Partnership for Safer Communities

JCARES Safer Communities initiative is an innovative program promoting health and safety in Jewish day schools, synagogues, camps and other settings. 

Through education, policy review and community-building efforts, Safer Communities programs engage lay and professional staff – rabbis and clergy; synagogue, school and camp administrators; educators; parents and students – in learning and dialogue about the impact of abuse across the lifespan, improving access to support for those experiencing abusive situations and coordinated community strategies that perpetuate healthy, peaceful homes, families and relationships. Safer Communities supports institutions in their efforts to ensure sustainable safe environments into the future.
 

Safer Synogogues and Shuls

Safer Synagogues/Shuls engages congregational leadership – clergy, professional and lay – in learning and discussion about the impact of abuse across the lifespan, improving access to support for those experiencing abusive situations, and instituting policies that promote safe environments.    

Objectives and Benefits

  • Rabbis and other leaders gain a heightened understanding of their roles and responsibilities – including legal obligations – to intervene when congregants are experiencing abuse.
  • Congregants are more aware of community resources and feel more comfortable turning to the Rabbi or other synagogue/shul leaders for support and guidance.
  • The program offers an integrated, efficient way to weave the concept of safe and healthy relationships into synagogue/shul structure, philosophies and agendas.
  • Synagogue/shuls are guided in review and development of individualized protocols and policies that ensure sustainable environments into the future. 

Participating Synagogues/Shuls 

Am Shalom, Glencoe

Anshe Emet Synagogue, Chicago

Anshe Sholom, Chicago 

Anshe Tikvah, Arlington Heights

Beis Medrash Mikor HaChaim, Chicago

Beth Emet, Evanston 

Beth Judea, Long Grove

B'nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim, Deerfield

Congregation Hakafa, Glencoe

Congregation Kneseth Israel, Elgin

Congregation Or Chadash, Chicago

Congregation Or Shalom, Vernon Hills

Congregation Or Torah, Skokie

Emanuel Congregation, Chicago 

Ezra Habonim Niles Township Jewish Congregation, Skokie

Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, Evanston

Kehilat Chovevei Tzion, Skokie

Lakeside Congregation, Highland Park

Mishkan, Chicago

North Shore Congregation Israel, Glencoe

North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park

Temple Beth-El, Northbrook

Temple Beth Israel, Skokie

Temple Jeremiah, Northfield

Temple Judea Mizpah, Skokie

Temple Sholom, Chicago
 

Safer Schools

Safer Schools engages Jewish day schools administrators, teachers, staff, parents, and students in education and training about healthy relationships, handling accusations or disclosures of abuse or unhealthy behavior, and corresponding legal responsibilities. 

Objectives and Benefits

  • School personnel have a heightened understanding of their roles and responsibilities – including legal obligations – to safeguard students' overall well-being.
  • Parents and students feel more comfortable turning to the school personnel for support and guidance.
  • The program offers an integrated, efficient way to weave the concepts of healthy relationships and safety into the school's institutional structure.
  • Schools are guided in the review and development of individualized policies and procedures for protecting students, their families and school staff.

Participating Schools

Akiba Schechter Jewish Day School

Arie Crown Hebrew Day School 

Cheder Lubavitch Hebrew Day School boys and girls

Hanna Sacks Bais Yaakov High School

Hillel Torah North Suburban Day School 

Joan Dachs Bais Yaakov  

Lubavitch Girls High School 

Yeshiva Ohr Boruch/ The Veitzner Cheder

Yeshiva Netzach Eliyahu

Yeshivas Tiferes Tzvi 
 

Safer Camps

Safer Camps supports Jewish day and overnight camp administration and counselors by heightening their understanding of the signs and symptoms of child abuse and molestation, establishing healthy boundaries, responding to disclosures or suspicions of unhealthy behaviors, and mandated reporting laws.

Objectives and Benefits

  • Camp personnel have a heightened understanding of their roles and responsibilities – including legal obligations – to safeguard camper's overall well-being.
  • Camp personnel feel more comfortable responding sensitively and appropriately to stressful situations.
  • The program offers an integrated, efficient way to weave the concepts of health and safety into the camp's institutional structure.
  • Camps are guided in the review and development of policies that standardize procedures for protecting campers and camp staff.

Participating camps

Agudath Israel of Illinois Day Camps – Munchkins, Bnos, Bnoseinu, and Pirchei Boys

Agudah Midwest Boys

Agudah Midwest Girls

Associated Talmud Torahs Camp

Bernard Horwich JCC Day Camp – Early Childhood, Boys, and Girls

JCC Chavayah Overnight Camp for Girls 

Camp Moshava 

Camp Netzachim

Gan Yisroel Girls