Thursday, February 24, 2005


Also in the Forward, Steven I. Weiss reports on plans for a new organization called JSafe: The Jewish Institute Supporting an Abuse Free Environment, which will "certify organizations that adopt policies to combat the problem" of sexual abuse:
The hope, [founder Rabbi Mark Dratch] said, is that the "seal of approval" he will provide will become "something that parents would begin to look for."
Any effort that makes dealing properly with the problem of sexual abuse into a basic requirement of Jewish communal life (and not having the tools to deal with it properly into something the community will effectively penalize you for) is of-course not only welcome but well overdue, although details still seem sketchy at the moment, and how well it will be received in practice remains to be seen. My initial -- and admittedly minor -- thought, however, is that while 'JSafe' is a clever acronym, it is perhaps not such a great name. You can never guarantee to parents that their children are in an abuse-free environment (which is what 'JSafe' makes it sound like), merely that the problem will be dealt with seriously and properly when it comes to light. The name 'JSafe,' I think, potentially lulls people into a false sense of security.

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