The Jewish Board of Advocates for Children is proud to announce that we are declaring October 17-24th:
“National Jewish Child Abuse Prevention Week.”
For the first time ever in American Jewish history, a long list of national community organizations are coming together to fight child abuse and create safety and protection for children. Co-sponsoring the National Week are Jewish Board of Child Advocates (JBAC), Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), Union of Orthodox Congregations (OU) , Rabbinical Alliance of America (Iggud Harrabanim),and The Jewish Institute Supporting an Abuse-Free Environment (JSafe). This is not only newsworthy in the Jewish community, but it also marks the first time any faith community has supplemented the government’s official National Child Abuse Prevention Month that has taken place each year in April since1983. We are hopeful that the government will endorse our plan and will encourage other faith communities to hold similar national events for child safety.
Please find enclosed a memo being sent by these organizations all around the country to Jewish schools and synagogues, offering several ways that communities can get involved in educating themselves on child sexual abuse, ways to prevent it, and ways to offer support to victims and families who have endured this traumatic experience.
The Jewish community of Chicago, led by the Chicago Rabbinical Council and the Associated Talmud Torahs, has been chosen to host our kick-off event on October 17th. The Chicago event planning committee is being led by the JBAC’s Dr. Skolnik and Dorron Katzin. Please find enclosed a press release for that event in which you will see that speakers will include Chicago’s own Rabbi Gedalia Dov Shwartz, Shlita, and Rabbi Moshe Soloveitchik Shlita, (on JBAC’s rabbinic committee) as well as respected psychoanalyst Vivian Skolnik, Ph.D.,(on our executive committee). They will be joined by national lecturers Rabbi Marc Dratch of JSAFE (and JBAC), Elliot Pasik, Esq. and Asher Lipner, Ph.D, (President and Executive VP of JBAC) in presenting the latest cutting edge information on how parents and community members can act responsibly to protect our children.
We are fortunate to be able to present courageous adult survivors of abuse, Mark Weiss and Ester Malka Reich who can inform the community in a way nobody else can about what the experience of abuse is like, how the abusers manipulate children into it, and what parents and community members need to know to prevent it. Secondly, there will also be a presentation from a detective from the Chicago Police Department’s Special Victim’s Unit, Linda Paraday, who will describe how law enforcement works with the community to stop molesters.
Please be informed that the JBAC will make available its officers and members of its executive and rabbinic committees for interviews. The adult survivors who are speaking, as well as many others who have spoken or volunteered to speak at JBAC events in the past and future, are also available.
The JBAC would like to express our deep appreciation to the following individuals for making this happen:
Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Ph.D, and Rabbi Steven Weil of the OU, Rabbi Basil Herring and Rabbi Moshe Kletenik of the RCA, Rabbi Gershon Tennenbaum of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, Rabbi Moshe Kushner of the Chicago Rabbinical Committee and Rabbi Shimon Moller of the Associated Talmud Torahs.
NATIONAL JEWISH CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION WEEK
Synagogues, Yeshivas, Day Schools and communities across the country are invited to join the Jewish Board of Advocates for Children, the Union of Orthodox Synagogues, the Rabbinical Council of America, the Rabbinical Alliance of America, and JSafe, in declaring the week of October 17- October 24, 2010 a week focused on spreading awareness of the problem of the sexual, physical and emotional abuse of children in our community. To participate, communities can choose to do some or all of the following:
1. Publicize: Use websites, mailing lists and email lists to get the word out about your participation in Child Abuse Prevention Week and what it is all about.
2. Disseminate: Make available published materials about abuse prevention and intervention. This may include the JBAC Position Paper available at www.jewishadvocates.org, the Torah Umesorah Guidelines for school principals on sexual abuse, the open letter of the Vaad HaRabbanim of Baltimore from April 2007, the Resolutions of the Rabbinical Council of America from 2005 through 2010, Tshuvot from Gedolim published in the 2005 and the 2010 editions of Yeshurun, information available from advocacy websites like RAINN, JSAFE, The Awareness Center, etc.
3. Inform: Create a list of local and national resources for victims of abuse and their families to get emotional support, psychological services and legal help.
a) A Shiur from a Rabbi on the halachas of Pikuach Nefesh and Rodef as well as the issues of Mesirah, Lashon Harah and Chillul Hashem.
b) A lecture from a psychologist, or mental health professional who specializes in treating abuse survivors about the way the community can support survivors and their families, and about how to talk to your children about abuse in the most effective manner
c) A lecture from a lawyer on legal prevention techniques, remedies, and how the civil and criminal justice systems handle child abuse.
d) A presentation by crime prevention experts teaching parents how to keep their children safe
e) Testimonials from adult survivors of abuse are a most effective tool in educating the public about the danger of abuse, and also help shatter the stigma that often hurts the survivors even more than the abuse itself.
