Last Thursday, a special ceremonial meeting of the World WIZO Executive, attended by WIZO leaders and administrators from across Israel, convened to launch WIZO's new code of ethics.
WIZO's chairperson and executive, believing that an organization like WIZO, which has for 96 years, aimed and succeeded at improving Israeli society and acting as a standard bearer for women and children, should have its own ethical standard, for organizational behavior both internally and externally.
The new code of ethics will define desirable and undesirable behavior and codify the values that define WIZO's work, values like Zionism, loyalty, equality, equanimity, transparency, and many more.
The unveiling of the code is the first step, rather than the last, in its creation. WIZO administration, volunteers and employees will play a role in contributing ideas and feedback in regards to what the code should look like.
The celebratory meeting was opened by WIZO Chairperson Prof. Rivka Lazovsky and then addressed by WIZO General Director Yigal Dekel. Prof. Nimrod Aloni, a well-known, prize-winning scholar, spoke eloquently about ethics in modern day Israeli society and the difference between law, professionalism, intelligence and morality. Yifat Zamir, representing the organization "Transparency International-Israel," spoke about the practical side of implementing ethics in workplaces and organizations.
Gil Ashkenazi, Esq., WIZO's in-house legal advisor, who is largely responsible for the framework of the ethical code, outlined for the audience how the code would be structutred and explained the differences between what is legal and what is ethical.
"WIZO, the largest social welfare organization in Israel in the field of education and social work, prides itself on its organizational culture," said World WIZO Chairperson Prof. Rivka Lazovsky. "A new code of ethics will highlight the high level of quality and professionalism that WIZO demands from itself and its employees; something of which WIZO can be proud. For WIZO, it is a shift from intuitive thinking about its desired identity and appearance to the world – to a clear, defined and agreed upon definition, after discussion, debate and agreement on all of the relevant subjects, as part of the process."