Brooklyn, NY – At an unprecedented meeting in Flatbush last night, directors of thirty six summer camps met to discuss the issue of child molestation in summer camps, bringing to the forefront an issue which, unfortunately, does occur in Jewish summer camps, but more often than not is quietly ignored. This marks, perhaps, the first time the issue of sexual abuse in summer camps has been openly addressed on such a large scale. The meeting was spearheaded by Beth Kaplan, director of Sacred Lives, a small and relatively unknown that deals with child molestation in the frum community. Dozens of camps catering to the yeshivish and Chassidic communities signed on for this initiative.
A seventeen page handbook, in both English and Yiddish, distributed to all participants contained many useful tools for dealing with this serious problem. Included in the handbook was a sample letter to be mailed to parents before the start of the summer, encouraging them to speak to their children about this issue and a fact sheet for parents containing suggestions for discussing this delicate issue with their children, both of which were prepared by Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudath Israel of America. The handbook also contained suggested rules for appropriate staff behavior and guidelines for dealing with a child who has been sexually abused.
The camps who participated are:
BYA DAY CAMP, CAMP ADAS YEREIM, CAMP AGUDAH, CAMP ANNA HELLER, CAMP BAIS YAAKOV, CAMP BNEI SHIMON YISROEL SHOPRON, CAMP BNOS, CAMP BONIM, CAMP CHAVIVA, CAMP CHAYA SARAH, CAMP DARKEI EMUNAH, CAMP EMUNAH, CAMP KOCHAVIM, CAMP L’MAN ACHAI, CAMP MA-NA-Vu, CAMP MORRIS, CAMP NAALEH, CAMP OHR SHRAGA, CAMP RAYIM, CAMP REDAD OF LUSK, CAMP SHALOH, CAMP SHALVA OF MONTICELLO, CAMP SHIRA, CAMP SILVER LAKE, CAMP SIMCHA/CAMP SIMCHA SPECIAL, CAMP STERNBERG, CAMP TORAS CHESED, CAMP YEDIDIM, CAMP YESHIVA CHABAD SUMMER ADVENTURE, MACHNE BNOS SQUARE, MACHANE MASORES, MACHNE SVA ROTZHON, NOAM DAY CAMP, PROSPECT PARK DAY CAMP, TORAS CHAIM TASHBAR.
For the full brochure that was handed out PDF here