The Knesset’s Committee for the Welfare of the Child reported that there are currently 1,071 teenage girls who are considered “missing voluntarily”. After being wined and dined by ‘older’ men, many of these Jewish teenage girls from 11 -18 have been whisked off to villages and trapped into a lifetime of abuse. The report states, “Since these young girls had accompanied these men of their own volition, the police classify them as ‘voluntarily missing’ and don’t pursue them.” Voluntarily missing at 16? Their parents are frantic, knowing their children are being physically abused, with nowhere to turn and no way out.
Learn and Live has helped hundreds of these teens. Rav Zev Leff, Rav Ovadia Yosef, Rav Berel Wein, Jonathan Rosenblum, and Lori Palatnik have joined Learn and Live in spearheading the fight for the rights of these missing teenagers. “This is a fight for Kedushas Israel”, stated Rav Shimon, the Director of Learn and Live. “This problem has hit our frum community. There are religious girls who have gone off the derech and are in relationships with Arabs” , stated Rav Shimon.
With 32 nightly centers serving 3000 at risk youth throughout Israel, Learn and Live has prevented and rescued hundreds of girls from this terrible fate. Patty Kupfer from the organization stated, “No one realizes how many Jewish girls are trapped. We received 300 calls this year alone from girls begging to be rescued. We estimate there are over 10,000 girls physically or emotionally trapped. Our goals are prevention, rescue and rehabilitation. Doesn’t it make more sense to prevent a vulnerable girl from getting trapped then to send a team into an Arab village on a life threatening mission to rescue her? “
The question is why would a Jewish girl go with an Arab or Sudanese man? “Besides the vulnerability, the new generations of Israelis have been raised on secularism, co-existence and universalism. They see no problem going with an Arab or Sudanese, or other men who are not Jewish. We asked a 17-year-old teenage girl why she was getting into a car with a group of Arabs she hardly knew. She explained, “We go with them all the time. They buy us whatever we want. Why not? “ explained Mrs. Kupfer.
The end of such a story is one like Tali’s. Eighteen-year-old Tali , an orphan with no father, was very overweight and spent a lot of time by herself with no social life, at the local parks in Haifa. A nice-looking young man started talking with her and would meet her daily. He lavished her with compliments and presents, took her to fancy restaurants and told her she was the most beautiful woman he ever met. She enjoyed the man’s company and the gifts he gave her, and over time, they became involved. Little did she know she was about to fall into a trap.
Two months later Tali discovered the truth. The kind, young man became abusive and controlling as soon as he took her to his village. The beatings were severe, even when she became pregnant. She had no way out. A week after she gave birth to a girl, the beatings became incessant.
Tali called her mother to save her, who contacted Learn & Live. We sent in a mission to the village to rescue her. When our team entered the house, the entire village came trying to prevent Tali from leaving! Our team was in a life-threatening situation but thank Gd, everyone escaped-including Tali and her child. Tali was taken to a Learn and Live Rehabilitation Center.
Learn and Lives’ goal is to prevent such tragedies which lead to heartbreaking situations – girls being trapped or abused, – all from a mistake made in adolescence. Learn and Live has 32 centers working with 3000 girls throughout Israel. The centers are a fun place to be: there is food, games, people to talk to, and most of all – caring, warmth and love. Our goal is to keep these vulnerable teens off the streets, away from the drug and alcohol abuse which has taken a toll on many of the lives of young girls in Israel.
For more information or to help, please contact Patty Kupfer at email@example.com or call 972 2 651-4538.
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