Yeshiva reviews child abuse policy

Rabbi Pinchus Feldman.

PUBLICITY about child abuse in the community has prompted Yeshiva College in Sydney to take pro-active steps to improve its policies.

The school has asked a specialist from the Association of Independent Schools (AIS) to review its current child abuse procedures and conduct an audit of all current teachers.

Yeshiva spiritual leader Rabbi Pinchus Feldman said there had been no accusations that any children had been abused but recent publicity had been a catalyst for the school to update its procedures.

“Thankfully, we are not aware of any cases of abuse in our school and we are constantly introducing additional policies and procedures in order that the feeling of safety and security continues to be felt by our students and the school community,” Rabbi Feldman said.

He said the goal of the school is to educate children in a warm and friendly environment and, by reviewing its procedures, it would reinforce children’s safety.

Jewish House’s Rabbi Mendel Kastel welcomed the move by the yeshiva, adding that the articles relating to child abuse in the The AJN over the past three weeks had had a very positive impact on victims.

“There has been an increase in people coming forward, although they are not related to Yeshiva,” Rabbi Kastel said.

“These are issues that need to be brought forward and while it was unfortunate the way the article was run with the rabbi on the front page, the general awareness and encouragement for victims have helped a lot of people out there.”

Following a number of calls from the community The AJN reported one alleged incident of child abuse to the police this week.

Rabbi Kastel stressed that the community should not be unduly alarmed because there hadn’t been a spike relating to specific incidents. However, he said people who had previously experienced abuse or people who cared for those affected by abuse had come forward.

JOSHUA LEVI

Yeshiva spiritual leader Rabbi Pinchus Feldman