Monday, June 06, 2011

Project YES: Keep Our Children Safe

Yaakov Horowitz writes:
I am pleased to inform you of a Project YES, "Keep Our Children Safe" initiative designed to raise awareness among parents in our community about the importance of speaking to your children about safety and personal space -- in order to protect them from child abuse and molestation.
The workshops will be practical in nature and will guide parents in how to have these discussions in a tzanuah manner that is congruent with our Torah values.
I will be conducting these workshops as a public service of Project YES and there will be no charge for attending. Here is a list of the venues:
Baltimore: Motzoei Shabbos, June 11th - 10:15 p.m.
Congregation Shaarei Zion
6602 Park Heights Ave.
Queens: Monday, June 13th - 8:30 p.m.
Congregation Ahavas Yisroel
147-02 73rd Ave, Kew Gardens Hills
Monsey: Tuesday evening, June 14th - 8:00 p.m.
Yeshiva Darchei Noam
259 Grandview Ave.
Brooklyn: Wednesday evening, June 15th - 9:15 p.m.(following Maariv,at 9:00 p.m.)
Young Israel of Midwood
1694 Ocean Avenue
On a personal note, I plead with each and every parent to educate yourselves regarding best practices of conveying these crucial messages to your children. You have no more sacred obligation to your children than to keep them safe from predators.
The danger is so great and the education is so simple.
L'maan Hashem, please take this matter seriously and take the steps necessary to give your children the very best chance at remaining safe and secure.
Worded differently, I ask you to be the ones to educate your children about their bodies and personal space -- so that the predator is not the one to teach them these lessons.
This is great stuff, of course. All honor and credit to Rabbi Horowitz for this initiative. (But why aren't any of them hosted in Agudah shuls? (And when was the last time an Agudah shul hosted a Young Israel or OU event? Yet this important Agudah initiative can only find a home in Young Israels and OU shuls? Why?)

With the exception of Rabbi Horowitz, Agudah in general had done a god-awful job on abuse. The concern of the cief spokesman and the executive director is always for the glory of Torah, the honor of Rabbis, and the stability of Yeshivas. Children, if they are remembered at all, come last. Ordinary people, if they are remembered at all, come second to last. Protecting Rabbis, and their prerogatives is paramount. The Agudah message is Oz-like: "We are great and powerful wizards. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." And why not? Because like Dorothy and her friends, we're certain to be disappointed if we're ever given a clear look at what's hiding there.

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