by Simone Weichselbaum (NY Daily News)
September 6, 2011
"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 books 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.
An earlier book, Rabbi Yehoshua Danese's "Yoni Ploni never talks to STRANGERS!" was self-published, but didn't have enough rabbinical support to be a hit.
Last month, Danese added two pages titled "What Should I Do If I Get Lost?"
Brooklyn Jewish bookstores now sell the new edition.
"I got a chill up my spine when I heard about the Kletzky case," Danese said. "The challenge is how do you meet the balance of alerting the community without terrifying them?"
The Kletzky family knows of the books, a relative said.
"It's a sad time we live in," said a teary-eyed Malky Bodenstein, a Kletzky cousin, thumbing through the books at Eichlers Bookstore in Borough Park. "I want to cry. It's sad you have to tell your kids about these things."