Some 70 women rescued by Yad L'Achim from Arab villages, and their children, were treated to an extraordinary Shabbaton this week to help them form close bonds with one another and prepare them for the holidays of Tishrei.
Just recently, Yad L'Achim held a symbolic circumcision (hatafas dam bris) for a group of Jewish children who had been rescued from hostile Arab villages. This week, it held a similar ceremony for five additional children who were rescued with their mothers by Yad L'Achim.
The dramatic story of A. began two years with a phone call placed by a sympathetic policeman in northern Israel
No one is ever really lost to Judaism. That's the message of an astonishing Pesach seder that was held this year in the heart of an Arab village whose "planning" began 17 years ago.
"It was 17 years ago that two Jewish women discovered they had been given up for adoption as babies, and that their real mother was married to an Arab and living in a village in the south of the country," an official at Yad L'Achim related.
Yad L'Achim turned to Education Minister Naftali Bennet earlier this week demanding that he put an immediate halt to all contacts between his ministry and "A New Way," the NGO that brought Jewish children from Caesarea to a mosque to bow down and pray in keeping with Islamic custom.
A survey commissioned by Yad L'Achim reveals that 93 percent of the Jewish public in Israel opposes their children marrying Muslim Arabs.
A Jewish mother's battle to gain custody of her daughters is about to be decided in the courts.
The mother, C., aged 31, had a difficult upbringing. Her mother was handicapped and sent her away to boarding school at a young age. At 18, when C. wanted to return home, her mother got an injunction barring her from entering her house - for no apparent reason and without any early warning.
Three women who grew up thinking they were Muslims, only to discover that they are Jews, turned to Yad L'Achim in the past month seeking assistance in returning to their people.
Five Jewish children who were raised in hostile Arab villages and rescued with their mothers by Yad L'Achim participated this week in a moving symbolic Bris Milah at Yad L'Achim's Jerusalem office.
The sons of D., a Jewish woman married to an Arab, received a Muslim upbringing and education. Several months ago, D. contacted Yad L'Achim's counter-assimilation department and, in a voice shaking with emotion, told of the difficulties she experienced. She bemoaned her children's future, being raised against her will in a Muslim educational system, and pleaded for help.
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.
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.
Every Bris Milah is emotional, but this one didn't leave a dry eye in the house. The child, who was named Eli-Or, is the son of G., a Jewish woman who until recently was living with an abusive Arab husband in the village of Kara. After 10 years of living as a Muslim, she succeeded, with Yad L'Achim's help, in escaping the village with her daughters.
A., a 36-year-old Jewish woman, spent 18 years in an Arab village in southern Israel together with her Arab husband. They'd met at a food factory where they both worked. After moving to his village they had six children.
Around six years ago, a childhood friend of A. reached out to her out of the blue, after more than a decade of no contact. A. revealed that she wasn't happy and wanted to leave her husband and the village. A few days later, the phone line in A.'s house went dead. It turns out that her husband had learned about the phone call and disconnected the line. He also punished her with violence.
Yad L'Achim's counter-assimilation department, which has traditionally focused its efforts on Jewish women involved with non-Jewish men, has recently begun working with Jewish men contemplating marrying out.
A survey conducted by the Smith Institute on behalf of Yad L'Achim shows that more than 90 percent of the Jewish public in Israel staunchly opposes intermarriage between their son or daughter and a Muslim.
The survey, released last week, also shows that among the secular public in Israel some 20 percent are personally familiar with couples who have intermarried, compared to 12 percent in the religious-chareidi sector.
Dozens of Yad L'Achim "big sisters" attended a full-day seminar recently to acquire professional tools to help them mentor Jewish children rescued from Arab villages
Two Arab women who posted pictures of terrorists on their Facebook page, together with words of praise for their deeds, inadvertently convinced a Jewish girl to end her relationship with an Arab man.
They were once the up-and-coming leaders of Israel's Labor Party. An articulate, photogenic cadre of young politicians who saw themselves as the best and the brightest, the natural successors to Yitzchak Rabin, Shimon Peres and the rest of the party's "old guard."
N. was born into a religious family in the center of Israel but was dealt a serious emotional blow in her youth when her parents divorced and her mother decided to abandon religion and bring her children along with her into this strange new world.