Someone tell me Charedi Shules are also involved?

i saw the following from the RCV and whilst not knowing the program details I must admit that places chock full of children such as Adass and Rabbi Kohns Torah centre, Rabbi Donnenbaums Heichal HaTorah and Beth Hatalmud have not signed up (yet?)

It is one thing not to be part of the RCV but it’s another to have your head buried in the sand and assume you don’t have lurking pedophiles. We know it’s likely not true in some of above. One can only hope they have or will join but simply didn’t want to be listed on an RCV press release (small minded in my view given the gravity of the issue)



The Rabbinical Council of Victoria Inc (RCV) has just launched its Child Protection Policy Program in Shules 

in partnership with Australian Childhood Foundation. This vital project will prioritise the rights of children to protection from abuse by employees and volunteers in member shules across the state. Working closely with the Australian Childhood Foundation, each participating shule will formulate an effective child protection policy and system to cover all of its programs and activities. .  

The member shules will be participating in the Foundation’s Safeguarding Children Accreditation Program, which systematically builds the capacity of organisations to keep children and young people through

•enhancing and maintaining a collective culture that promotes the safety of children and young people;

•reviewing, designing and executing specific policies and procedures to protect children and young people;

•providing relevant training to management, staff and volunteers;

•engaging the involvement of children, young people and their parents/carers in safeguarding practices;

•implementing a consistent set of endorsed operational standards at every level; and,

•responding effectively to situations in which a child is abused or exploited by an individual involved in the management or delivery of a service or activity.

Dr Joe Tucci, CEO of the Australian Childhood Foundation applauded the RCV for taking this initiative. “It is an important commitment by any organisation to become accredited under the Safeguarding Children Program. It will help everyone involved in shules to understand their responsibilities to protect children and keep them safe”.   

Dr Tucci said that “Safeguarding Children accreditation will demonstrate that each shule has achieved and maintained best practice standards for protecting children and young people from abuse and exploitation whilst they participate in the shule’s services and programs”.

Throughout 2015 the shules will be attending monthly Safeguarding Children Workshops in order to develop their policies and procedures in line with the seven standards.  The inaugural workshop was held this week.

Rabbi Moshe Kahn, Executive member of the RCV stated “The RCV is committed to safe guarding children, making sure that each and every child that enters our shules is protected and that both the child and parent can know with confidence that best practice child protection is in place.”

The following shules have joined this program:

          Aish HaTorah

          Chabad Bentleigh

          Blake Street Hebrew Congregation

          Brighton Hebrew Congregation

          Chabad on Carlisle (FREE) Inc

          Chabad Carnegie

          Chabad House of Caulfield


          Chabad Glen Eira

          Elwood Talmud Torah Congregation

          Hamerkaz Shelanu, Lamdeni and KaTeeny

          Chabad Malvern

          Melbourne Hebrew Congregation

          Moorabbin Hebrew Congregation,

          L’Chaim Chabad Kingston

          Sha’arei Tefillah

          Shnei Ohr Chabad North Caulfield

          South Caulfield Hebrew Congregation

          Yeshivah Shule, including Young Yeshivah and Kollel Menachem

          Caulfield Hebrew Congregation, including Ohr Chadash

          East Melbourne Hebrew Congregation

Author: pitputim

I've enjoyed being a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia, as well as band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel and later in life at Machon L'Hora'ah, Yeshivas Halichos Olam.

25 thoughts on “Someone tell me Charedi Shules are also involved?”

  1. Whilst all of this is an amazing step forward I believe that the main focus is all wrong. Sex offenders are amazingly crafty and sneaky no matter what policy is in place.
    The focus needs to be on the kids. On educating and empowering them as much as possibly so that if they are ever found to be in a dodgy situation they will know what to do


    1. This is true but there is no suggestion this is the only thing happening. Schools and homes have a big role to play of course but it would be a tragedy if Charedi shules didn’t participate when the evidence is abundantly clear the world over that they are no better and perhaps even worse


    2. Talya, both are needed, institutional activism and childhood education.
      Parents must ensure their children are in a safe environment at all times.


