1.1 Policy Statement    3

1.2 Scope    3

1.3 Authority    3

1.4 Definitions    3




4.1 Spiritual    5

4.2 Legal    5

4.3 Ethical    5

5. Selection & screening    6

5.1 Leaders    6

5.2 Helpers    7

6. Training    7

7. A Safe Environment    7


9. Reporting Procedures    8

10. ALCOHOL & DRUGS    16

APPENDIX 1 – Application Form    17

APPENDIX 3 – Interview Questions    19


1.1 Policy Statement


Nefesh Synagogue is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all its Members and Leaders. In particular, the safety, protection and well-being of all  children is of fundamental importance to the Synagogue.


The purpose of this Policy is to summarise the obligations imposed by child protection legislation on Nefesh Synagogue and its Leaders and to provide guidelines as to how Nefesh Synagogue will deal with certain matters. 


1.2 Scope


This Policy applies to: 


All Ministries authorised by or under the control of the Synagogue, including those Ministries undertaken at the Synagogue’s premises or away from the Synagogue’s premises.


All Leaders within the Synagogue or engaged by the Synagogue.


1.3 Authority


This Policy was adopted for use by the Board on 26/03/18.


Nefesh Synagogue's Board is committed to implementing this Policy and training our Leaders in its content and application.


1.4 Definitions


Child    Any person under the age of 18.


Abuse    Has the meaning given in section 9. 


Synagogue Nefesh Synagogue, 54 Roscoe St Bondi Beach NSW 2026


Helpers     Any unpaid person over the age of 16 who is invited by a Leader to assist them in their Ministry.


Leader    Any person (paid or unpaid) over the age of 16 who is responsible for the control and safety of members placed in their care whilst holding a formal position in a recognised Ministry of the Synagogue. A leader could include but is not limited to:


Religious Practitioner,

Small group Leaders, 

Music, Drama or other Ministry Leaders,


Youth Leaders,

Sunday School Superintendents,


Kid’s Club Leaders,

Scripture Teachers,

Sports Coaches and Organisers.


Members    Any person, including Children, who attends or participates in Synagogue Ministries.


Ministry    Any organised activity that is authorised by the Synagogue.


Ministry Leader The person recognised and authorised by the Synagogue as head  of a ministry.


Non Member    A person of the Jewish faith/religion and

    Known to the official Youth Leader(s) or to another official representative of Nefesh Synagogue and 

    A Member of another Synagogue and has regularly attended that Synagogue for at least 6 months and

    Subjected to the same screening checks and procedures as a Member would be required.    


Rabbi    Rabbi Richard Moss 

    Address:    128 Wellington St Bondi Beach 

    Phone:     93006504

    Mobile:     0425309755  




We acknowledge that some Ministries in the Synagogue might have external affiliation with other organisations.  These organisations will possibly have policies governing the issues of Member and/or Child Safety and Abuse.  This Policy is not intended to replace or conflict with the other policies, but instead to operate in conjunction with them.



This Policy will be reviewed regularly and might be amended from time to time to take into account amendments to legislation and regulations.


Any proposed changes will be submitted to the Board of Nefesh Synagogue for approval before being implemented.



    4.1 Spiritual


The core beliefs of the Synagogue require us to treat all people with love and dignity and to care for those who are less powerful and in need of nurture and protection.   


    4.2 Legal 


The Synagogue and its Leaders have a range of obligations relating to the safety, protection and welfare of children, including:

A duty of care to ensure that reasonable steps are taken to prevent harm to children;

Obligations under child protection legislation; and

Obligations under work health and safety legislation.


There are three key pieces of child protection legislation in New South Wales:

The Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW) (the Care and Protection Act);

The Ombudsman Act 1974 (NSW) (the Ombudsman Act); and

The Child Protection (Working With Children) Act 2012 (NSW) (the WWC Act).


4.3 Ethical 


Some actions may not be regarded as Abuse, but are unacceptable behaviour for Synagogue Leaders. These include:


Inappropriate conversation of a sexual nature.

Coarse language, especially that of a sexual nature.

Suggestive gestures or remarks.

Jokes of a sexual nature.

Inappropriate, but accidental touching.

Inappropriate literature (e.g. PG, M, MA, R or X rated material used with young Children).

Acts of violence committed by a leader in the course of an activity.


The age of individuals is recognised as one of the determinants in deciding what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. Ministry Leaders will ensure that high standards of conduct are maintained at all times.




