NCSY CHILD PROTECTION POLICIES
NCSY and the Orthodox Union strive to create an environment in which NCSY participants and NCSY adults can interact in a safe, appropriate, and halakhic (Jewish law) environment. Everyone actively involved with NCSY anywhere in the world is expected to contribute positively to this atmosphere and this manual has been developed as a tool to help foster its implementation. To achieve these goals, all NCSY adults and participants are expected to adhere to Standards set forth in this manual.
This current version can be found on the NCSY website at www.NCSY.org/standards, It is essential that everyone involved with NCSY understand the policies set forth in this manual and how to respond if they feel the policies are not being properly followed or implemented. This manual is divided into four distinct policies, categorized as follows:
- Abuse Prevention
- Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse (State by State) Policy
- Law Enforcement and Parent Notification
- General Counsel Notification
- Boundary Guidelines for Appropriate Interactions Between NCSY Staff and Volunteers and NCSY Participants
- Reporting Protocol for Boundary Crossing Behavior
- Misconduct Between Participants
- Reporting Protocol for NCSY Participant Misconduct
- Parental Responsibilities
Each section of this policy provides a procedure of how to navigate distinct issues, and through training on these topics, each NCSY adult, through training, will learn the difference between what falls under “mandatory reporting,” what is “grooming behavior” and what falls under “boundary violations” or “inappropriate behavior with minors.” NCSY is committed to a culture of reporting to the appropriate authorities, as soon as reasonably possible, and all inappropriate or criminal behaviors MUST be reported. Each section details how to report distinct issues.
However, it is ALWAYS A REQUIRMENT that for all suspicions of abuse or assault on a minor, for immediate danger call 911. If the minor is not in immediate danger, and for all other suspicions of abuse or assault, call the OU’s outside hotline (866-57THEOU [8-4368]) or OU’s General Counsel (“GC”) (at 646.689.2104 or email@example.com) to report your suspicions and seek guidance as to the reporting rule in that state.
SECTION 1: ABUSE PREVENTION
The Orthodox Union (“OU”) takes any and all allegations of any form of abuse seriously, and adheres to all mandated reporting requirements, which differ state by state and country by country. Mandated reporting of suspected physical and sexual abuse, as well as neglect, maltreatment and emotional abuse is not a choice, and is required by law as well as Halakah (Jewish Law).
All NCSY staff as defined below are required to be trained annually on the various forms of abuse, including physical, sexual, neglect, maltreatment, and emotional abuse as well as grooming behaviors, the red flags of sexual abuse and abusers, identifying red flags of abuse in children, navigating a child’s disclosure, their states requirements for reporting and how to make a report.
MANDATED REPORTING OF CHILD ABUSE POLICY:
Each state and country incorporates Mandated reporting laws differently, both in defining who is a mandated reporter, what the threshold of suspicion must be, where to call and how to make the call. As such, the OU’s General Counsel’s office has compiled a state-by-state directory for questions related to mandated reporting, and how to make a report. This directory will be made available internally to all NCSY Adults.
If you have questions as to whether you are a mandated reporter, or how to make a report of child abuse, please call the OU outside hotline at (866-57THEOU [8-4368])
Required Law Enforcement Notification
In certain states, adults who are not mandated reporters may not be required by the mandated reporting laws to report suspected abuse. Additionally, in certain states, mandated reporting laws only cover reports of abuse when there is reasonable cause to suspect that the abuse was perpetrated by a parent, guardian or other person legally responsible for the child’s care. Therefore, it is the policy of the OU, that if a reasonable suspicion or allegation of abuse does not trigger a mandated report within that state, the legal question as to whether or not to report should be brought to the OU’s GC. If a determination is made that there is a legal requirement to report – then a decision will be made by the OU’s GC as to who will make that report. In the event that the alleged perpetrator is someone from outside of that NCSY participant’s home, the GC will determine, whether the NCSY participant’s parents or guardians will be notified.
