Safe Congregation Policy

As approved by Board 8.20.14


Click here to download a copy of the policy and forms

The Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue (“Synagogue”) maintains an environment free of discrimination based on race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, age, physical ability, gender, or sexual orientation.  The Synagogue is committed to ensuring an environment where all who come to the Synagogue will feel welcomed, included, valued, safe, and secure and will likewise accept the obligation to conduct themselves in a manner which conveys mutual respect and consideration.

Notwithstanding any other provisions in this policy, the Congregation, through its Board of Directors or its designee, reserves the right to suspend temporarily or permanently access to Synagogue privileges, including access to any Synagogue event, on-site or off-site, including religious services, to any individual(s), if, in its judgment, the presence and/or inclusion of such individual(s) compromises the safety and/or security of the Congregation, its member(s), and/or Synagogue real or personal property.

This policy statement is intended to operate as a “living document” and may be amended to reflect changing needs.  Requests for amendment should be made through the Board of Directors.

I.          HARASSMENT

A.        General.  It is the policy of the Synagogue that all employees, volunteers, and congregation members should be able to enjoy an environment that is free from all forms of discrimination, including harassment.

Harassment includes any conduct based on age, race, color, sex, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, height, weight, marital or veteran status, or disability that adversely affects a term or condition of an individual’s employment, is used as a basis or factor in decisions affecting that individual’s employment, or has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive, or abusive environment for an employee.  Harassment includes explicit and implicit verbal or physical threats of a racial, ethnic, religious or sexual nature.

If an employee believes that he/she has been subjected to harassment or discrimination arising from or in regard to his/her relationship with the Synagogue, that employee, if appropriate, can make it clear to the offender that such behavior is offensive. If the behavior is serious or continues, the employee should promptly bring the matter to the attention of a member of the Board of Directors.

Because of the private nature of such incidents, the Synagogue will take care during any investigation to preserve such privacy. It is generally expected that an informal resolution will be sufficient. When deemed appropriate, legal and/or other steps may be taken, including suspension of Synagogue privileges.

B.        Sexual.  The Downtown Synagogue will not tolerate any form of sexual harassment or misconduct.

Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to the conduct or communication is made a term or condition either explicitly or implicitly to obtain employment or Synagogue services, submission to or rejection of the conduct or communication is used as a factor in decisions affecting the provision of Synagogue services or the individual’s employment, or the conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s employment, or receipt of Synagogue Services, or creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive, or abusiveenvironment.

Sexual misconduct is sexual contact without (legally valid) consent.  Sexual misconductincludes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, including verbal abuse, insults, gestures, physical contact or the display or circulation of degrading pictures or materials.

While sexual harassment primarily pertains to conduct directed at fellow employees, sexual misconduct is broader in scope and applies to anyone, including volunteers, congregants, prospective congregants, students, guests, visitors and fellow employees.

If a participant believes that he/ she has been subjected to sexual harassment or misconduct arising from or in regard to his/her relationship with the Synagogue, the participant is strongly encouraged to inform a Synagogue staff member or member of the Board of Directors.  Any reported incident will be promptly and thoroughly investigated.

While each investigation will proceed as the particular circumstances warrant, an investigation will typically involve an interview with the person making the complaint and interviews with persons identified as witnessing or otherwise having knowledge of the incident or conduct.


II.         ALCOHOL

Alcohol has a long history as part of both sacrament and celebration in the Jewish community. Our goals in developing this policy are to honor our history and practice while also ensuring a safe, welcoming, inclusive, and responsible environment at the Synagogue.

A.        Sacraments and Religious Ceremony. Alcohol may be served during a sacrament or in direct connection with another religious ceremony or ritual that has a longstanding tradition in the Jewish faith, so long as the alcohol is dispensed by a competent adult who is a supervisory member of the Synagogue.

B.        Synagogue Sponsored Events. Alcohol may be served at Synagogue sponsored events that are not directly related to religious ceremonies or rituals, subject to the limitations set forth herein and to applicable laws or liability concerns.

C.        BYOB Events Prohibited  In no event shall any individual bring alcohol on the premises of the Synagogue for the purpose of consuming or dispensing the alcohol, unless the alcohol is specifically designated for use during a sacrament, ritual, or religious ceremony

D.        Minors. Alcohol shall never be served to or consumed by an individual at the Synagogue who is under the legal drinking age of 21, unless (1) such consumption takes place during a sacrament or is in direct connection with another religious ceremony or ritual that has a longstanding tradition in the Jewish faith, (2) is limited to a single serving of alcohol, and (3) a minor’s parent or guardian is present and has specifically provided permission for furnishing alcohol to the minor Moreover, alcohol shall not be consumed by any individual nor be present at any Synagogue sponsored event primarily intended for youth-only participants.

E.        Cash Bar Events. Alcohol may not be sold on the premises of the Synagogue or on behalf of the Synagogue unless: (1) the appropriate licensing and insurance is procured; and (2) professional bartenders are hired to serve the alcohol.