    1. Not that I know of. I said that. But you’d like to think that the politics of not being part of the RCV comes second to signing up to be accredited especially when we know what we know


  2. With a little investigation I think you will find that at least one of the shuls you list has had in place policies, procedures and associated training for those working in leadership roles for several years. Based on the findings of the Royal commission its policies are being targeted to be refreshed accordingly.

    In many respects the current program of the RCV which is brilliant and most welcome is playing catch up in this area.


    1. I’m sure some places have policies but I wasn’t digging. In fact I didn’t notice that Mizrachi wasn’t listed either. Kew and Doncaster aren’t there either. Could be their Rabbi’s were not at the meeting. My comment was more about places which are NOT on the RCV for political reasons. THESE places should all cast aside their politics and ALL become accredited. We can do with a bit of kiddush hashem after the Shandes and Charpa courtesy of Cyprys, Kramer, Hyman et al and the instructions that really had no idea how to deal with this professionally in a way that protected other children. I will blog another story soon


  3. I think you may find that the other shuls you have just listed may very well have long established policies, procedures and training in place. You may find that they along with at least one ‘charedi’ shul have implemented all of this several years ago.

    You are correct that ALL shuls (no mater what denomination) and any other community body that deals directly with children or represents the interests of children MUST implement policies, procedures and training. It shouldn’t mater whether they do this via an RCV initiative, some other ruling body or their own initiative and funding.

    You left out a few shuls. I think a better picture includes but is not limited to:
    Mount Scopus Shul
    Yavneh – Elsternwick
    The Central Shul
    Ohr Yisroel
    The St Kilda Hebrew Congregation
    Sassoon Yehudah Sephardi Synagogue
    Mizrachi (including Beit HaRoeah, Bogrim, Young Marrieds etc.)

    This RCV initiative has taken some time to pull together and for each of the shuls you have listed to select their trainee candidate. I would be surprised that the reason why Mizrachi, Kew or Doncaster (or for TBI, Shira Chadasha or the Masoarti) are not associated is simply because they missed the meeting. You may find that sadly additional (non charedi) politics are in play and this is a ‘silent’ protest from many shuls to the RCV, its overall framework, its skewed religious leanings and affiliations.

    Sadly the greatest shanda is the number of shuls (including chabad, charedi and quasi -chaerdi) that still do not have in place top level policies, procedures and training and only when those representing the Royal commissioners suggest a need to do ‘Teshuva’ that the wheels are put into motion. ALL shuls should have done this years ago. Certainly since the mid-2000’s when the entire community came to know of Kramer, Cyprus, Leifer et al.


    1. Excellent list. I didn’t even realise/notice. I’m going to bring this to the attention of the RCV. It makes my post look like a Charedi bash when that wasn’t my intention. I think Yavneh Elsternwick falls under Mizrachi. Not sure about Gandel Besen.


  4. What about Jewish organisations that aren’t affiliated to synagogues? E.g., some youth groups, care groups and so forth.


    1. Good point. I learned last night that all the Shules bar 3 have simply extended their new school policies to shules. I will check the three before naming and shaming them.


  5. could it be that the shuls that didn’t join their Rabbi’s were not at the meeting?

    I don’t think that the decisions to join this program was taken by the rabbis at a meeting of the RCV.

    the members of the RCV are rabbis and not shuls. (the shuls have their own organization-the COSV), a shul rabbi is an employee of a shul and any decision on a policy in a shul is taken by the committees of the shul and not by the rabbi, unless the rabbi owns the shul, as are most the of the shules that joined this program.

    the RCV should educate and instruct their members, instead of producing statements for the public, or programs for the shuls.