Required reporting to Outside Hotline
In addition to the requirements of the mandated reporting policy as set out above, OU employees and volunteers have a duty under this OU policy to also immediately report their suspicions of child abuse or maltreatment committed by anyone, to the OU outside reporting hotline (866-57THEOU [8-4368]). This report must be made regardless of and simultaneous to a call to the State hotline.
- For questions on your state’s reporting requirement please consult the State by State directory which will be made available to all NCSY adults.
- Contact the OU outside hotline at (866-57THEOU [8-4368]) for any questions regarding mandating reporting.
- In addition to Mandated Reporting requirements, there is a duty to immediately report suspicions of child abuse or maltreatment committed by anyone, to the OU outside reporting hotline at (866-57THEOU [8-4368])
- If a reasonable suspicion or allegation of abuse does not trigger a mandated report within your state, the legal question as to whether or not to report should be brought to the OU’s General Counsel (at 646.689.2104 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
SECTION 2: Boundary Guidelines For Appropriate Interactions Between NCSY Staff and Volunteers and NCSY Participants
NCSY is committed to ensuring the well-being, safety, and protection of each of its NCSY participants as well as the adults who work and volunteer at NCSY. In light of the potential influence, power dynamics or imbalance in relationships between NCSY’s teenaged participants and adults who work and volunteer at NCSY, NCSY believes it is important to set forth guidelines to help define appropriate behavior and conduct to cultivate a safe and positive environment for all those who work and spend time at NCSY and NCSY events. NCSY believes it is important that everyone in its community maintain the highest level of professionalism and adherence to halakha (Jewish law, as applicable) and the relevant law. The following guidelines, in conjunction with the OU’s policies on Abuse Prevention and Mandatory Reporting found above, will define appropriate behavior and the appropriate boundaries between participants and the adults who work and volunteer at NCSY. Adhering to a consistent and appropriate set of guidelines ensure that everyone understands where the appropriate boundary line exists and allows for a consistent recognition and understanding of what “grooming behaviors” are, and how they differ from healthy connections with NCSY participants.
NCSY Adults should endeavor to avoid any behavior that might have the appearance of impropriety with any participants present at NCSY. To that end the guidelines below have been established.
NCSY Adults include (but is not limited to):
- NCSY Staff:
- Year Round employees, including full time, part time, and seasonal employees, serving in any capacity within the organization and programs
- Summer Program and Summer Camp employees, serving in any capacity within the organization and programs
- Advisors & Volunteers:
- young adults who either volunteer or are paid to serve in a variety of NCSY capacities and functions
- Teen facing program guests, scholars in residence, and visiting educators, entertainers, etc.
At NCSY events, Torah Laws should be observed.
All halakhot of physical contact (“negiah”) must be observed at all times during NCSY events. In particular, physical contact between males and females is prohibited except to protect or safeguard someone in immediate physical danger, or to protect or safeguard synagogue or private property from immediate danger.
NCSY also upholds the halakhic standard of “yichud” (seclusion) at all times. As such, NCSY expects NCSY Adults and NCSY participants to avoid any situation where yichud is an issue. Beyond halakhic parameters, these expectations extend to same gender interactions as well. For further explanation on this matter, please see the boundary guidelines below.
While respect for one another can be communicated by gesture and tone of voice, language is the most powerful tool for conveying it. Consequently, “nekiyut halashon,” cleanliness of language, serves as the standard that should guide all NCSY Adults and NCSY participants. Words should be chosen with regard to their impact upon the listener and should confirm his or her sense of self-worth.
Whenever a question about a Halakhik matter arises at a synagogue-sponsored event, the rabbi of the synagogue should be consulted. Halakhik questions regarding a Regionally sponsored event or events that are not synagogue-based are to be directed to the Regional Director or to the NCSY professional running the event, who will consult with a proper regional or organizational posek (Rabbinic expert who is a decider of Jewish law). For NCSY summer employees, the organization’s posek should be consulted for all Halakhic matters.
