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Protecting our Kids from Predators

On Wednesday, November 5th, at the beautiful Brentwood home of Women’s Campaign leader Wendy Moss Klein, our 2014 Susan S. Pritzker Series featured an enlightening and informative discussion titled Keeping Kids Safe Online and in the Real World. Part of our Federation’s Sylvia Weisz Women’s Campaign, this series reflects our mission to engage and inform our community about issues that are important to them.

The morning began with breakfast and camaraderie, enabling guests to catch up with old friends and get to know other women who share their passion for the Jewish community. Prior to the main presentation, former Women’s Campaign Chair Terri Smooke encouraged everyone to attend Global Jewry: One People, One World, a symposium on Sunday, November 16th that will give our community an in-depth look at our impact in over 70 countries around the world. Following Terri, Beth Tigay, Director of Federation partner organization Moving Traditions, discussed the wonderful impact mentors are making on Jewish teenagers throughout Los Angeles.

Then it was time for the main event: Keeping Kids Safe Online and in the Real World. The talk featured Robin Sax, legal commentator, reporter, producer and former L.A. County prosecutor. Having brought hundreds of cases to trial involving major crimes from sexual assault to child abuse to stalking, and having written six books on the topics of parenting and justice, Robin’s expertise was undeniable.

 “My goal is not to scare people,” Robin began. She went on to share best practices and guidelines on how to talk to kids about predators, both online and off. Robin also explained that most victims know their predators. It could be anyone from a coach to a teacher, relative, or family friend. Her advice was to train kids to trust their judgment and instincts—and that starts with parents doing the same.

“Robin was informative, intelligent, provocative and passionate,” said Wendy Moss Klein. “I’ve been a mom for a long time and she taught me so much new information that is going to be very helpful, both for my younger son and for my daughter who’s in college.”

All of the women, many of them concerned mothers, appreciated that Robin opened the room for discussion and questions. She left the women with the idea that the more they communicate with their kids and arm themselves with information, the safer they will be.

Programs in the Susan S. Pritzker series are open to all women who make a minimum gift of $500 to The Jewish Federation’s Annual Campaign. Special thanks to Jeanne and Tony Pritzker for underwriting the series as a loving tribute to Tony’s late mother, Susan S. Pritzker. The next event will be an insider’s briefing with Dr. Miri Eisin, Col. (Ret.), Israeli Defense Forces, on Monday evening, December 8th. For more information, please contact Karen Sternfeld at (323) 761-8224 or KSternfeld@JewishLA.org.

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