I have been asked to post the following public service announcement. I rarely do these kinds of things but considering events that took place over the summer and the potential for disaster - I am making an exception and am happy to post Rabbi Yakov Horowitz's words.
With the Yomim Noraim upon us and the Yom Tov of Succos shortly thereafter, we would like to remind all parents to make sure that your children are supervised by a responsible adult at all times -- including the times when the adults are davening in Shul or resting in the afternoon.
One Shabbos morning earlier this month, walking through the heart of Boro Park while many Shuls were still davening, I observed dozens of children playing in front of various shuls with no adults in sight. This may potentially be a recipe for disaster. We therefore, strongly encourage all parents to raise their awareness level regarding child safety.
The Yomim Noraim and Yomim Tovim are a special time when children have the opportunity to interact with many different people. It is an opportune time to review with them the important lessons of personal safety. These include:
1) Your body belongs to you and you alone.
2) No one can ever tell you secrets to keep from your parents
3) Good-touch -- bad-touch: No one may touch you in a spot normally covered by a bathing suit.
4) No one has the right to make you feel uncomfortable. You should shout and run away if someone does that to you.
If you are unfamiliar with these messages, please take the time to watch this video about teaching your children about personal safety.
Project YES has been sponsoring a "Take a Child to Shul" campaign for the past few years before Yom Tov, asking community members to help the children of single mothers, especially the boys, by taking them to Shul. We continue to encourage this practice and similar acts of chesed.
On behalf of our staff and the families who reach out to us for help year-round, we wish our supporters and our readers a K'siva V'chasima Tova, a year filled with joy and nachas, and a year of Shalom for our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisroel and around the world.
Director, Project YES