Yad L'Achim last month completed its training course for 20 foreign students who will serve as Israel's ambassadors to the Jewish world on the subject of assimilation.
The course, the first of its kind, was offered by a new department set up by Yad L'Achim a few years ago to deal with mixed marriage. It operates alongside the organization's counter-assimilation department, which works with Jewish girls living in Arab villages.
The course's graduates came from around the world to learn in the "Machon Bina" seminary for young women, located in Tzafaria. Over the past year, they took a special course under the guidance of Rabbi Yoav Zeev Robinson, who coordinates on behalf of Yad L'Achim, which prepared them to deliver lectures and conduct public dialogues on the subject of assimilation.
The classes included the Torah's attitude toward mixed marriage, studies on the outcome of marriages between men and women of different religions, psychological aspects of such relationships and the difficulties encountered by their offspring.
At the conclusion of the year-long course, the students wrote a series of articles highlighting the different aspects of these problematic relationships. The articles were published in an English-language journal titled "Thoughts on Intermarriage" which was put out by Yad L'Achim and is to be distributed among Jewish students abroad.
Rabbi Robinson pointed out that over the past year the counter-assimilation department managed to prevent dozens of mixed marriages. In most cases, these involved Israeli students studying in Europe and local non-Jews.
"The course, which is to be given next year as well for girls arriving from abroad, will train as many ambassadors for the Jewish people as possible who will bring the struggle against assimilation to their countries when they return home at the end of the year," he said. "Our students come from France, the United States, Brazil Argentina, Canada, Russia, Britain, Italy, Germany and Austria."
Meanwhile, Yad L'Achim printed thousands of copies of the second edition of its Hebrew-language publication "We Marry Among our People," which exposes the Israeli public to the extent of the assimilation problem.
Yad L'Achim notes with satisfaction that the first edition was snapped up by young people and undoubtedly prevented many of them from entering into mixed marriages.