that all human beings are created in God’s image. We look forward to the opportunity once again to officiate at same sex marriages in California and the privilege of helping to create and nurture loving families. It is a good day for California.
Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben
Rabbi Amy Bernstein