Top rabbis have endorsed a new children’s book teaching Orthodox Jewish kids about kidnapping and molestation - a historical first for this traditionally sheltered community. “Let’s Stay Safe” is backed by Torah Umesorah, a rabbinical authority, and ArtScroll, the maker of religious prayer books.
The glossy pages show a stranger sporting a yarmulke and a boy asking for help finding his mom - eerie reminders of the murder of Leiby Kletzky, 8, killed in July after being kidnapped in Borough Park.
“It is important for parents to understand that the Kletzky tragedy was an exception to the rule, and that the vast majority of predators are people the children know,” said Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, who oversaw the book’s creation.
Torah Umesorah started distributing the book last month to Jewish bookstores and its 700 affiliated schools across the country.
“As a result of the Kletzky case, there is a greater need for parents to be aware of safety issues,” said Rabbi Shmuel Klein, director of publications for Torah Umesorah.
Last month, Danese added two pages titled “What Should I Do If I Get Lost?”
Brooklyn Jewish bookstores now sell the new edition.
The Kletzky family knows of the book, a relative said. “It’s a sad time we live in,” said Malky Bodenstein, a Kletzky cousin, thumbing through books at Eichlers Bookstore in Borough Park. “I want to cry. It’s sad you have to tell your kids about these things.”