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 BETH CHAIM REFORM CONGREGATION 

CONFLICT RESOLUTION PROCEDURES 

The Board of Directors (“Board”) of Beth Chaim Reform Congregation (“BCRC”) seeks to provide a mechanism for members of BCRC (“Members”) to resolve disputes between Members efficiently while balancing the values of privacy, dignity, respect, fairness, honesty, forgiveness, community, and transparency and in accordance with BCRC’s Mission Statement and any values-oriented policies in effect. 

Through this Policy, Members shall have the option to engage an Ombudsperson—a fellow Member selected by the Board (with the assistance of a committee established to identify candidates) who can resolve disputes while maintaining confidentiality—to vet and resolve disputes arising between Members. Members may engage an Ombudsperson by following instructions provided by such Ombudsperson following his/her selection by the Board (each Ombudsperson may have different preferences regarding engagement). Information brought to an Ombudsperson may be shared solely with the Board and/or the Rabbi unless otherwise permitted by the Members involved in a dispute. Notwithstanding the engagement of an Ombudsperson to resolve a dispute, the Ombudsperson may seek the assistance of the Board in resolving disputes between Members. 

Members shall not be required to use the process established in this Policy nor shall Members be required to follow the recommendations of the Ombudsperson. This policy is established to assist Members by providing the option of using a formalized conflict resolution process. The Board expects to revisit this Policy as necessary to meet the needs of the Members. 

The process of selecting Ombudspersons, the roles and responsibilities of Ombudspersons, the announcement of the selection of Ombudspersons and their preferred means of engagement to the Members, and other matters pertaining to this process are as follows: 

1. The Beth Chaim Board of Directors shall designate at least two members of Beth Chaim Reform Congregation who are in Good Standing—at least one male and at least one female who are not current members of the Board--as “Ombudspersons” who will be available to receive complaints or concerns regarding, and resolve disputes between, Members as follows: 


  1. a. The Board shall form a committee (“Ombudsperson Committee”) to solicit recommendations for candidates, screen candidates, and otherwise assist the Board in selecting from among the candidates for Ombudspersons. The Ombudsperson Committee shall consist of at least one Board member, at least two non-Board members, and the Rabbi. 


  1. b. The Ombudsmen Committee shall seek candidates who satisfy the characteristics, and are willing to perform the duties, outlined herein. Candidates should: i. preferably have past experience in conflict resolution, negotiation, and related activities; 


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    1. ii. have the capacity to conduct themselves in a fair and equitable manner and to be impartial with regard to all conflicts brought before him/her; 

    2. iii. be willing and capable of maintaining confidentiality to protect the privacy interests of Members and to limit disclosure of information received to persons authorized by the Member(s) providing such information; 

    3. iv. be willing provide a direct channel of communication between the Members and the Board, and to advise and facilitate in matters of disputes between Members; 

    4. v. be willing and capable of reporting to the Board—in writing or at Board meetings—as further described herein; and 

    5. vi. be willing and capable of complying with the requirements described in this document both during and after their service as Ombudspersons. 




  1. c. The Ombudsperson Committee shall make recommendations to the Board, who shall select Ombudspersons from among the recommended candidates. 


      1. 2. Subject to Paragraph 2.a and 2.b, each Ombudsperson shall serve commencing on the date the Board notifies such person of his or her selection, subject to the following: a. Removal: The Board may remove an Ombudsperson if the Board determines that such person is not conducting himself or herself in accordance with the tenets identified in Paragraph 1.b or that such person is otherwise acting in a manner inconsistent with the mission of BCRC. i. Upon removal, such Ombudsperson shall cease involvement in any ongoing matters brought before him or her unless otherwise instructed by the Board. Ongoing matters before the removed Ombudsperson shall be reassigned to a remaining Ombudsperson with the permission of the Members involved in each matter. All written material referring to or relating to matters brought before such Ombudsperson shall be turned over to the replacement Ombudsperson(s) or to the Board. 

