During a presentation at the Chabad Central of Boca Raton, Gross talked about how parents can keep their children safe.

Sexual abuse is an epidemic and people are realizing it happens in the Jewish world, she told an audience composed primarily of women. We need policies and programs in schools and synagogues, Gross said. "The idea is to find a way to keep kids safe; to be aware ourselves."

She urged members of the audience to "Take your communities back."

"We're not teaching our kids how to protect themselves," Gross said, advising parents to start when children are 2 1/2 years old. "Tell your children that most people are good but you might have one who is not," she said. "Teach safety skills," Gross said. Tell children, "Say no, right away, tell your mommy."

Gross said she teaches "stranger danger." She explained, "Often we can think our children are going someplace safe and they are not. Think twice about rides, bar mitzvah tutors — any time the child is alone." Boys and girls, Gross added, are at the same risk.

Answering questions from the audience, Gross said parents should teach their children that no one can touch their private parts, on top or under their clothes. "We tell them, 'Any area that is covered by your bathing suit,'" she said.

Camps should have child safety programs and trained counselors, Gross said. There also should be a "safe adult" in the camp — a mother or a nurse — she said.

"We can't make everybody safe," Gross said. "We can make our schools safe. We can make our shuls safe."

In an interview with the Jewish Journal, Gross said she met with rabbis from Jewish schools "across the spectrum" in South Palm Beach and hopes to return in February 2014 to train teachers.

Gross said she also met with Jewish Community Services in Miami last week to arrange for training and reach the Jewish population.

Asked if she met with anyone from the Broward County Jewish community, Gross said she hasn't met with anyone but would be interested in doing so.

Sheri Siegel of West Boca Raton, who identified herself as "a teacher, social worker and a mom," said she went to the Chabad to hear Gross' presentation because sexual abuse is a "taboo topic" and "people don't like to talk about it."

Siegel, who teaches at the Hillel Day School, said the school hasn't trained teachers to deal with sexual abuse.

Parent Eric Aiken of Boca Raton said he asked the Chabad to host the program after he learned that Gross would be in South Florida. "I'm trying to make communities more aware of sexual abuse in the Jewish community," Aiken said. "I think it's much more widespread than people think. It's very much covered up in the Orthodox community."