Of the many stories that come through the doors of the Lahava Organization is one about a young woman, a mother, living in the center of the country, from a Dati-Leumi home whose daughter was a victim of assimilation, and how Lahava has brought her home. Orly Harari, Publication date: from “PIRSUM RISHON” 11/06/14
(picture is used for illustrative purposes only)
This story could have been taken from the script of a Spanish telenovela. After a long term effort by Lahava, another young girl, we’ll call her “G”, was rescued and has been returned to Israel, her homeland.
Our saga begins when a young mother contacted Lahava with the following information, “My daughter has been in a romantic relationship with an Arab for some time now, and now she is flying with him to Spain.” Through anguished tears she continued, “Despite all the calls and requests, she is not willing to return and is willing to cut all connections with us. We are just a few days before Shavuot, please help me! ”
The mother gave Lahava her daughter’s telephone number in Spain, and after a long conversation of over two hours, they managed to convince her to leave her Arab spouse and return to Israel. So, in tears, “G”. agreed to leave Spain, but her return ticket was not for another three weeks.
The Lahava organization understood that time was of the essence. If “G” would not immediately board a flight to Israel, she may get cold-feet and remain with her partner. “We must bring her back to Israel before Shavuot,” said the representatives from Lahava. Work immediately began behind the scenes.
“We began by posting a message to all of Whatsapp groups, about 50 different groups,” said Bentzi Gopstein, Lahava’s CEO. “We asked everyone who had a connection in Spain, anyone who could help bring her to the airport, anyone who could change the ticket. We received many helpful responses, and were ready to move along, but once we were mobilized, we were unable to contact “G”.
“At one point,” says Gopstein, “A businessman in Europe, Moshe Goldschmidt, approached us and spoke with one of his employees, who was in Spain, and asked him to help. The worker, who is not Jewish, contacted “G” and her partner and were able to convince “G’s” partner to bring “G” – himself – to the airport. When “G” arrived at the airport there was a plane ticket, which Moshe Goldschmidt took care of and she boarded a flight to Israel. ”
At 5:00am on Tuesday morning, on the eve of Shavuot, excited members of G.’s family waited with Lahava activists. “The Tears of sadness and despair in memory of the horrors that “G” had undergone were replaced by tears of happiness and joy.” After Shavuot, with the help of G-d, the professionals at Lahava continued our care for G and her family.”
Once again we relate to you this story of assimilation, this time of a girl from a dati-leumi home. Her family is a well-established family with strong community ties. From repeated stories, we unfortunately learn that assimilation of Jewish girls and women into Arab relationships crosses every social and economic sector. No community is immune.
We are very proud of how we were able to help “G” return to her family. But every time we successfully end a case and severe a relationship, I pray to God that the organization will no longer have any work to do. I wish we were unemployed.