In light of the record-high number of reports concerning girls who’ve gotten involved with minority members, Yad L’Achim held a full-day seminar on the subject for educators and social workers.
“Since the start of the Jewish year we have seen a worrisome jump in the number of cases of assimilation in all Jewish sectors,” says Mrs. Miriam Itzkovitch, of Yad L’Achim’s counter-assimilation department, who organized the event. “The figures are at a record high.”
The seminar, held in the Mifal Hapayis hall in Bnei Brak, opened with a talk by Rebbetzin Miriam Lipschitz, a clinical psychologist and the wife of Yad L’Achim’s legendary founder Harav Sholom Dov Lipschitz, zt”l. She gave a brief overview of Yad L’Achim’s history, particularly as it relates to battling assimilation and intermarriage, and offered insights based on psychological and Jewish principles.
She was followed by Mrs. Zahava Drori, head of Yad L’Achim’s counter-assimilation department, who described the scope of the problem, noting that it has not bypassed any sector, even the religious. She also discussed its causes and ramifications.
A symposium comprised of four Yad L’Achim staffers from different disciplines elaborated on the package of solutions the organization offers young Jewish women in distress. The staffers fielded a wide range of questions from the seminar’s participants.
Following the panel discussion, there was lunch and an opportunity for informal discussions among participants.
Mrs. Brachah Tubol, a social worker and group leader who trains Yad L’Achim social workers, gave a talk entitled, “The Community as a Hall of Mirrors.” She offered practical tools for dealing with the problem and presented therapeutic approaches that take into account family and community dynamics.
The seminar concluded with the airing of a documentary on the rescue of two Jewish women, sisters in law, and their eight children from a hostile Arab village, with Yad L’Achim’s help.
The response of the participants to the seminar were mixed. On the one hand, there was shock at the scope of the problem in all sectors. On the other, there was astonishment at how much Yad L’Achim has invested in the problem and the broad response it offers to counter it.
As one of the school principals who participated in the seminar put it: “You caused us to feel the destruction, but planted in us much hope.”
She’ll still come back. Signs welcoming participants to the seminar.
(Yad L’Achim Photography)