It’s been only ten months since Magenu, the Children’s Safety organization, was launched by a proactive Brooklyn couple determined to protect Jewish children through education. Since then, 2,126 children, 374 teachers, and 879 parents in 106 Brooklyn classrooms have been educated by the Magenu “Be Safe!” program-becoming empowered with essential safety tools.
“Every child has the right to explore the world without being worried about personal safety,” asserts Magenu’s Director, Dr. Shani Verschleiser, AuD, LMSW, who founded the organization along with her husband Eli Verschleiser. “And it is the responsibility of every community to ensure that right.”
Magenu’s vision for community safety is broad. Aside from their bringing safety educational programs to every Jewish school, their plan to heighten general safety awareness in other ways is well underway.
Last month, they unrolled the Magenu Comic Series, an educational series focusing on various seasonal safety concerns, published in numerous media outlets and available free of charge for distribution to schools and shuls. For Purim, the full-color, professionally-designed comic highlighted the dangers of underage drinking; for Pesach, the focus was on maintaining safety during Chol HaMoed outings, an important topic for the frum community.
“As the summer approaches and daily structure dwindles, the risks multiply tenfold,” says Shani. “It is precisely during free, unstructured time that safety is most compromised, whether in the form of getting lost in public places or an incident of inappropriate touch.”
Under the direct guidance of rabbonim, Magenu is determined to bolster in the frum community awareness – and adherence to – basic safety guidelines.
“Our children are our most valuable assets,” says Eli Verschleiser, a Wall Street executive who has taken up Magenu’s cause with a passion. “Nothing is foolproof – but as parents and as communities, we have an obligation to empower our children to stay safe.”