SHUL presidents and rabbis came together on Tuesday night to improve the protection of children at synagogues across Sydney.
More than 20 representatives from Orthodox synagogues attended the meeting at Jewish House and pledged to offer better training to rabbis and communal leaders, and to implement an accreditation process for shuls.
“A group of people will be set up by the community to work with every synagogue and to make sure they are compliant when it comes to policy, procedures for dealing with child sexual abuse, protocols and policies to report any allegation of abuse, signage in the synagogue, and proper communication with members,” Jewish House’s Rabbi Mendel Kastel (pictured) told The AJN.
“While almost all synagogues already have these policies in place, this is a more formal way to raise the standards and ensure that we can all work together, share resources and ensure greater accountability,” Rabbi Kastel said.
The training for rabbis will begin next week when the Rabbinical Council of NSW holds a session with Dr Cathy Kezelman, who was made a Member of the Order of Australia last month for her advocacy for survivors of child abuse.
“The RCNSW looks forward to working with all rabbis to help improve the standing of rabbonim, and most importantly to protect our children and support those who are suffering,” said RCNSW honorary secretary Rabbi Chaim Ingram.