The official Jerusalem Rabbinical Court document, dated 20 Iyyar,
confirming P.'s return to Judaism,
together with her son.
An elderly Jew who refused to give up on his granddaughter, even after she converted to Islam and married an Arab, celebrated a sweet victory this week when the girl, rescued from an Arab village by Yad L'Achim, had her status as a Jew restored by the Jerusalem Religious Court.
The story began when P., who grew up in a traditional Jewish home around Jerusalem, was experiencing problems and began a relationship with an Arab youth who worked in a store near her home. Soon, the two were married and setting up a home in an Arab village.
Even before the wedding, her parents, upon learning of the relationship, cut off all contact with her and informed her that as far as they were concerned she was dead.
Four years later, P.'s 80-year-old grandfather was still having difficulty accepting the family's decision to completely sever ties with her. He decided on his own to reach out, checking with the Interior Ministry and learning that she was registered as a Muslim who lived in an Arab village with her husband and child. He managed to obtain a phone number and contacted her.
P. was very moved by her grandfather's call, after four years of being cut off from her family. In her first conversation, she revealed that she had been enduring severe violence at the hands of her Arab husband. The grandfather immediately turned to Yad L'Achim and asked for its help in rescuing her.
Yad L'Achim assigned one of its most experienced social workers to contact P. and offer her emotional support over the phone, in preparation for the rescue. After a number of months, when conditions were ripe, P. was taken out of the village with her baby. The details of the rescue cannot be released at this time for obvious reason.
P. was brought to a safe house in Israel, where she went through an extended period of rehabilitation, mainly psychological. With Yad L'Achim's help she divorced her husband.
This week, half a year after the recue, the circle was closed: P.'s Judaism was restored by the Jerusalem Rabbinical Court after she expressed her heartfelt joy at returning to her people. The head of the court changed her son's Arab name to a Jewish one.
While all this was going inside the courtroom, the grandfather who wouldn't give up on P. was sitting outside along with her tearful parents who couldn't stop thanking him for taking the initiative and reaching out to her and Yad L'Achim for facilitating a happy ending to their story.