Working with Children

August 19, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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Tzedek, the advocacy group focusing on sexual abuse on children has called for checks to be made on communal workers and shlichim within the Jewish community.

Tzedek’s published position is that institutions must remain responsible for ensuring that they establish and maintain clear policies and processes for protecting children in their care.  Institutions must have documented and transparent processes for dealing with allegations of inappropriate behaviour of staff in child-related positions, irrespective of and in addition to the WWCC process.

Manny Waks heads Tzedek

Manny Waks heads Tzedek

Tzedek has publicly raised concern regarding how a number of institutions within the Jewish community have dealt with and continue to deal with allegations of inappropriate behaviour of staff or volunteers towards children.  It is Tzedek’s view that such institutions should, at the very least, include the following as part of their process:

▪    Immediately remove from contact with children any staff member or volunteer against whom allegations are made of inappropriate behaviour towards children.
▪    Bring in the police to conduct an investigation in the event that allegations against any staff member or volunteer involve the possibility of a potential criminal offence.
▪    Ensure that those who have raised the issue of inappropriate conduct have their privacy and personal well-being protected.

Clear processes and procedures are also extremely important when dealing with international/overseas employees and volunteers. In the context of Jewish organisations, many of the Jewish youth groups have overseas representatives (referred to as a “shaliach” or “shlichah”, an emissary) who provide leadership and direction for the particular group.  Other Jewish organisations bring in overseas “scholars in residence” who spend time within Jewish institutions with children.

In such contexts, checks undertaken to determine whether or not to provide a WWCC clearance to those overseas guests is practically meaningless as they will have no Australian record.  Further, even if the WWCC includes a police check, currently there are no formal means to obtain police checks for international volunteers. Therefore a broad pre-employment screening process and risk-management processes for dealing with inappropriate behaviour of staff are of paramount importance as they are the primary tools available for protecting children from what is essentially a completely unknown element.

Tzedek CEO Manny Waks told J-Wire: “Our recommendations concerning shlichim and communal workers are based on fact and not on fear. There have been a number of allegations made both in Sydney and Melbourne.:


7 Responses to “Working with Children”
  1. Sol says:

    ‘otto’ = Often Threatening Tzedeks Opinion! My question to you is WHY ????

    • Otto Waldmann says:


      The “why” is ALWAYS minutely explicit by me precisely in what I always say.
      One other matter needs explaining; I do NOT threaten per se. If you want to say that my positions threaten the validity of most of Tzedek’s opinions, then we are on the same page.

      • Otto Waldmann says:

        ………..sorry “Sol”, I just realized that you were actually funnyyyyyyyyyy !!!!!
        yeah, the “Otto” stuff…………not bad.

        anyways, me not funny. I mean what I said with and without the acronyms.

  2. Embi says:

    Of course you are right Otto. It is not as though Jewish communal organisations such as Yeshivah and Maccabi have had a history of ignoring clear warning signs that kids were at risk of abuse, ignored pleas for assistance from victims of abuse and their families. Of course not. Why would such ethical and moral organisations need any assistance from the civil authorities who can do things like run police checks on the older adolescents and adults we entrust our kids with???

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      Of course you are incredibly right “Embi” – the famous acronym for “Engaging, Meddling, But Irrelevant ” and I at once would reccomend the following “Civil authorities” – what a lovely and novel Institution !!- :

      – The Iranian Moral Police
      – People’s Red Guards of PR of China
      – The Embi shtorm troopers, particularly the Many Waks special intervention battallion.

      Any more tachles eitzes Embi habbibi, do not hesitate to contat me again.
      Don’t even think about looking up “hesitation” in the Dictionary of Hutzpah.

  3. Otto Waldmann says:

    From the farcical spheres of the opostolic hallucinations of the “Tzdek” factotum self appointed moral executor, we see yet another episode of chest beating futile attempt at the barging into Jewish Communal institutions the same ones quite extremely capable to handle all matters raised here on their own.
    What is, once again, disturbing are the insinuations that all Jewish heads and communal members are quite incapable to fathom the minimum of ethical notions without the indispensable Grand Inquisitor, the sine qua non purveyor of Jewish moral values. More so, the same institution and their hoi poloi are, necessarily and inevitably condemned by the same to the road of perdition, actually insinuating that they are committing all the abominations while the Indispensable is kept outside, ante portas.
    While one is on a Latin verve: quousque tandem abutere patientia nostra !! ( Cicero : “how long are you going to abuse our patience ! ” ).
    All statements and no questions.
    Here is one : HOW DARE YOU !!!

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