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Youth Safety Policy Form

Havurah Shalom Youth Safety Policy

Please read the Youth Safety Policy in full and type your name below to confirm that you have read and will comply with the policy.

General Purpose

Havurah Shalom is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all people who participate in our congregation-sponsored educational programs and activities, including our children. To this end, a youth safety task force was convened to develop guidelines and procedures to help us fulfill this commitment. These guidelines have the positive dual effect of protecting our children, as well as protecting adults from being falsely accused of inappropriate actions.


For purposes of this policy, the terms “child” or “children” include all persons under the age of eighteen (18) years.


Adult/Children Interaction Rule

No adult should be alone with one non-related child in a closed area at Havurah Shalom or at a Havurah Shalom activity away from the Havurah Shalom building. A closed area means an area with no sight or sound contact to adjacent areas. It includes remote areas not within sight or sound of others (e.g. closed rooms at an off-site event, off a hiking trail). In these spaces the expectation is that either two or more adults would be with the child or one adult has two or more children present.

Within Havurah Shalom, most spaces are fine because they are within easy sight of others. However, the few closed spaces are:

  • the farthest back classroom (Gan), [However the classrooms used for child care during religious services (Pardes and Kerem) are not closed spaces because these rooms are visible and audible from outside the room.]
  • the bathrooms – A single adult can walk a child to the bathroom, and then wait outside in the hall. Our Shabbat School children are old enough to go into the bathroom alone or can go in with other children. A childcare worker working with a younger child may need to ask that child’s parent to take him or her to the bathroom.
  • the entire building if no one else is in it. For example, tutoring of a bnei mitzvah student when the building is otherwise vacant would violate the Adult/Child interaction rule
Outside Havurah Shalom, examples of closed spaces are:
  • a vehicle. For example, a single adult may not drive a single unrelated child on a Havurah Shalom-sponsored field trip. (This does not include transportation that parents arrange to get their children from home to Havurah or from home directly to the site of a field trip. It only applies for transportation to and from Havurah that is part of Havurah sponsored field trips.)
  • off a hiking trail
  • a closed room
  • any other area that is a closed area at an off-site Havurah Shalom activity.

The Adult/Child Interaction rule applies to all adult/children interactions at Havurah Shalom, including but not limited to Shabbat School, Middle School, High School, childcare, and bnei mitzvah tutoring at Havurah. It applies to paid or volunteer babysitters caring for children, even if the babysitter is under 18 years of age.

Rabbi/Education Director – Child Interaction

We recognize that in the normal course of their roles related to pastoral support, it may be important for the Rabbi or Education Director to meet privately with a child. These meetings may take place in their offices as long as the shades are open and there is visual access to the room. However, we encourage the meetings to be held in open areas, such as the Library, but the Rabbi or Education Director may feel that that is not the best situation for the child’s particular need at that time.

Communal Responsibility

Adherence to the Adult/Child Interaction rule is the responsibility of the entire Havurah community, paid staff, as well as congregants. In addition, parents, when registering their children for Shabbat, Middle, or High Schools, will be asked to acknowledge, in writing, their understanding of and willingness to follow these guidelines.

To further support this Adult/Child Interaction rule, a general effort should be made to maintain visibility into all areas when children are present. Interior doors of rooms with children in them should never be locked and should be kept open to the extent compatible with activities in adjacent rooms. Interior windows, including windows on doors, should be kept clear of artwork or other things that limit visibility into areas used for activities with children.


I have read the Adult/Child Interaction Policy and agree to follow it.
Tue, June 18 2024 12 Sivan 5784