Despite Worldwide Efforts, Young Jewish Prisoner May Have Lost Chance

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22-year-old Rivka Zuaretz has been in the news regularly for the past month, as readers have followed her shocking story: Zuaretz was part of a small group of religious Israeli girls who were tricked into travelling internationally with goods that are legal in Israel but illegal elsewhere. Much to the girls’ shock, they were arrested at the airport in Bulgaria and have since been imprisoned in difficult conditions. The Bulgarian legal system seeks to keep them for 15 years, an extremely harsh sentence.


Rivka’s family has fought as hard as they could to provide her with kosher food and legal help. Her mother and father are extremely limited in their financial abilities, as they hold regular, middle class jobs. Rivka has wept on phone calls with her parents, terrified by her inability to communicate with those around her. Violent criminals have surrounded the girls, threatening their safety. Many have donated to her pidyon shvuyim fund, and watched closely to see her fate.


This Thursday Rivka’s story will end. Whether the ending will be a happy or tragic one, however, has yet to be seen. The courts have given the Zuaretz until Thursday to reach their goal of $200,000. If the sum of money is raised, then Rivka will be able to walk free and return to her family. If the total is not raised, there is no telling what will become of her.


“We have come too far to give up now,” reads an urgent update made today to the family’s Chesed Fund page.


Those who are interested in partaking in the rare mitzvah of ‘pidyon shvuyim’ (releasing a Jewish captive) can join the family’s desperate mission to reach their goal by Thursday.






  1. Is there widespread awareness being made in all the newspapers in Israel to warn against this?
    Their should be notices in the airport warning against this like there is in many countries ,they even show samples of contraband goods.
    If they are so innocent and even if they are not so innocent, more effort should be taken to warn against it and to make them aware of the consequences

    • Daniel, please take this small package for me to Sweden. I will pay your travel expenses plus $7K for your trouble. Will you take it? Why not? Many idiots did. If you get caught, tell Jews you went to Sweden to doven at קיברי צדיקים .

      Or a better one. I decided to have a haircut in Gaza. Ahmed, the barber is my best friend; he is also less expensive. He loves Jews (only dead ones). As you see, I’ve got all the reasons to have a haircut in Gaza. But once there, they all jumped on me.

      Jews, SAVE ME !!!! It’s פדיון שבוים !!!!

  2. Wow,$182,753.80 donated by 4474 people, a huge amount of money was collected for this one girl who made a “silly mistake” , isnt that enough? This has happened so many times and has been in the papers for over a decade since the 3 boys in Japan, If the schools and parents didnt warn their daughters,then they are the silly ones. THese adult girls were arrested justifiably, not under trumped up charges. If you travel you must obey the laws of the countries you are visiting. If you get caught you deserve their punishments as their laws dictate. When people ask me to bring packages of food to the US which is not allowed. I refuse. They tell me so many people get thru customs with food even though its not allowed. Is it truly worth it?? When you buy your ticket you are warned not to travel with forbidden substances. Every time an adult tells a story of how they got away with something, we are teaching our children that the law doesnt apply and its fun to get away with it. Expensive lesson.

  3. This sounds like state sponsored ransom. Why is the israeli goverment . Just give us 200k and then you’re innocent. Wonderfull. If they get Away with this keep doing this


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