Resolution on the Prevention of Childhood Abuse and the Support of Survivors of Childhood Abuse

Posted on: Tuesday March 24, 2020

Whereas all human beings are holy and created in the image of God (Gen 1:27).

Whereas our children are our future and we have a responsibility to protect them.

Whereas childhood abuse inflicts lifelong trauma on survivors.

Whereas the Conservative/Masorti movement has a responsibility to ensure the safety of the children participating in our programs, as well as the responsibility to give our children valuable life skills in keeping with the mitzvah of Shmirat Hagoof.

Whereas studies show that most people do not report childhood sexual abuse until adulthood,

Therefore, be it resolved, in order to enable survivors to experience justice, we call for the elimination of statutes of limitations on all forms of childhood abuse inflicted by adults.

Be it further resolved that we call upon Conservative/Masorti movement affiliated preschools and K-12 schools to provide sexual violence prevention education. We recommend schools include the goals of understanding your body, feelings, boundaries, identifying if something doesn’t seem or feel right, and asking for help. We also call upon our movement affiliated camps and youth groups to provide self-defense/evasion education.

Be it further resolved, that we as RA rabbis seek to thoroughly vet, in the institutions which we serve, all candidates who may work with children or young adults, and we urge other branches of the Conservative/Masorti movement to do the same; and

Be it further resolved, that our institutions work with experts in this field to ensure best practices for keeping our children safe as well as to fully support victims when they report abuse. Further, we shall ensure a culture in which victims are never shamed in any way, rather protected and supported.

Be it further resolved, we call upon all Jewish professionals to use utmost discretion, and make a practice of never meeting alone with a student. If there is a need for a one-on-one conversation or lesson with a child, it 

should be in a visible place; offices should have open doors or windows.

Be it further resolved, that the Rabbinical Assembly strongly stand with all survivors of childhood abuse.