NCSY Adults must adhere to the following dress code while at any NCSY program or event:
- Males: Any clothing that inappropriately highlights the male body are not allowed. This includes skinny jeans, tight pants and shirts and sleeveless shirts. All males are expected to wear Kippot, tzitzit daily and dress respectably and appropriately for the event and program they are taking part in.
- Females: Any clothing that inappropriately highlights the female body are not allowed. Proper levels of tzniut include but are not limited to skirt/dress length of at least touching one’s knee, elbows at least partially covered, and one’s shirt neckline not to fall below one’s collarbone.
- NCSY Adults may not engage in any type of behavior that gives the appearance of impropriety.
- NCSY Adults should keep in mind that they are not the NCSY participants’ “friend” and should therefore not be engaging in peer-like behavior with them.
- NCSY Adults may not be alone 1:1 with a NCSY participant in a non-public space or a room with a closed or locked door. NCSY Adults and participants should always interact in a manner where they are both observable and interruptible.
- It is understood that NCSY Adults may meet with their NCSY participants for educational purposes outside of NCSY program time and that some of those meetings will involve one-on-one meetings. Any such private meeting with an NCSY participant should occur with the door open. If the circumstances require the door to be closed because additional privacy is needed, the meeting should be in a room with a window in the door that should remain uncovered and the door to the room should remain unlocked.
- NCSY Adults may not address NCSY participants by inappropriate nicknames nor by any name with which the NCSY participant is uncomfortable.
- NCSY Adults may not lavish attention on a particular NCSY participant, including giving gifts to only one NCSY participant. If there is any question about the appropriateness of a gift, the NCSY Adult should seek guidance from his/her supervisor.
- NCSY Adults may not converse with an NCSY participant about the participant’s sexual activity. NCSY Adults may not reveal details of their own sexual lives, past or present, to NCSY participants. Any general discussion of healthy relationships should not include personal sexual experiences or information.
- NCSY Adults may not reveal other inappropriate (romantic or otherwise) details about their personal lives to NCSY participants.
- NCSY Adults may never invite a NCSY participant to his/her residence without having another individual present and parental permission. For any get-together at an NCSY Adult’s residence, the event must be logged in the NCSY database in advance of the event and the participants’ names must be logged into the NCSY database within 36 hours after the program.
- If an unplanned gathering occurs at an NCSY Adult’s residence, the event and participants’ names must be logged in the NCSY database within 36 hours after the interaction.
- NCSY Adults may not visit a participant’s home without the presence of the participant’s parent or guardian.
- NCSY Adults may not date or engage in a romantic or sexual relationship with a current NCSY Participant. After graduation of the NCSY participant from high school, the NCSY Adult must wait one year before engaging in a romantic relationship with the former NCSY participant.
- NCSY Adults may not provide alcohol or drugs, vaping tools or cigarettes, nor permit NCSY participants to drink alcohol or use drugs, vaping or cigarettes in their presence, except for prescribed medications.
- At a kiddush or similar gathering, NCSY Adults may not provide or permit the usage of alcohol. Private NCSY Adult “kiddushim” with alcohol may not take place at an event or program.
- Example: Purim Seudah with NCSY participants must not contain alcohol
- Example: Simchat Torah celebrations with NCSY participants must not contain alcohol
- At a kiddush or similar gathering, NCSY Adults may not provide or permit the usage of alcohol. Private NCSY Adult “kiddushim” with alcohol may not take place at an event or program.
- NCSY Adults may not provide any sexually explicit material to an NCSY participant, nor participate in any conversation or viewing of sexually explicit material.
Social Media and Electronic Communication
- NCSY Staff members may only email NCSY participants from the staff member’s NCSY or OU email address. NCSY Staff should never email NCSY participant from any personal email addresses that they maintain and may not delete any messages.
- When communicating with NCSY participants via text message NCSY Adults must not (i) delete any text conversations; (ii) disable auto-delete when communicating via text, calls, video chat or any other electronic means, and (iii) not communicate past 11pm in the NCSY participants time zone or 12am in the NCSY Adult’s time zone, whichever comes first. This time restriction applies until 6am in either time zone, whichever comes later.
