New Yad L'Achim Film: Assimilation Means Losing Your Identity
Yad L'Achim released a film clip Thursday as part of its efforts to prevent assimilation in Israel. The film, distributed in the social media, opens with a shot of a Shabbos table, with a haunting Shalom Aleichem being sung in the background – in Arabic. Little by little, Jewish elements like Shabbos candles and challos are taken away. In the final scene, we see a woman sitting at the table, confused and torn at the disappearance of symbols that were once part of her.
"It was important to us to emphasize the confusion that a Jewish woman who has married a non-Jew feels as regards her identity," explained a Yad L'Achim official. "We wanted to get this across in a gentle way, because that's our way."
The official added that the idea for the film clip came from "thousands of conversations with women and girls whom we've helped. When they assimilate and get involved in mixed relationships, they always experience a sense that they have lost the Jewish part of themselves."
Added Rabbi Shmuel Lifschitz, one of the leaders of Yad L'Achim: "It is clear that many in the media will accuse us of incitement and racism. But whoever thinks that taking action to prevent intermarriage is racism is opposed to our basic values as a Jewish nation and those things that have preserved us throughout the generations. We invite them to turn to the government of Israel and the Jewish Agency, which invests significant resources on the very same subject among the Jews in the Diaspora.
"We have files of more than 7,000 women and girls in Israel, sometimes with their children, who turned to us for help in the wake of their marriage to a minority member, here in Israel."
"It is important to us to get a public dialogue going on the subject and to sharpen the message among women and girls that they not get themselves into this situation, as well as to the government of Israel that it should start acting. Because assimilation isn't just taking place in the United States and Europe, it is also here, in ever-growing numbers."