A special Yad L'Achim team returned last week from France, where it ran programs aimed at countering assimilation among students in local Jewish schools.
For some time now, Yad L'Achim has been receiving desperate pleas for assistance from parents in France who have watched helplessly as their daughters got involved in relationships with non-Jews, cutting themselves off from their own people and often subjecting themselves to severe violence.
Recently, a request came from principals of Jewish elementary and high schools throughout France, who banded together to seek advice from Yad L'Achim on how to battle the plague of assimilation. They asked Yad L'Achim to send a team from its French division – which works year round with French immigrants in Israel – to launch a broad information campaign in their institutions.
Yad L'Achim quickly assembled a team that took off for France with French-language informational materials. These included films containing the personal testimonies of French immigrants to Israel who'd been rescued by Yad L'Achim from devastating relationships. In dramatic footage, the girls tell of how they had been misled by non-Jewish men into entering relationships that often entailed violence, and how happy they were to return to the Jewish people.
Yad L'Achim's team was welcomed with open arms by many educational institutions, including well-known high schools like Shneur, Sinai, Otzar HaTorah and Beit Yisrael.
Girls from these schools and others attended programs that included a lecture from Mrs. Karine Barda, head of Yad L'Achim's French-speaking division. The girls received promotional material and tools for coping with the dangers of assimilation.
On its return to Israel, Yad L'Achim's team members expressed great satisfaction at the success of their mission. The feedback was very strong and favorable, including a request by additional school principals for another round of lectures and programming.
At this time, the French division of Yad L'Achim is planning a follow-up trip to France for next month.
"Eternally grateful for your important work." A letter of thanks from a school principal in Paris.