This email is going around the Orthodox community of Los Angeles:
In addition to the letter below from the RCC, a local menahel has brought to my attention that a State Department source has credible information that there have been specific terrorist threats against the Grove although no time frame was mentioned. Please use your discretion. — Rabbi Goldberg
The following is a letter from the RCC that deserves your attention, especially parents of teenage girls:
RABBINICAL COUNCIL OF CALIFORNIA
***IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT AND WARNING***
***REGARDING THE SAFETY OF OUR CHILDREN***
It has come to our attention that our children have been violated in local establishments in the Hancock Park/Fairfax neighborhood:
Inappropriate advances were made by an attendant at a local gas station, who admitted to victimizing numerous girls.
Highly inappropriate and flirtatious behavior between workers and our children are taking place in local markets and businesses. Workers offer free or discounted donuts, candy bars and drinks which often leads to exchanging phone numbers, sending and asking for picture messages and going very far beyond. Girls have described feeling disgusted.
We live in dangerous times and our children are vulnerable. Unassuming frum children are easy prey and succumb to the wiles of predators lurking in places that are not necessarily obvious or avoidable. The coffee, donut and bagels shops and gas stations all employ workers who develop relationships with our children. Our children have to be instructed to be cautious.
PARENTS: PLEASE TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT THEIR SAFETY. HERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT RULES TO DISCUSS WITH YOUR CHILDREN:
DO NOT WALK ALONE. Even in our neighborhood, children are safest walking in groups of 2 or 3. There is safety in numbers.
DO NOT ACCEPT GIFTS. Giving and receiving gifts and discounts creates special relationships and expectations.
DO NOT KID AROUND OR ALLOW FLIRTATION. Interactions should be pleasant, but short.
DO NOT GO INTO ROOMS OR CORNERS. ALWAYS remain in public areas.
DO NOT APPROACH CARS that you do not absolutely recognize from afar.
NEVER ENTER ANYONE’S CAR WITHOUT PARENTAL PERMISSION.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO TELL YOUR PARENTS ABOUT ANYTHING THAT VIOLATES THE ABOVE.
THE FOLLOWING IS A CHECKLIST FOR PARENTS:
CHECK ON YOUR CHILDREN OFTEN AND REMIND THEM REGULARLY OF THESE SAFETY RULES. Ask them if any of these rules have been broken – by them or their friends.
NEVER PUNISH YOUR CHILDREN for violations – You want them to feel free to talk to you.
Ask you daughters if they experienced uncomfortable or inappropriate conversations or incidents. LET THEM KNOW IT IS NOT THEIR FAULT. Make your complaint to the authorities. Help prevent it from happening to others
THIS MESSAGE IS APPROVED BY THE RABBINICAL COUNCIL OF CALIFORNIA AND MANY OF THE RABBONIM, PRINCIPALS AND EDUCATORS IN OUR COMMUNITY.