F.         Service of Alcohol.  At any Synagogue sponsored event where the service or consumption of alcohol takes place, all alcohol shall be dispensed or served by a competent adult who is certified or trained to identify individuals under the legal drinking age of 21, and who is able to identify the signs of an intoxicated person.  To this end, alcohol shall never be served to an individual who appears to be visibly intoxicated.

Whenever alcohol is served, the Synagogue shall designate an appropriate number of supervisory individuals with the responsibility of ensuring that this policy is enforced, including but not limited to: (i) creating a supervised area where alcohol is to be served and consumed, (ii) ensuring the prohibition against serving alcohol to minors or to visibly intoxicated persons, and (iii) ensuring the availability of “designated drivers” for intoxicated individuals requiring transportation.

Non-alcoholic beverages must be offered with equal attractiveness and accessibility as an alternative to alcoholic beverages, and sufficient amounts of food must be made available whenever alcohol is being served or consumed at the Synagogue or at a Synagogue sponsored event.

All alcohol served at the Synagogue must comply with the Kashrut and Food Policy of the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue.

The serving of alcoholic beverages at events should not be publicized as an attraction of a Synagogue sponsored event.

G.        Alcoholic beverages must be clearly labeled as such and must be stored in a locked area when not being used in accordance with the limitations of this policy.          





A.        General.     Volunteers and volunteerism are critical to the success and sustainability of the Synagogue.  The Synagogue values their work and is committed to providing volunteers with a safe, inviting, and inclusive environment that will engage their talents and passions.  However, volunteers’ actions must serve the best interests of the Synagogue.  If a volunteer’s actions are determined to not be in the best interest of the Synagogue, the Synagogue, through its Board of Directors and/or Committee leadership reserves the right to inform the volunteer at any time and for any reason that they are not welcome to continue serving as a volunteer.

B.        Volunteers Working with Minors.     The entire congregation is responsible for creating and maintaining a climate that supports the growth and welfare of children and youth.  However, those volunteers who work directly with youth have a special opportunity to influence youth development and model Synagogue values. In developing meaningful relationships with youth, adult volunteers must exercise good judgment and mature wisdom and refrain from using young people to fulfill their own needs.


C.        Volunteers Who are Minors.      Youth who volunteer for the Synagogue and/or participate in Synagogue programs will be required to complete a Youth Application Form (APPENDIX A) and to submit a completed Parent/Guardian Consent Form (APPENDIX B) prior to beginning volunteer work.




Name:  ____________________________________________________

Today’s date: _______________________________________________

Address: ___________________________________________________

Home Phone: ___________________Cell Phone: ____________________

Email: _____________________________________________________

Name of school you attend: _____________________________________

Your current age:_____________ Your current grade:_________________

Please describe any volunteer and community service experience you have in the last 2 years:








Why are you interested in volunteering or participating with the Downtown Synagogue?






    10.  Is there anything else you would like adults or peers working with you at the Downtown             Synagogue to know about you?



I, ____________________________________ , am the parent or legal guardian of

_______________________________ and have the legal authority to provide this consent.

Name of child(ren):  ____________________________________________________

Name of Parent/Guardian:_________________________________________________

Street Address:_________________________________________________________

City: ___________________________State: _________________ Zip: ___________

Home phone: ______________________   Cell phone: _______________________

Email: ______________________________

Please provide two additional emergency contacts:


Relationship to Child: __________________________________________

Phone number: ______________________________________________


Relationship to Child: __________________________________________

Phone number: ______________________________________________

Allergies or other medical information you wish to disclose to the Synagogue regarding your child(ren): ___________________________________________________________



Event name: ________________________________________________

Event date(s): _______________________________________________

Designated Downtown Synagogue Adult staff or volunteer who will be in charge of my child at the event(s): __________________________________________________________

1.  I consent to my child(ren)’s attendance at and participation in the named event.

2.  (If applicable):  I understand that attendance will include transportation of my child by an adult driver with a valid driver’s license.

3.  I give my consent and authority for the Downtown Synagogue to take action to help ensure the safety, health and welfare of my child.  I understand that if my child breaks any federal, state, or local laws, I will be informed.

4.  In the event the Downtown Synagogue is unable to reach me or one of the emergency contacts listed on this form, I request and empower Downtown Synagogue to authorize medical personnel and hospitals to provide all medical care, including but not limited to hospital tests, emergency surgical care, pathology, radiology and anesthesia, surgery and prescriptive drugs for the health of my child.  I recognize my responsibility, through appropriate insurance or otherwise, to cover all medical and transportation expenses resulting from illness or injury during or arising from my child’s participation in the event.

5.  In consideration of my child(ren)’s being permitted by the Downtown Synagogue to volunteer and/or attend and/or participate in the named event, I agree to release, indemnify and hold harmless the Downtown Synagogue, its officers and agents (including volunteers) from any and all claims which arise out of my child(ren)’s volunteering and/or attendance and/or participation in the named event unless caused by the Downtown Synagogue’s gross negligence or willful misconduct.


Signature of parent/guardian: _________________________________________

Printed name of parent/guardian: ______________________________________

Date: ________________________________________