Sunday, February 20, 2005

SIW: Rabbi Dratch Leaving Pulpit To Launch Certification Organization (JSAFE) to certify organizations that have proper anti-abuse policies


At 6:52 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

Hat tip to Luke Ford and SIW.


February 20, 2005
Sexual Improprieties Watchdog Rabbi To Launch Certification Organization
At today's Edah conference, Rabbi Mark Dratch, chairman of the Sexual Improprieties Task Force of the RCA, announced that he'll be leaving his congregational post in approximately 6 months to launch a program called JSAFE, which is to certify organizations that have proper anti-abuse policies. Dratch said it will be "like the OU," in that organizations will apply for certification, and those that qualify will be given a "seal of approval." He said it is his hope that all Jewish parents will come to require such a seal before sending their children to schools or camps.
He mentioned that JSAFE would have specific requirements for organizations' anti-abuse policies, but didn't indicate whether it would conduct background checks.
I asked him when, assuming his system works, Jewish parents could be reasonably assured that their children and teens are safe, and his response was: "Unfortunately, I don't know," that JSAFE "will take six months to one year to get the organization set up," and that while at the next Edah conference (in 2 years) he'd "love" to come back and report on all the progress he'd have made, "it may take a couple of more sessions."
So, what should JSAFE do, how should it do it, and how assured should the community be by it?

Posted by Steven I. Weiss at February 20, 2005 08:12 PM

At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Marlene said...

This is interesting. I heard Vicki Polin at the JOFA conference last year in NY talking about The Awareness Center developing a certification progrom very similar to this. Is this going to be a joint effort of the two organizations?

At 7:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I doubt it Dratch and Polin would work together. Didn't they have a falling out last year?

Dratch dropped The Awareness Center and it appears he's going out on his own. I wonder if Edah is connected to this new organization rabbi Dratch is developing?

At 8:06 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>Didn't they have a falling out
>last year?

That's how the Gafni/Worch people tried to characterize it. We discussed this on Protocols. The reality was that Dratch had disagreements over the posting of cases on the clergy abuse page and a conflict due to his role at the RCA.

>Dratch dropped The Awareness
>Center and it appears he's going
>out on his own. I wonder if Edah
>is connected to this new
>organization rabbi Dratch is

It appears to be seperate from both.
What's your role with The Awareness Center?

"I am not officially connected to them."

What do you think of what they're doing?

"The website and its discussion groups are an invaluable resource for many people. I had been involved at supporting them at one point in time. Vicki Polin has done tremendous work. We had a disagreement about a year ago] over some of the articles published on there with regard to accusations made against individuals. Her feeling is that as long as there is an article out there it should always be public. I disagree with that. If there is no substantiation of the allegations after a period of time and the person may be innocent, those articles should not be there. As a result of that, we have parted ways. She remains an important resource for me and I imagine I am an important resource for her."
Luke: "Why did rabbi Dratch leave the center?"

Vicki: "He was under a great deal of pressure with his position with the RCA. It was a conflict of interest between the two organizations. You would have to ask him."

At 8:09 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

I would note:

1) Per SIW at Protocols
Steven I. Weiss writes: "Luke - Dratch's argument against Polin, that she should remove old stories that have not been substantiated, comes in pretty neatly with the Michael Ozair story. Remember that in that case, only allegations against him had been printed, and the fact that he pleaded no contest in 2001 would have made the allegations three years old with no follow-up. It was precisely because his file was maintained on The Awareness Center's Website that we matched him up as Michael Ezra of, and that we did further inquiry into the matter, reporting his plea for the first time."

2) The current Brandeis University/Rabbi Mark A. Golub case also shows the importance of having these stories posted at the Awareness Center website.

At 8:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's Dratch's educational background in sexual abuse/assault? Does he have the needed education and experience to run an organization that gives a certification?

I've heard Dratch speak a few times. It seems he knows more about Domestic Violence then he knows about Sexual Violence.

At 10:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm curious if Berman and Edah will be involved with JSAFE? Also how closely tied JSAFE will be to the RCA or the OU?

Is'nt this like the fox guarding the henhouse?


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