כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל עֲרֵבִים זֶה בָּזֶה
 
All Jews are responsible for one another. (Babylonian Talmud, Shavuot 39a)
 
In February, the leadership of Orangetown Jewish Center shared a video (https://vimeo.com/678554221) describing our commitment to safeguarding the young people in our community from potential or real abuse. We have proceeded with every available path toward best practices, including our work through the OJC Child Safety Committee (following Sacred Spaces’ Aleinu curriculum) and the OJC Keilim Committee (focusing on the development of broader policies and procedures). The key element of our work is a Safety Assessment which begins now. Please read the information here carefully, and share your determination to fill out the survey with your friends and family, including adult children who grew up in OJC and do not receive our emails. 
 
As we shared in our video, Orangetown Jewish Center (OJC) has engaged Leslie Gomez and Adam Shapiro of Cozen O’Connor’s Institutional Response Group to conduct an external child Safety Assessment. The goal of the child safety assessment is to identify any current and historical concerns about the nature and manner of adult interactions with minors in both informal and formal OJC activities. As part of that assessment, Cozen O’Connor has developed an online form to capture information related to the safety and welfare of minors who intersect – or have intersected – with OJC.  
The form, available at this link allows you to share your observations, feedback, and opinions on these important issues anonymously. Your responses will only be viewable by Cozen O’Connor and Cozen O’Connor will not share any personally identifying information with OJC. If you prefer, you may also directly contact Leslie Gomez at lgomez@cozen.com or 215-665-5546, or Adam Shapiro at ashapiro@cozen.com or 215-665-2009. You also have the opportunity at the end of the form to request a follow-up telephone call or Zoom meeting.

Please note: this form is not meant to serve as a substitute for reporting current concerns about child abuse or neglect. Reports related to suspected child abuse or neglect under New York child protective services law must be reported to the New York Office of Children and Family Services through the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment by calling 1-800-342-3720 or completing the Mandated Reporting Form. Additional information about child abuse and neglect under New York law is available here: Summary Guide for Mandated Reporters in New York State. OJC and Cozen O’Connor will report suspected abuse or neglect of a minor under New York law to the Statewide Central Register.

We hope that everyone will participate in this Safety Assessment because each one of us is essential to ensure that the OJC is truly a sacred and safe space for all of our congregants.
 
L’Shalom,
 
Rabbi Craig Scheff
Rabbi Paula Mack Drill
Rabbi Ami Hersh
Michael Pucci , President
Matt Schiering, President-Elect