5.1 Leaders


Leaders involved in Nefesh Youth Services must be carefully selected and screened. Prior to Leaders commencing Child-related Ministries, the following precautions will be taken:


Volunteer Leaders will be Members and Non Members of the Synagogue that have been screened by management and or the Education Team.


Candidate Leaders will complete an application form which requests details of referees and permission to contact them (see Appendix 1).


Referees will be checked and spoken to, using an agreed set of questions which have been drafted by the Synagogue. The questions will seek to establish the applicant’s suitability for the role or position and the conversation will be documented and retained on file.


Short listed candidate Leaders will be interviewed by an experienced and responsible member of the Synagogue prior to being accepted as a Leader


A Working with children Check will be requested and received prior to the Leader commencing their proposed role, as set out in section 9.


Where the Synagogue has identified that an applicant has previously committed a violent or sexually related offence they cannot, under any circumstances, be considered for child related ministries. 


5.2 Helpers


Helpers are expected to have an awareness of the content of this Policy and its associated procedures and be prepared to work within them.


Any Helper who provides assistance in a Children’s Ministry must be supervised by a Leader at all times and will be accountable to that Leader.


Leaders who accept the assistance of a Helper must be satisfied of the Helpers maturity and their suitability for Children’s Ministry. 



All Leaders will be issued with a copy of this Policy and training in;


The content and application of this Policy,

Reporting procedures and the associated legal requirements


In addition, Ministry Leaders responsible for recruiting Leaders for Child related Ministries will undertake further education on Child/Member Protection.




Incidents of Abuse are unlikely to take place in front of another person and the presence of a witness can assist in clarifying questionable allegations. For these reasons, two Leaders will always be present when working with or supervising Children.


Leaders will not visit Children in their homes unless a parent is present or another Leader accompanies them.


When transporting Children, Leaders should never be alone with a Child in a car. Where this is not practical, Leaders will take Children directly to and from arranged venues and will not spontaneously detour or make additional arrangements. 


All personal counselling is to be carried out within sight of another Leader.


Leaders will respect a Member’s feelings and privacy when engaging in physical contact of any kind. 


Adults and Children are expected to respect each other’s privacy during activities that require undressing, dressing or changing clothes.  Leaders will set an example by protecting their own privacy in similar situations.  No Leader will be alone in a room with a Child while either is changing.


Initiations and secret ceremonies are prohibited.  All aspects of every Child-related programme will be open to observation by parents/guardians.


Leaders have the right to ask people who do not have a valid reason to be present at Child-related activities to leave.  Police may be contacted if such persons refuse to comply with any reasonable request to leave.



It is not the responsibility of the Synagogue or its Leaders to discipline a Child. If a Child does not abide by the rules set down by the Leader, or is an obstruction to the care of other Children or may cause harm to other Children, the Child will be removed and referred back to their parent or guardian. 


At no time will a Leader administer any reasonable form of physical, emotional or mental discipline except in case of peril where reasonable physical restraint may be required.





The Synagogue requires all Leaders, personnel, directors and members of management to report any concern about the safety, welfare or wellbeing of a Child to the Rabbi or his delegate. 


If the allegation involves the Rabbi, the report should be made to the President or Vice President of the Board. 


The Rabbi and President/Vice President will take steps to actively investigate all concerns that are reported to them and where necessary, report those concerns to the police and the Child Protection Hotline.


This obligation is part of the Synagogue's overall commitment to the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children.




The Care and Protection Act provides for mandatory reporting of children at 'risk of significant harm'. All people who are paid employees of the Synagogue and who work with children (e.g. Youth Workers, Children Workers and Music Leaders) are mandatory reporters. If you are not sure whether you are a mandatory reporter you should speak to the Rabbi, the President or the Vice President of the Board. 


While the Care and Protection Act only requires mandatory reporting in relation to a child under 16 years of age, the Synagogue considers that a report should be made to Community Services where there are reasonable grounds to suspect a young person (16 or 17 years of age) is at risk of significant harm and there are current concerns about the safety, welfare and wellbeing of the young person.


Any mandatory reporter who has reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is at risk of significant harm must report to Community Services as soon as practicable, the name, or a description, of the child and the grounds for suspecting that the child is at risk of

significant harm.

Reasonable grounds


'Reasonable grounds' refers to the need to have an objective basis for suspecting that a Child may be at risk of significant harm, based on:


First hand observations of the child, young person or family;


What the child, young person, parent or another person has disclosed; and


What can reasonably be inferred based on professional training and / or experience.


'Reasonable grounds' does not mean that a person is required to confirm their suspicions or have clear proof before making a report.


