Major Jewish foundations pledge to upgrade protections against child abuse


( Four major U.S. Jewish foundations have pledged to require youth-serving organizations that they support to implement policies that will bolster protections against sexual abuse of children in their care.

In an initiative facilitated by Los Angeles-based Jumpstart Labs, The Samuel Bronfman Foundation, Leichtag Foundation, Ruderman Family Foundation, and Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation this month signed the Child Safety Pledge, which upgrades protections against child sexual abuse in Jewish youth programs.

A “Child Safety First” report published by Jumpstart this year identified gaps in organizational awareness at Jewish day schools and camps that could create vulnerabilities for sexual predators to exploit.

“The prevention and treatment of child abuse has been a focus of our foundation for more than 30 years, in Oklahoma, in Israel and beyond,” said Sanford R. Cardin, president of the Oklahoma-based Schusterman Family Foundation.

“We adopted the pledge because we believe there is nothing more important than ensuring the safety, security and dignity of all children. We welcome the opportunity to engage other funders in this vitally important work,” he said.

More than 20 major Jewish foundations and philanthropists are currently engaged with Jumpstart to explore adoption of the pledge.

“Effective prevention, training, detection, and response not only helps shield children from sexual abuse but also protects them from other threats to their physical and emotional well-being,” said Charlene Seidle, executive vice president of the Leichtag Foundation.