- If an NCSY participant sends any electronic communication to an NCSY Adult containing any concerning or inappropriate information, relating to their physical, mental, or emotional wellbeing and safety, or alternatively sends any information regarding harassment, or sexual safety, the NCSY Adult must notify his or her Managing Director as soon as reasonably possible and provide a copy of that email to the supervisor. This includes information that the NCSY participant may share about their own well-being and safety and that of others.
- NCSY Adults may communicate by video chat while in a private space as long as they are both observable and interruptible.
- NCSY Adults may not communicate by video chat while in a bedroom or bathroom.
- In the event that an NCSY Advisor lives in a college dorm, a video chat may take place in their dorm room, however it must take place at a desk and not from the advisor’s bed.
- NCSY Adults must be fully clothed and maintain the same level of professional attire as one would in an in-person setting during a video chat.
- NCSY Adults should not use their personal social media page or online communication for NCSY posts or communications. NCSY Adults must take caution when posting anything on their personal social media page or online communication, whether public or private, as even personal posts may be damaging to NCSY’s reputation or the reputation of NCSY employees and advisors. NCSY Adults must take special precautions and all opinions must state that: “The opinions on this site are my own and do not express the opinions and/or views of NCSY”.
- NCSY Adults may not post images, photos or videos or any information about NCSY participants on their personal social media page.
- NCSY Staff may not interact with NCSY participants on any of their personal social media platforms, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat or from other similar social media connections from their personal social media accounts. If NCSY participants reach out to NCSY Staff via the latter’s personal social media platform, NCSY Staff must redirect participants to the official NCSY social media page.
- NCSY Adults may not create an NCSY page or interact with NCSY participants on any social media platform that erases the record of the communication, or is a video platform, such as Instagram Reel, and SnapChat,.
- Any and all Social media interaction by a NCSY Adults member should take place on an NCSY social media page or platform authorized by the respective regional or national department head.
- NCSY Adults should only follow, accept or send a “friend request” to an NCSY participant that they have personally met.
- NCSY Adults may not engage in any physical contact with an NCSY Adult or participant except to protect or safeguard someone in immediate physical danger, to protect or safeguard synagogue or private property or in an emergent situation. Affectionate short hugs or high fives between members of the same gender are allowed.
- NCSY Adults may not discipline participants in any physical manner. However, they may engage in physical contact to protect a NCSY participant from harming himself/herself or another, or in an emergent situation.
- NCSY Adults should limit physical contact with NCSY Participants of the same gender to quick hugs of encouragement and consolation, and the touching of shoulders and hands while dancing, singing or participating in Havdallah as part of a group event. NCSY Adults participating in sporting games with NCSY participants should limit physical contact to that which is reasonable and appropriate for that particular sporting event.
- Patting of the buttocks with a hand or object, even in an athletic context, is prohibited.
- Sitting on someone’s lap, giving a massage, or giving “chills” is prohibited.
- If an NCSY participant engages in repeated and/or prolonged physical contact with a NCSY Adult, the Adult in question should clearly and firmly discourage such behavior. If the NCSY participant persists, the Adult should involve an NCSY supervisor to assist him or her in handling the situation.
- NCSY Adults may not engage in physical horseplay, roughhousing, wrestling, tickling, or other inappropriate games with a NCSY participant.
Due to insurance and liability, non-contract and volunteer employees may never drive an NCSY participant in their personal car. NCSY employees may drive an NCSY participant in their car and all NCSY Adults may drive an NCSY participant in a NCSY owned, leased, or rented vehicle, however, the following guidelines apply:
- NCSY Adults must not allow NCSY participants to ride in the Adults’ personal cars without another individual present, and the permission of the immediate supervisor and the participant’s parent/guardian. If it is not possible to reach the parent, the NCSY Adult must contact their immediate supervisor, and explain the situation. NCSY Adult must inform the supervisor who they are driving, why, where they are going, and the presumed timing of pick -up and drop off. The NCSY Adult must inform the supervisor in real time once the teen has been picked up and dropped off.