The Halachic concepts of mesira (reporting a criminal act to secular authorities), moser (informing) & loshon horo (derogatory speech about another person) do not apply to the communication & reporting of allegations of child Abuse to the Rabbi, President or Vice President of the Board, police & other civil authorities.


A risk of significant harm


A child or young person is 'at risk of significant harm' if current concerns exist for the safety, welfare or wellbeing of the child or young person because of the presence, to a significant extent, of any one or more of the following circumstances:


The child’s or young person's basic physical or psychological needs are not being met or are at risk of not being met;


The parents or other caregivers have not arranged and are unable or unwilling to arrange for the child or young person to receive necessary medical care;


In the case of a child or young person who is required to attend School in accordance with the Education Act 1990, the parents or other caregivers have not arranged and are unable or unwilling to arrange for the child or young person to receive an education in accordance with that Act;


The child or young person has been, or is at risk of being, physically or sexually abused or ill-treated;


The child or young person is living in a household where there have been incidents of domestic violence and, as a consequence, the child or young person is at risk of serious physical or psychological harm;


A parent or other caregiver has behaved in such a way towards the child or young person that the child or young person has suffered or is at risk of suffering serious psychological harm;


The child or young person was the subject of a pre-natal report under section 25 of the Care and Protection Act and the birth mother of the child or young person did not engage successfully with support services to eliminate, or minimise to the lowest level reasonably practical, the risk factors that gave rise to the report.


Significant Harm


A child or young person is at risk of significant harm if the circumstances that are causing concern for the safety, welfare or wellbeing of the child or young person are present to a significant extent. What is meant by 'significant' is that which is sufficiently serious to warrant a response by a statutory authority irrespective of a family's consent.


What is significant is not minor or trivial, and may reasonably be expected to produce a substantial and demonstrably adverse impact on the child or young person's safety, welfare or wellbeing.


The significance can result from a single act or omission or an accumulation of these.




There are different forms of child abuse, including: 


Neglect - the continued failure by a parent or caregiver to provide a child with the basic things needed for his or her proper growth and development, such as food, clothing, shelter, medical and dental care and adequate supervision; 


Physical abuse - a non-accidental injury or pattern of injuries to a child caused by a parent, caregiver or any other person; 


Emotional abuse -  where the behaviour of their parent or caregiver damages the confidence and self-esteem of the child or young person, resulting in serious emotional deprivation or trauma Although it is possible for ‘one-off’ incidents to cause serious harm, in general it is the frequency, persistence and duration of the parental or carer behaviour that is instrumental in defining the consequences for the child. This can include a range of behaviours such as excessive criticism, withholding affection, and exposure to domestic violence, intimidation or threatening behaviour;


Sexual abuse -  any sexual act or threat to perform such upon another person.  It occurs when a person uses their power and authority to take advantage of another’s trust to involve them in sexual activity.  It does not necessarily involve genital contact but is any act which erodes the sexual boundary between two persons.  It may appear consensual but the validity of consent is negated by the power differential.;


(collectively, Abuse). 


Where mandatory reporting is required


If there are reasonable grounds to suspect a child or young person is at risk of significant harm, the Child Protection Hotline, the Police (where necessary) and the Synagogue’s Insurer should be contacted immediately.  


The phone number for the Child Protection Hotline is: 132 111


The phone number for the Police is: Waverley Police Station 93699899


The phone number for our Synagogue Insurer: Mr Simon Althaus, 0407720770.


All reports regarding the safety, welfare or wellbeing of a Child should be dealt with confidentially. Failure to do so will be a breach of this Policy.

The Synagogue reserves the right to carry out Synagogue disciplinary procedures in accordance with the constitution of the Synagogue.


Where an allegation is made against a Leader, the accused Leader will be removed from all Children’s ministry pending the outcome of all investigations.




The Police will also be notified if a Child discloses an incident of Abuse that has occurred somewhere other than the Synagogue (e.g. home or school).


If a disclosure of Abuse is made, the person who receives the disclosure will maintain appropriate pastoral care to the one making the disclosure.  This will include:


Treating each allegation seriously and not attempting to deny the allegation or minimise its impact on the alleged victim.  The matter should not be swept under the carpet.


Not pushing the Child to disclose details of the alleged assault or attempting to investigate the allegation.


Assuring the Child that they are understood: that their disclosure is being taken seriously; that what has happened is not their fault, and that they are correct in disclosing the incident.


Reporting the Abuse to the police and the Synagogue’s insurer.


Not making contact with the alleged perpetrator.  If the Leader is already providing counsel to the alleged perpetrator, it may be advisable for another person to assume this responsibility for the duration of any investigation.


