Preventing and responding to abuse in the Jewish community

JCFS Chicago offers culturally sensitive education and training to increase awareness, prevent and respond to abuse in Jewish homes and communal institutions. 

Partnership for Safer Communities  
Safer Communities promotes interpersonal safety, health and well-being in synagogues, Jewish day schools, Jewish day and overnight camps and other Jewish institutions through education, training, and policy review. 

Programs include:  
Safer Synagogues engages congregational leadership in professional training and facilitated discussion sessions to increase their capacity to respond to the needs in their community.  Learn more. 

Safer Camps engages Jewish day and overnight camp administration and counselors in training and discussion about establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries, the signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect, and responding to disclosures or suspicions of abuse and neglect.  Learn more.

Safer Schools engages Jewish day school administrators, teachers, staff, parents, and students in education and training about establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries, signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect, and responding to disclosures or suspicions of abuse and neglect.   Learn more.

Boundaries, Abuse and Supporting Communities Staff Training for administrators, educators, counselors, b’nai mitzvah tutors and other professionals or volunteers that work with children and families.  Topics include establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries, the signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect and responding to disclosures or suspicions of abuse and neglect. 

Safer Shabbat 
Synagogues are encouraged to designate one Shabbat a year as  Safer Shabbat, to celebrate the strength within abuse survivors of all ages and circumstances and bring the community together to acknowledge the hardship and inspire empowerment. We have designed a Safer Shabbat Resource Guide with language and prayers focused on abuse prevention and survivor support.  The Guide also includes additional educational material for synagogues to share with congregants via their newsletters and/or website to enhance their Shabbat table discussions and beyond. 

To report suspicions or knowledge of child abuse or neglect, call the DCFS Hotline at 1.800.25.ABUSE (1.800.252.2873)  

For more information please contact: 
Bracha Jakofsky, MSW, Abuse Prevention Coordinator & Mental Health Educator, 847.745.5430

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For assistance or more information, call us at 855.275.5237 or email us at Ask@JCFS.org.