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Achoti Reaches Out to 'Sisters' with Faith and Encouragement

01/1/14
         
   

The Kislev and Tevet issues of Achoti have generated excitement beyond the target audience of survivors of Arab villages

Yad L'Achim has launched a new magazine called Achot , "My Sister" in Hebrew, written expressly for Jewish women rescued from Arab villages and their families.

The magazine is part of a larger campaign to keep in touch with these women after their rescues and help them make the transition back to the Jewish world.

Achoti, edited by Yad L'Achim social workers who've worked with survivors and understand their needs, includes inspirational articles alongside those offering practical advice on running a Jewish home and finding a job.

The first issue opened with a personal letter from Yad L'Achim's chairman, Harav Yisrael Lifschitz, who shared the story of one particular survivor who went on to open a new page in her life, proving that nothing can stand in the way of determination.

Other columns included "Little Sister," questions from young girls rescued with their mothers that are answered by a senior social worker; "Second Childhood," parenting tips from Sari, who is known by survivors as "the mother of Yad L'Achim''; and "Torat Imecha – Your Mother's Torah," an inspiring column on how to enrich one's life spiritually, written by Rabbanit Yonah Nusbacher.

In addition, there are columns offering recipes, household tips, fashion and so on.

The first two issues, for Kislev and Tevet, were such a hit that Yad L'Achim's headquarters has been inundated with calls from women wanting to make sure that the third issue will be coming out on time and be sent to them.

"I can't put it down until I've read it cover to cover," said one survivor. "I find myself reading and rereading each issue."

Another reader, referring to an article titled "Bread of Labor," which presented tips on how to get a job, said that after reading it she was able to muster the courage to go on her first serious job interview. She now feels confident about her ability to find work and support herself and children.

The magazine, with its sharp graphic design, is generating excitement beyond the target audience of women rescued from Arab villages. Many religious girls' high schools have asked Yad L'Achim to send them the magazines so that they can distribute them to their students.

"I discovered that written material, when it's professionally edited and laid out, is much more effective than lectures when it comes to dealing with these painful, sensitive issues," said one principal, who understands the importance of educating high school-aged girls about the dangers of getting involved with Arab men.

Yad L'Achim officials say they intend to continue publishing the magazine on a monthly basis, with G-d's help, because the "follow-up educational activities are no less important than the rescue itself in ensuring the Jewish continuity of these women and their future generations."

 

 


 

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