- The NCSY participant(s) must sit in the back seat.
- If an NCSY Adult must drive NCSY participants past 10 pm, they are required to inform and received written confirmation from both the parents and the regional director prior to the drive.
- Permissible exceptions may occur when: (1) the NCSY Adult is also the parent or sibling of the participant, (2) when the NCSY Adult drives a carpool for their child and their child’s friend is a participant in NCSY and has obtained permission from that child’s parent; or (3) if the NCSY Adult is a parentally approved emergency contact for a child’s parent and drives their child, who is also an NCSY participant.
Transportation – Long Trips or Overnight Trips
- On an overnight travel trip, via bus, plane or other mode of transportation, NCSY Adults and participants cannot sit together as permanent seat assignments, and any rotation of sitting with participants must only occur during daylight hours.
- For long distance driving of trips greater than four hours, the driver must stop every two to three hours for a break of at least fifteen minutes. Any trip in a vehicle that normally takes over six hours should have at least two qualified drivers.
- For trips that a 15-passenger van is necessary, a member of the region’s senior staff member must approve the driver. Driving in an unsafe manner can lead to immediate dismissal.
- When using a hired bus company or professional drivers NCSY will follow the rules and regulations of the specific company.
- NCSY will ensure that every participant has their own area to sleep in, and that no participant will share a bed with another participant. Sleeping bags, air mattresses, and at times cots, will be available to ensure no one is sharing a bed with another participant.
- NCSY Adults may not share a room or bed with NCSY participants.
- NCSY Adults should not be alone 1:1 with a NCSY participant in his/her room, must sleep in a separate room, should not invite a NCSY participant to sleep in their room and should not be inside a NCSY participant’s room when the NCSY participant is changing or sleeping (even if there are other people present).
- If a situation arises during which it becomes necessary for an NCSY Adult to be in an NCSY participant’s room, such as when an NCSY participant is sick, the Adult should ensure that another NCSY Adult is present and made aware of the situation
- NCSY Adults may never be in a locked room with NCSY participants.
- NCSY participants may be awakened by loudly knocking on their doors or calling out to them but should not be awakened by making physical contact with them. In the event of a medical emergency or if the NCSY Adult on duty suspects ingestion of drugs or alcohol, this condition is waived.
- NCSY Adults should not appear unclothed or in their underwear in front of NCSY participants. NCSY Adults should not walk around outside of their sleeping quarters unclothed, in their pajamas or in their underwear.
- NCSY Adults may not shower or change when NCSY participants are present.
- NCSY Adults may not be in showers, locker rooms, or other areas when an NCSY participant is undressed. If an NCSY Adult must enter the shower, locker room area, or other area where an NCSY participant may be undressed, the NCSY Adult must not go in alone and must first announce themselves
- NCSY Adults must not encourage the use of a mikvah to a NCSY participant while in high school, nor accompany an NCSY participant to the mikvah. If a NCSY participant decides to use the mikvah during an NCSY program (i.e. on a summer program), the NCSY Adult must not facilitate, encourage, prompt, nor be present for such usage.
Emotional and Familial Boundaries
- NCSY Adults may not direct a NCSY participant to keep a secret from or withhold information from his/her parents or any other NCSY Adults.
- NCSY Adults may not disparage a participant’s family members, nor their religious practices and must speak respectfully when addressing or speaking about NCSY participants, parents, schools, rabbis, synagogues, etc.
- NCSY Adults should not encourage “hero worship,” and should not engage with an NCSYer who is exhibiting such behavior. NCSY Adults should be sensitive to the power dynamics and potential unhealthy relationships that are ever-present between themselves and participants and endeavor to see that NCSY participants are referred to the appropriate resources for assistance when necessary. If an NCSY Adult believes that an NCSYer is exhibiting signs of “hero worship”, the NCSY Adult should report this behavior to his/her supervisor.
- If it is brought to the attention of an NCSY Adult that his or her attempt to recommend a particular school or program is causing conflict with the parents of the NCSY participant, then the NCSY Adult should inform the Regional Director and/or International Director and leave it to him or her to speak with the NCSY participant’s parents.