5. Inspire: Rabbis can devote their weekly Drasha to the problem of sexual abuse in the community, the need for safety precautions and the need to stand up for and support victims.
6. Support: Create local support groups for survivors of abuse run by mental health professionals with confidentiality and safety. For help setting up a support group contact the Jewish Board of Advocates for Children, at www.jewishadvocates.org.
NATIONAL JEWISH CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION WEEK
OCTOBER 17-24, 2010
JEWISH BOARD OF ADVOCATES FOR CHILDREN
IN COOPERATION WITH
RABBINICAL COUNCIL OF AMERICA
UNION OF ORTHODOX JEWISH CONGREGATIONS OF AMERICA
IGGUD HARABONNIM - RABBINICAL ALLIANCE OF AMERICA
J-SAFE - THE JEWISH INSTITUTE SUPPORTING AN ABUSE-FREE ENVIRONMENT
CHICAGO RABBINICAL COUNCIL
ASSOCIATED TALMUD TORAHS OF CHICAGO
PRESENTS A SEMINAR:
“PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN FROM MOLESTERS”
The goal of the seminar is to help parents, schools, clergy, and all concerned community members to:
• become more aware of the incidents of molestation and their impact on individuals and our community.
• learn how we can better recognize and report knowledge about such incidents.
• hear first-hand what survivors of abuse feel the community and parents need to do to support victims of abuse.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Registration -- 1:00 PM
Mincha at Conclusion of Program – 4:30 PM
Associated Talmud Torahs
Ida Crown Jewish Academy
2828 W. Pratt Blvd., Chicago, IL 60645
Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz, Av Beth Din, Beth Din of America and Chicago Rabbinical Council
Rabbi Mark Dratch, founder of JSafe and JBAC Rabbinical Committee member: Jewish Law and the Prevention of Sexual Abuse
Rabbi Moshe Soloveichik, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Brisk, and JBAC Rabbinical Committee member: The Issue in the Local Community and Where Parents Should Turn for Help
Vivian Skolnick, Ph.D., psychoanalyst and JBAC Executive Committee Member: Profile of a Pedophile
Asher Lipner, Ph.D., psychologist and JBAC Executive Vice President: The Psychological Struggle of the Victim of Abuse
Elliot Pasik, Attorney and JBAC President: Legal History of Child Abuse; We're Winning the Battle; What We Need to Do for the Future
Mark Weiss, JBAC Executive Committee Member: The Personal Story of One Survivor of Abuse and Thoughts on What Parents Need to Know
Esther Malka Reich: The Personal Story of One Survivor of Abuse and Thoughts on What the Community as a Whole Needs To Do
Detective Linda Paraday, Chicago Police Department Special Victims Unit: Procedures for Reporting and Investigating Sexual Abuse of Children
No Admission Fee
For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jewish Board of Advocates for Children, Inc. (JBAC) is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) corporation 52 East Olive Street, Long Beach, NY 11561 www.jewishadvocates.org
Elliot Pasik, Esq., President: email@example.com Asher Lipner, PhD, Exec. Vice President: firstname.lastname@example.org Child Advocates, With A Jewish Heart
About the Jewish Board of Advocates for Children
The Jewish Board of Advocates for Children, a nonprofit, IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation based in New York, was founded three years ago by a group of lawyers, doctors, rabbis, other professionals, and activists who recognize the need for a new voice to be heard that addresses the painful problem of the sexual, physical, and emotional abuse of children.
JBAC was born out of the recognition that existing efforts to curb child abuse are inadequate, and new solutions need to be pursued.
Our seminal document, Position Paper to the New York State Legislature, issued in February 2009, can be found on our web site at www.jewishadvocates.org. We strongly advocate for new laws that will better protect the children who attend religious and other nonpublic schools.
JBAC has already achieved great success. We were the original and successful proponent of a new law in New York State which authorizes yeshivas and all nonpublic schools to fingerprint and background check their employees. In this manner, our schools can avoid hiring registered sex offenders and other dangerous persons who should not work near children.
Additional legislation we seek, both state and federal, are mandatory employee background checks; the strengthening of mandatory reporting laws; a national registry of abusive educators; no silent resignations; banning of religious school corporal punishment.
We have advertised this summer on billboards in the Catskill Mountains where Jewish children go to summer camp. The billboards carried public service announcements about steps parents and children should take to have a safe abuse free summer.
Our members have been quoted in many general and Jewish media.
We have successfully been involved in several criminal and civil prosecutions of deviant sex offenders.
We have accompanied sex abuse survivors to court, and referred them to treatment.
JBAC has also been involved in several conferences addressing the sex abuse problem in the Jewish community, held at Young Israel of Flatbush (Brooklyn); Congregation Ohab Zedek (Manhattan), Congregation Ahavas Israel (Passaic, N.J.), and elsewhere.