Jewish Ethics

That Still, Small, Heroic Voice

Blair C. Marks
Every year, I receive one or two calls from people who want to “run something by me.” They know that I spent many years as an ethics and compliance professional, and they want to get my opinion as to how to handle something they have observed or been asked about. It’s often a concern about a leader abusing the power of their position, generally involving relationships and behaviors between volunteers, congregants, clergy, or staff. Sometimes, it’s within a congregation, and sometimes it’s within one of our movement’s organizations. From my perspective, every person who makes one of these calls is a hero. They are upstanders, people who have listened or observed and recognized that something seems wrong, and they are not willing to just sit by and do nothing even when they are not personally involved.