- NCSY Adults may not force, manipulate, or coerce an NCSY participant to engage in Torah observance or other activities.
- Examples include:
- Applying negative pressure and fear to achieve a desired result
- Making an NCSY participant feel that he or she will not be accepted if an undesired conclusion is reached.
- Exerting emotional encouragement so strongly that the individual perceives emotional pressure.
- Conditioning a relationship with an NCSY participant’s observance or religious decisions.
- Examples include:
Reporting Obligation and Protocol For Suspected Boundary Crossing Behaviors
For reporting requirements regarding allegations of abuse of any kind and mandated reporting, please see the previous policy on page 1-2
All NCSY Adults must report all violations or suspected violations of the Boundary Guidelines as soon as reasonably possible. This is the case whether the NCSY Adult observes the behavior themselves, suspects that the behavior occurred or is occurring, or hears about such behavior from a third party. Oftentimes, boundaries are crossed inadvertently and require nothing more than a reminder to the offender to maintain such a boundary in the future. At other times, however, the crossing of a boundary may be indicative of a more serious problem and/or an inappropriate relationship. Therefore, all NCSY Adults, must report any suspected violations of these Boundary Guidelines, whether they observe the behavior themselves, suspect that the behavior is occurring or heard about such behavior from a third party.
Reports should be made to OU’s outside reporting hotline (866-57THEOU [8-4368])
If there are any issues that arise in a host home, reports should be made to the OU outside reporting hotline (866-57THEOU [8-4368])
If an NCSY Adult or participant chooses to report to Mr. Daniel Gordon or Rabbi Moshe Benovitz, they can take the report and thereafter make the report to the OU’s outside reporting hotline or notify the OU’s General Counsel.
Boundary violations that occur in cases of emergencies, such as to protect NCSY participants from physical harm, should be reported to Daniel Gordon (email@example.com) as soon as possible and documented by the NCSY Adult who violated the boundary.
These Boundary Guidelines are not applicable if the NCSY Adult is the parent, guardian, or sibling of the participant in question. However, all NCSY Adults must remain mindful of their interactions with any participant, even their own child(ren) or friends of their own child(ren), in and outside of NCSY. Those NCSY Adults with family members in NCSY should reach out to their Managing Director with any questions regarding this policy.
Finally, it should be acknowledged that there may be exceptional circumstances in which it would not be inappropriate to cross one of the boundary lines set out above. Should any employee ever feel that a situation has arisen that calls for or justifies deviation from the boundary guidelines set out above, he or she must bring it to the attention of a Managing Director and obtain permission to proceed under modified guidelines.
Once a Boundary violation has been reported, it will be documented through the internal incident report, which is sent to the OU General Counsel Rachel Sims at 646.689.2104 or firstname.lastname@example.org and the Chief Human Resources Officer, Mr. Josh Gottesman at 212.613.8162 or email@example.com. Incident reports will also be sent to NCSY Leadership including Board Chairs and the EVP office and a determination will be made as to whether it requires an internal or external fact-finding. During the course of the fact finding if at any time, what is related and or subsequently discovered rises to the level of suspected criminal activity, including any and all forms of abuse, law enforcement will be notified as per the policy on page 1-2.
Section 3: Misconduct Between Participants
Participating in NCSY, be it in person at a program or event or virtually through an online platform, is a privilege and therefore a standard of participant behavior must be upheld. NCSY Participants have a responsibility to conduct themselves properly at all times with other NCSY Participants and Adults. NCSY Participants are expected to treat both NCSY Adults and NCSY Participants respectfully. NCSY reserves the right to limit the participation of any participant in any NCSY activity if there is sufficient reason to believe a particular potential participant lacks the ability or willingness to follow directions and instructions required for NCSY event participation.
