Yad L'Achim reports a dramatic increase in the number of calls coming into its emergency hotline during summer vacation and in advance of the Jewish holidays.
Officials say the increase is a result of youngsters being out of their normal framework, circulating on the streets till all hours of the night – which opens the door to forming devastating relationships with minority groups.
In many cases, friends or family members of these young women contact Yad L'Achim to report the relationship. In others, the women themselves call for help.
"The increase in the number of calls during the holidays is both fascinating and heartening," says a senior Yad L'Achim official. "Women who moved into Arab villages feel the approach of the Jewish holidays – Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Succos and Simchas Torah – and are reminded of their families and how they marked the holidays at home. This awakens in them a Jewish feeling and a longing for family."
Yad L'Achim stresses that in the summer months and in the periods prior to and during the holidays, it reinforces its staff round the clock. "We make sure that anyone who calls seeking an attentive ear, will find someone on the other end of the line to provide it," says the official. "We try to be there for every girl who calls, and establish a close relationship. We explain to them the complexities of relationships with minority members, and share with them stories involving other Jewish girls who were in there situation. Thank G-d we've seen success in most cases."
Yad L'Achim stresses that complete confidentiality is maintained. Even in cases where several people call in about the same young woman, none of the parties is informed about the other calls.