      2. ii. In the event an Ombudsperson is removed by the Board, the Ombudsperson Committee shall make recommendations to the Board for a replacement Ombudsperson who shall be selected by the Board as described above. 

      3. iii. The departing Ombudsperson’s obligation to maintain confidentiality to protect the privacy interests of Members regarding any and all matters brought before any Ombudsperson shall continue following the removal of such Ombudsperson. 


      4. b. Voluntary Separation: An Ombudsperson may step down by providing reasonable notice to the Board. Under such circumstances: i. Ongoing matters before the departing Ombudsperson may be completed by such Ombudsperson with the permission of the Members involved in each matter or shall be reassigned to a remaining Ombudsperson with the permission of the Members involved in each matter. 



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      1. ii. If an Ombudsperson steps down, the Ombudsperson Committee shall make recommendations to the Board for a replacement Ombudsperson who shall be selected by the Board as described above. 

      2. iii. The departing Ombudsperson’s obligation to maintain confidentiality to protect the privacy interests of Members regarding any and all matters brought before any Ombudsperson shall continue following the decision to step down. 




3. Following the selection of each Ombudsperson, the Board shall notify all Members of the identity of the Ombudsperson (including the Ombudsperson’s relevant background). 


4. Each Ombudsperson shall give the Board a general report in advance of, or at, each monthly Board meeting. The report, which shall be either in writing or orally at the request of the Board, shall summarize the status of matters brought before such Ombudsperson and shall be handled by the Ombudsperson and the Board in such manner as will protect Members’ privacy as appropriate. 


5. Raising Issues to the Board a. If an Ombudsperson receives a number of complaints concerning the same individual Member or is unable to resolve a dispute to the satisfaction of all parties, then the Ombudsperson may, in his or her discretion, bring the matter to the Board for discussion and assistance in resolution. Matters so brought before the Board shall be handled by the Ombudsperson and the Board in such manner as will protect Members’ privacy as appropriate. 

b. If an Ombudsperson solicits the Board’s assistance to resolve a dispute involving the potential removal of a Member from a leadership position, the Board shall make reasonable efforts to obtain input from the committee or group affected prior to taking action to remove such leader provided that such committee or group members agree to maintain confidentiality to ensure the privacy of the Member(s) involved in the dispute. 



    1. 6. Engaging the Ombudspersons; Process and Results a. The Board and each Ombudsperson shall transmit to all Members notice of the process to be used in engaging each Ombudsperson, of the rights and responsibilities of the Ombudspersons, and the rights and responsibilities of the Members who engage the Ombudspersons that are consistent with these procedures. 

    2. b. Members may engage an Ombudsperson using the form attached hereto as Attachment 1 but are not required to use such form or to submit anything in writing to engage the Ombudspersons. 

    3. c. If a Member contacts an Ombudsperson with the goal of resolving a dispute, the Ombudsperson may take such actions as facilitating face-to-face meetings, recommending new alignment of responsibilities, utilizing communication strategies, personal coaching, or other reasonable suggestions. The Rabbi may be invited by the Ombudsperson or Member(s) involved to help resolve disputes. 


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    1. d. The goal of the Ombudspersons in resolving disputes is to attempt to find solutions that are mutually agreed upon by all Members involved in a dispute. The findings and recommendations of the Ombudspersons are not binding on Members and Members may elect not to accept any such recommendations. 



7. Other Conflict Resolution Methods. If either (a) no Ombudsperson is available to resolve a dispute, or (b) one or more Members involved in a dispute are not comfortable engaging an Ombudsperson to resolve the dispute, such Members may seek assistance from the Board and/or the Rabbi. 


8. These procedures will be periodically reviewed by the Board to determine if changes are needed to serve the interests of the Members. 


ADOPTED BY THE BOARD ON FEBRUARY 20, 2018 V400 02-20-18 


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