Many were shocked last month to see Rabbi Yitzchak Berkowitz’s heartfelt video message regarding a surveillance system set up in the neighborhood of Sanhedria Murchevet to stop assaults on children. Since the installation of the cameras, reported incidents have declined more than 90%. Much to the dismay of local parents and onlookers worldwide, however, funding for the system has run out. Consequently, the cameras have been shut off. An initiative has been started to expand the surveillance to the rest of the city. As it is a community effort, however, funds will need to be raised in order to do so.

Another prominent community leader, principal of the Chachmas Shlomo boys’ school in Sanhedria, has now added his voice to the effort. He tells the following harrowing tale [video below]:

“For the past few years, we have been situated here right next to a wadi (riverbed) which leads to an Arab neighborhood, Shuafat. There were break-ins on Friday nights. On Yom Kippur, on Yom Tov and other Jewish holidays.

It was scary to walk around the neighborhood at night. It was frightening to sleep in your bed in this neighborhood at night.

The many children learning here were a magnet for all sorts of pedophiles who came to the neighborhood. It was frightening for the girls, for the boys and for their parents.

A group of Jews founded an organization called “Jerusalem Eye.” They took upon themselves to film, with high-quality images, every square meter in the neighborhood. And to expand their reach to more and more neighborhoods.

A child who experiences a break-in to their home, or a child who experiences a sexual assault, it is very hard to return him to a normal life afterward. The prevention that is achieved by the deterrence of filming the entire area is at a very high cost, but very effective.

It is truly saving lives.

I am calling on you, merciful Jewish community, who have a heart of gold: Save our children. Whoever saves one soul of Israel it is as if he saved an entire world. May you merit all the blessings. If you gladden mine, G-d will gladden yours.”