attorney

()Officials have substantiated multiple acctions of by a preschool at a prominent synagogue in , , according to a cease-and-desist letter sent by the superintendent of to the synagogue in June.

obtned a copy of the letter through a of request.
Founded in 1852, Hebrew Congregation, is one of ’s est and most prominent Jewish institutions, attended by the ’s Jewish elites for generations.
But the congregation and its ely hood center have been thrown into turmoil since egations of ose last August. The cease-and-desist letter is believed to be the finding of an into the eged at the school by authorities.
The school egedly owed the accused r to groups of ren to a wooded ea out the center and the bathroom, and dismissed staff members’ verbal complnts about the eged maltreator “diseing with ren for periods of ,” according to the letter.
The center did not enforce its prohibiting staff members from using cell at the school, which the eged r used to take s and pictures of ren, according to of the State Superintendent of .
The center’s former also threatened to reprimand staff members who complned about the eged r, the ncy says.
of the State Superintendent of ’s letter instructs Hebrew Congregation to cease and desist from the eged violations and to comply with an ion plan to correct them.
In a statement, Hebrew Congregation sd that it has engd two out audits to evaluate its preschool policies, prices and procedures, and has implemented “most” of the recommendations ed in the state superintendent’s cease-and-desist letter. It also noted that of the State Superintendent of reissued the preschool’s license to operate in 2019.
“We e gratified to k that the steps already implemented were correct, and that we e fully licensed to operate our ce programs ye-round,” the congregation sd in a statement to on Monday. “We continue to cooperatively with in achieving best prices in .”

filed suit in April

In April, the families of eight ng ren filed suit agnst the congregation and its former , D.J. Jensen, eging that they igno wnings about the for more than two yes. ’s Metropolitan Deptment and the district’s general e also investigating the eged at the congregation’s Edlavitch-Tyser Ely hood Center.
In 2019, of the State Superintendent of was notified that an t a the eged r touched the inropriately, according to the ncy’s letter.
The suit eges that the r is Silverman, a former at Hebrew Congregation’s preschool. Silverman, who was not named as a defendant in the suit, has not been chged with any in relation to the eged and has denied the egations in the suit.
“Mr. Silverman categoricy denies engaging in any inropriate or illegal cont with ren at Hebrew Congregation,” sd his former , Shawn Sum.
Jensen, the center’s former , has not responded to multiple requests for comment.
The cease-and desist letter was sent by the District of ’s Office of the State Superintendent of on June 3, with an amended copy following on June 5. It was aded to n Jacober, eecutive of Hebrew Congregation.
According to the letter, the synagogue’s ely hood center ed to ensure the of ren in its ce, to properly supervise ren and staff and did not report the eged to officials, as requi by .
of the State Superintendent of ’s d inters with Hebrew Congregation (WHC) ers, multiple site visits and a re of the preschool’s documents and records, according to the letter. The letter does not name Silverman, instead referring repeatedly to an “eged maltreator.”
’s revealed that WHC had not guded the , and well-being of the ren entrusted to their ce,” the letter says.

says staffers knew complnts would be igno

The school’s ers were in violation of the District of ’s requirement for development centers that at least two s should supervise at s, according to the letter.
sd the ers “kingly mntned a price” of owing s and s to be alone with , and that “an individual or were permitted to supervise groups of ren on their own,” including taking ren to the bathroom, to a room without ows in a back hway, and changing ren out of their -play clothes.
“The also revealed that the eged maltreator would regully take groups of ren out or to the bathroom by himself for etended periods of with a handheld , but not respond to when ced.”
As an , the eged r should have been supervised at s by a or the center , the ncy sd in the letter.
Instead, “ found that the eged maltreator was often not directly supervised, taking groups of ren on his own to the bathroom, playground or the surrounding wooded ea of WHC and that the center was awe that the eged maltreator would take ren out of the classroom on his own.”
The letter also chges the congregation with violations, including one that prohibits staff from using cell to take or dis s of ren.
The ncy says “staff noted the lack of enforcement regding use of personal devices across WHC staff, and “notably by the eged maltreator who had used his cell phone to take pictures and s of ren.”
During an inter with the superintendent’s office, the preschool’s confirmed that she had received complnts that the eged r left the classroom with and without ren and “would be gone for periods of .”
But, the letter sd, the “created an w complnts involving eged or ual , or neglect or eged or ual risk to an enrolled ’s , or welfe were not made because they knew the complnt was going to be igno or down-played, or believed that they would be reprimanded.”
The ncy’sletter also faults the school’s ers for ing to adequately document the eged r’s during his three yes t. The only written , from the 2017-18 school ye, notes that the accused r had shown a “noticeable difference in cing ren by their names rather than or sweetie.”
Moreover, of the State Superintendent of sd they found that the eged r’s personnel file did not a resume, copies of letters of reference or a transcript.
“Additiony, the eged maltreater [sic] began ing for WHC during the 2015-16 school ye and t was no record of an acing lication or that the eged maltreator met the cential requirements for an ,” sd the ncy’s letter.
WHC Prent Nell Shapiro and General Lewis Wiener wrote to preschool about of the State Superintendent of report on June 6, according to a letter obtned by .

WHC evaluating acctions

The synagogue sd it was “continuing to evaluate ’s letter,” saying that the deptment had found the preschool in “full compliance” with its s in 2018 and 2019.
Shapiro and Wiener also sd that, since the egations agnst the were made in August 2018, the school has “strengthened our staffing protocols” to ensure that ren e supervised by at least two s at s, a requirement in .
of the State Superintendent of observed that Hebrew Congregation has changed its and requires two staff members to be present with ren at s, according to the letter.
The school has also given staff members walkie talkies and t them to announce when they e ren ound the facility. In addition, staff have been trnedon how to recognize and report signs of , enhanced the facilities sight lines and is “formalizing our prices to ensure that centials e fully documented for every hire.”
“For purs of evaluating our policies, prices and procedures, we assumed the egations were true, even though no rest had been made (and none has been made to date),” WHC sd in a letter to .

Pent wants from WHC

But a pent who is pt of the civil suit agnst Hebrew Congregation blasted the synagogue’s to of the State Superintendent of ’sletter.
beyond to len that this temple received confirmation from CFSA ( and Services ncy) that my and preschoolers were seuy d and they continue to deny it and they refuse to apologize for it,” the pent sd in a statement provided by the families’ , Dolce.
Like plntiffs in the civil suit, the pent asked for anonymity to protect the of the pent’s .
“My and the lives of so many s have been turned up down as we try to process what hened to our ren and len the new that we need to be supportive of our seuy d ren,” the pent continued.
“And as we try to repr these wounds, this temple keeps ripping them back open by denying the occur, refusing to apologize for it, and abandoning Jewish principles of justice and repentance that they teach their congregants.”
In their suit, the families e seeking unspecified s in an amount to be determined at .


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