NCSY further believes in healthy and safe peer interactions, as everyone deserves to feel protected and respected. Therefore, at all NCSY affiliated programs, events, shabbatons and trips, including transportation to and from NCSY affiliated programs, and in connection with electronic communication between participants, NCSY will take appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including removal from NCSY and all affiliated programs, if any Participant engages in criminal behavior, including sexual assault or abuse of any other NCSY Participant.
Bullying, Hazing, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault, and consensual sexual activity is incompatible with NCSY’s goals and standards and is therefore always prohibited, whether it occurs in person, on the phone, online, or via any other medium.
NCSY strives to create a healthy environment where each person, regardless of sex or gender is treated with dignity and respect. NCSY will not tolerate any physical or verbal objectification of its participants. Any activities that involve “rating” individuals, creating lists of “conquests” or venerating “hook-up culture” will not be tolerated.
In addition, violence or threatening behavior, smoking or vaping, possession and/or use of alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs and controlled substances or weapons (such as guns, switchblades, sharpened box cutters, and sharpened screwdrivers) are always prohibited.
- Bullying: any form of physical, verbal, demonstrative, or electronic harassment that one should reasonably expect would demean, threaten or physically or emotionally hurt its victims or others in the NCSY Community. It can be of a sexual nature or otherwise. It can take place in person, over the phone, through online communication, or any other means that communicates such harassment. It can be one-on-one, or group based. Both adults and children can be bullied or be the bully.
- pushing, tripping, kicking, or hitting; threats of physical harm
- damaging, hiding, taking of property
- excluding from a group or activity purposely to hurt and/or advocating others to dislike a person
- calling someone offensive or demeaning names
- scapegoating, pranks resulting/intending to embarrass
- innuendoes with derogatory implications
- making jokes involving offensive stereotypes
- attacking a person’s self-esteem by making them feel vulnerable or bad about themselves.
- posting online mean, offensive, demeaning, or embarrassing comments or images, regardless of whether you feel the target has invited such behavior in some manner
- texting, whether individually or as a group, mean, offensive, demeaning, or embarrassing comments or images
- creating fake web pages or fake profiles or assuming another’s identity in any social media context to create content likely to cause embarrassment or concern spreading mean and hurtful rumors verbally, online or via graffiti; taunting others about their actual or perceived age; physical development; socio-economic status; sex; gender; sexual orientation; bodily functions; actual or perceived race, color, or national origin.
- Hazing is defined as any activity expected of someone joining a group or expected of someone to maintain any status in a group, that: (1) humiliates, (2) degrades, or (3) risks emotional and/or physical harm or embarrassment to the individual or the NCSY community, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate and regardless of its intended result or effect.
- Examples: Requiring someone to:
- drink alcohol, vape or use drugs
- consume any inappropriate or hazardous substances, or allow such substance to be smeared on the body
- endure any physical striking, beating, burning, branding or to engage in self-mutilation or to commit such acts upon another
- endure acts of sexual stimulation or sexual abuse/assault
- be subjected to abusive and demeaning speech
- participate in acts of personal servitude
- proceed through a gauntlet, e.g., on a bus, or any form of public transportation to arrive at a location
- suffer sleep deprivation
- restrict personal hygiene
- engage in indecent exposure
- participate in any illegal activity
- participate in physically dangerous activities such as exposing oneself to extreme weather conditions without appropriate protection
- submit to being tied up or abducted or blindfolded
- engage in any degrading or humiliating act, or any activity that violates any aspect of the OU’s Anti-Harassment Policy
- Examples: Requiring someone to:
- Harassment:When the verbal or nonverbal acts of another are either severe or pervasive, or targeted at specific person that it prevents that participant from participating in NCSY or NCSY related program or intimidates them because of their sex, gender or identity or significantly harms them.
- This also includes Sexual Harassment which is defined as any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, which can take place in person or through electronic communication and can include verbal, non-verbal, physical or written interactions.
- Examples include but are not limited to: Physical and verbal threats; cyberbullying; physical acts such as pushing, punching, kicking or hitting; damaging another’s property; calling someone offensive or demeaning names; texting sexual images or jokes and creating fake social media profiles
- Sexual Abuse and Assault: physical conduct or contact with a sexual or intimate part of the body without consent. It includes various forms of sexual intercourse as well as sexual touching and exposure.