If the alleged assault has taken place recently, clothing worn by the Child should be retained and handed to the police for forensic examination.


Maintaining confidentiality.  


Any disclosures by a Child and all details of the subsequent investigation will be documented promptly and the documents will be held in a secure location where a breach of privacy cannot occur. 






The Office of the Children’s Guardian (OCG) is responsible for employment screening for child related employment. A Working With Children Check (Check) is a prerequisite for anyone in child-related work. It involves a national criminal history check and review of reported workplace misconduct findings. The result of a Check is either a clearance to work with children for five years, or a bar against working with children. Cleared applicants are subject to ongoing monitoring by the OCG, and any relevant new records which appear against a cleared applicant's name may lead to the Check being revoked.


It is the responsibility of the child-related worker to ensure that when they are eligible to apply for a Check or when their Check is up for renewal that they do so.




The object of the WWC Act is to protect Children by:


not permitting certain persons to engage in child-related work; and

requiring persons engaged in child-related work to have working with Children check clearances.


The Synagogue is required to:

verify online and record the status of each child-related worker’s Check;

only employ or engage child-related workers or eligible volunteers who have a valid Check; and

report findings of misconduct involving Children made against child-related workers or volunteers.


Child-related workers and eligible Volunteer Leaders are required to:

hold and maintain a valid Check;

not engage in child-related work at any time that they are subjected to an interim bar or a bar; and

report to the Principal if they are no longer eligible for a Check, the status of their Check changes or are notified by the OCG that they are subjected to a risk assessment.


All Volunteer Leaders are required to read this Policy. Some volunteers engaged in high risk roles may be required to have a Check. 


Relevant definitions


Final Bar

This bar is applied based on a decision made by the OCG, following a risk assessment. This person is barred against working with Children.


Interim Bar

An interim bar is issued to high-risk individuals to prevent them from continuing to work with Children while a risk assessment is conducted. An interim bar may be applied for up to 12 months. 


If an interim bar remains in place for six months or longer, it may be appealed against through the Administrative Decisions Tribunal. 


Not everyone who is subject to a risk assessment will receive an interim bar, only those representing a serious and immediate risk to Children.


Interim bars are issued only for risks considered likely to result in a final bar.


Child-related worker

A person at the Synagogue who has physical contact or face-to-face contact with Children, including volunteer work, may commence work once they have completed the Check application process.


If a Leader is unclear as to whether his/her role is child-related, he/she should speak with the Rabbi. 


Disqualified person

A disqualified person is a person who has been convicted, or against whom proceedings have been commenced for a disqualifying offence outlined in Schedule 2 of WWC Act.


A disqualified person is a person who has a bar preventing them from working with children in child-related work.


It is an offence for an employer to knowingly engage a child-related worker when they do not hold a Check or who has a bar or an interim bar.


It is an offence for an employee to engage in child-related work when they do not hold a Check or who has a bar or an interim bar.


Findings of misconduct involving children

The Synagogue will report to the OCG when a finding has been made that the person (a Leader) subject to the finding engaged in:


Sexual misconduct committed against, with or in the presence of a child, including grooming of a child; or


Any serious physical assault of a child.


The Synagogue will advise the person that the OCG has been notified of a finding of misconduct involving Children.


The WWC Act enables a person who has a finding referred to the OCG under the Act to request access to the records held by the Synagogue in relation to the finding of misconduct involving Children.


Reporting body

Constituents of the Jewish Board of Deputies are defined as a reporting body by the Child Protection (Working with Children) Regulation 2013. 


Section 35 of the WWC Act requires the Synagogue to notify the OCG on findings of misconduct involving Children made against an employee. The Synagogue may also be obliged to report, amend or provide additional information to the OCG as outlined in the WWC Act.


Risk assessment


Risk assessment is an evaluation of an individual’s suitability for child-related work.


The OCG will conduct a risk assessment on a person’s suitability to work with Children when a new record is received which triggers a risk assessment. This may include an offence under Schedule 1 of the WWC Act, pattern of behaviour or offences involving violence or sexual misconduct representing a risk to children, findings of misconduct involving children or notification made to OCG by the Ombudsman.


Working With Children Check Clearance


A Leader who obtains a Check will be issued with a number which is to be provided to the Synagogue to verify the status of Leader's Check.




The consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs on Synagogue grounds or during an activity is not to be condoned by any Leader.  Any Child found to be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs is to be counselled and the parents/guardians contacted so the Child can be returned home immediately.


Any Child required to take prescription medication will provide a letter from the parents/guardians to the Ministry Leader.