    1. No I have it that every Shule member or not were approached. The RCV could have mention a list of Shules that are following an auditable acceptable protocol but those shules are affiliated with schools and are following the school standards. As I said I believe there are 3 who are not and they are all Charedi. I will confirm 100% and then name them if they are not. I’m told one institution said it was ‘too expensive’. If I find this to be true I will suggest all donors withhold their donations until they realise the importance of the issue. We all know there are no guarantees but we all expect that ונקדשתי בתוך בני ישראל is taken seriously


      1. With all respect to R’ Donnebaum, installing CCTV cannot possibly prevent sexual abuse. I understand that almost all sexual abuse takes place between people known to each other, and it’s often preceded by a lengthy period of “grooming”. This developmental period isn’t necessarily obvious or the sort of thing that would show up on a silent video. As for the abuse itself, I think we can presume that the abuser won’t do it in front of a camera; it will be done elsewhere, perhaps even in the victim’s home. A program aimed at preventing sexual abuse needs to recognise and address these tactics, not merely prevent actual abuse from taking place within the synagogue itself.


        1. Not only that, if it happens in a toilet without CCTV and comes to light ten years later, then what? I haven’t confirmed if Rabbi Donnenbaum has decided this is what is Kehilla will do or whether they voted for this, but I’d be happy to hear from someone who frequents that Shule in this blog


  6. Sadly, I’m a little disappointed in the way this post is heading. Its premise was noble and now discussion is turning to naming and shaming and poking fun at one of Melbourne’s most knowledgeable Rabbis based on an unsubstantiated ridiculous notion. We have all seen the results of ‘naming and shaming’ when a stream of Chabad Rabbis were held to account at the Royal commission for ‘naming and shaming’

    Lets focus on the real issue at hand here which is child safety through implementation of policies, procedures and training. Instead of naming and shaming perhaps a more appropriate way to address this issue is to find a way to work ‘quietly’ with these institutions to implement a solution. It shouldn’t mater if it is conducted through the RCV or independently, so long as it is done. If funding is the issue, surely you can help find sponsors for this vital framework to be implemented across the board.
    Note: I would like to think that with regards to child safety we could include TBI, the Masoarti and Shira Chadasha too. So far have noted your great concern for the charedi children, I sincerely hope your investigations cover other denominations too.


    1. I don’t interact with non Orthodox temples and the like BUT if I hear that ‘it’s too expensive’ to implement child protection, then I will confirm first, so that congregants there know that the RCV actually contacted all Orthodox shules; members or not and if they don’t institute an acceptable policy then it is a MITZVAH to warn parents. The Kehilla that doesn’t implement an acceptable policy, as mandated by experts (not Talmidei Chachomim) are negligent and should be front page of my blog, the AJN and the local Hamodia.


      1. pitputim

        “… and if they don’t institute an acceptable policy then it is a MITZVAH to warn parents”.

        Are you able to describe what is “an acceptable policy”?


        1. No. It’s like asking a doctor what treatment is suitable. There are a few examples of best world practice. Given what’s being going on in the world, they should adopt one. It’s not my area of expertise nor is it that of someone with yoreh yoreh and even Yadin Yadin. It may well be that guidelines will be legislated post the royal commission in Melbourne but we we are well past being proactive

          Nothing is an assurance of course


  7. If all that you are able to answer is no, than your threat that “The Kehilla that doesn’t implement an acceptable policy, as mandated by experts (not Talmidei Chachomim) are negligent and should be front page of my blog, the AJN and the local Hamodia”, is plain nonsense.

    When all that you are able to write is that they didn’t want to answer the RCV’s questions, you will also have to explain why they should do so, and I don’t think that you will be able to explain why.


    1. They answered the RCV. Their answers appear to leave some doubt as to whether they have recognised policies. I’m in the middle of nailing this down. I believe the RCV has a duty to report any Shule (member or not member) that has no acceptable policy. They are the largest rabbinic organisation. Imagine a barrister from the Royal Commission asking why an Anglican didn’t report a Roman Catholic Church that refused to implement a policy. I’m not sure what your point is Dovid. I’m not interested in politics: what has been shown is that we have room to improve and that the danger often lurks in quiet ways with people finding out a decade or more later. I’d hate to have been negligent now by refusing to put into place acceptable policies


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