- Sexual or intimate body parts include, but are not limited to breasts, buttocks, genitals, and upper thighs.
- Lack of consent occurs when one is physically forced or verbally intimidated into doing something sexual, or submitting to a sexual act, or when one has explicitly indicated a lack of consent or when the circumstances make it obvious that consent has not been given.
- Circumstances that make it obvious that consent has not been given include, but are not limited to:
- being too intoxicated to say “no” or resist,
- being asleep and therefore unable to consent, or
- situations in which someone is deemed to be physically or mentally incapable of giving valid consent, whether due to the use of intoxicants or any other reason.
The age of consent varies by state and country. [See your states mandatory reporting section]. If an NCSY Participant commits a sexual crime, whether by engaging in sexual contact or conduct without the consent of another participant, whether the participant is legally considered unable to give consent or the participant is above the age of consent, it will be reported to the police as soon as reasonably possible.
- Examples include but are not limited to:
- Grabbing, pinching, or fondling another person’s buttocks, breasts or genital area, whether over or under the clothing, without consent as defined
- Rubbing one’s genital area up against another person, whether over or under clothing, without consent as defined above
- Touching another person with one’s genitals without consent as defined above
- Engaging in sexual behavior with someone too intoxicated to give informed consent
- Physically or verbally intimidating someone to engage in a sex act, whether done expressly or implicitly
Reporting Protocol For NCSY Participant Misconduct
If a participant feels unsafe at an NCSY event, whether because of the actions of another participant or staff, they should immediately report to:
- OU’s OUTSIDE REPORTING HOTLINE at (866-57THEOU [8-4368])
- NCSY Managing Directors; Mr. Daniel Gordon, Rabbi Moshe Benovitz (see contact information below)
All NCSY Adults and participants must as soon as reasonably possible report any suspected incidents of bullying, hazing, harassment, sexual harassment, abuse or assault to the Regional Director of Your Region, who will then immediately report to
If the reported behavior involved any allegations of criminal behavior, including – but not limited to, assault, sexual assault or sexual abuse, law enforcement MUST be notified.
For all NON-CRIMINAL allegations of bullying, hazing and harassment, NCSY leadership will take prompt action to document the incident, send the information to the OU GC’s Office, where a determination will be made as to whether it requires an internal or external fact-finding. During the course of the fact finding if at any time, what is related and or subsequently discovered rises to the level of suspected criminal activity, including any and all forms of abuse, law enforcement will be notified as necessary.
SECTION 4: PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES
In the interest of protecting NCSY participants, parents are expected to disclose to the lead NCSY Adult overseeing an NCSY event, any medical, physical, or psychological condition. This includes alerting the NCSY Adult concerning medications, allergies, special accommodations and special dietary needs. Parents must also provide an available emergency contact in advance of the event.
Should a situation arise over the course of an event when the lead NCSY Adult is concerned regarding a teen’s physical, psychological, or emotional well-being, or that it is revealed that medical or other relevant information was not disclosed on the waiver and/or medical form, standard procedure is to send the teen home at the parents’ expense and without a refund.
In addition, there are other occasions when a teen would be sent home at the parents’ expense and without a refund, which occur when the teen has violated NCSY policy.
In order to be qualified to attend a NCSY program, a teen who is currently taking any sort of medication should be able to administer it on his/her own and must bring only the appropriate amount needed during the program. All this information must be disclosed on medical forms that will only be seen by designated supervisory personnel and will be kept private.
Parents are welcome to periodically attend local, Regional, or Internationally sponsored NCSY events. They should contact the local director in advance of attending the event and confirm that attendance is appropriate.
 NCSY is also committed to reasonably accommodate those participants with special needs, including those who can only attend selected parts of an event or program due to disabilities.
 NCSY Adults shall be sensitive as to which breaches of standards indicate the need to refer the problem to outside professional resources for further resolution.