web analytics
May 27, 2015 / 9 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


Help Save the World!

El Al airplane

I’ve had to cut down on my blogging because I’m been busy with another mitzvah. About a month ago, I received an email from a 16 year old girl from Europe, saying that she was on the way to the airport to fly to Israel. She said that her mother read my blogs at The Jewish Press and hoped that maybe I could help her, not knowing where else to turn. She wants to finish high school in Israel, make aliyah, and go into the army. Her present high school is all gentile and Moslem and very anti-Semitic. Could I help her, she asked?

I sent an email to her mother to learn more about their background. To protect their identities, I won’t go into all of the details. The parents were divorced, and the father refuses to help his daughter as long as she is connected to her mother. Having to take care of her hyperactive 3 year-old son, the mother wasn’t working and she depended on a modest state stipend for unemployed, single-parent mothers. The father refuses to pay child support. They live in an anti-Semitic neighborhood, and the girl could no longer tolerate being insulted and boycotted at school for being a Jew. Her dream is to live in Israel.

When I asked her if she was Jewish, the mother answered that her mother’s mother was Jewish, spoke Yiddish, survived Terzin and Auschwitz, but that she herself had no official documents to prove it. The Nazis had taken over the country where she grew up, and then the Communists after the war. Her mother had died when she was a child, and her father was deported by Communists, and she had literally survived on the streets and in the forests. She gave me the phone numbers of some people who knew her, and I spoke to the local rabbi and an Israeli family who had helped her after her divorce, and they told me that the Jewish identity of the mother and daughter was very strong, that they kept Shabbat and the holidays as best as they knew how, and that they wouldn’t eat meat because kosher meat was very hard to find.

I told the mother that since her daughter was already on a train on the way to the airport, I would meet her when she landed in Israel, but that it would, of course, be better if the mother came on aliyah also, along with her 3 year-old son. But without official papers, proving that they were Jews, this was impossible. They were willing to go through a process of conversion, if need be, but this was a difficult 7 year project where they came from. Gevalt!

As it turned out, the girl missed the flight, so I had time to look for a suitable program for Diaspora students who want to finish high school in Israel. My good friend, Rabbi David Samson, founded several high school programs for “kids at risk” in Jerusalem, including two religious high schools for English-speaking olim who find it hard to learn in Hebrew, and he recommended the Jewish Agency’s “Naale” Program for Diaspora youth.

Naale sounded perfect for the girl – let’s call her Sarah. It gets the kids learning in Hebrew, provides them with a dormitory, Israel health insurance, an “adopted family,” a chance to make aliyah and join the army, or do National Service for religious girls, and offers an accelerated program of conversion for people who have problematic backgrounds.

The student enrollment director of Naale told me to instruct Sarah and her mother to fly to Paris to be interviewed for the program for the upcoming school year, which starts at the end of August. But after they bought plane tickets and made reservations at a hotel, the interview was canceled because of a lack of candidates. Unable to get their money back with such short notice, they made the trip, spent all of the available money, but were no closer to getting to Israel. Then the director told me that they would have to fly Chicago for the last North America interview day if the girl wanted to have a chance to be accepted for this year’s program. That, of course, was totally absurd, even for the Jewish Agency standards. Finally, he gave me the name of the head of the Naale school in Israel and told me to call him. So I called and he told me to have Sarah and her mother come to Israel for a last-chance interview on August 5. But for the mother to come, she would have to bring her 3 year-old son, and they had no place to stay. In addition, they had already spent their last savings on the futile trip to Paris, so there was simply no chance. However, with God’s help, and the encouragement of my wonderful, kindhearted wife, who told me to trust in Hashem and bring them to Israel, a travel agent I know agreed to issue them tickets, granting me a month to gather the money to pay him.

About the Author: Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of The Jewish Press


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

5 Responses to “Help Save the World!”

  1. נופיה שם טוב says:

    I have very little money. I can send you $1.

  2. Liad Bar-el says:

    YES! You diaspora Jews in helping to save a life will help to save your own lives.

    Count me in on this one, Tzvi. I'll be knocking on your door soon. Kol HaKavod to you and your family.

  3. Yehuda Cohen says:

    You got my $100 Tzvi. Come on people, we have 3 lives to save here.

  4. I’m goin t’scrunch up my savins on this one boy. An’t got no greenbacks but I’z got 200 shekals. Give us all yo address, ya hear?

  5. Yehuda Cohen says:

    Moses Brown, there are people here that need your help also.

Comments are closed.

Tzvi Fishman, author of the Jewish Press blog Felafel on Rye and author of more than a dozen books.
Current Top Story
PA's soccer chief Jibril Rajoub, a member of the Fatah Central Committee.
Mass Arrests of FIFA Officials Omit PA Terrorist Rajoub
Latest Blogs Stories
Doug Goldstein

Are natural sources of energy, such as thorium and molten salt, effective alternatives to oil?

34th Government of Israel

HaModia’s list of the new government’s ministers omitted the women ministers’ first names: WHY?

President Obama speaking at Congregation Adas Israel. May 22, 2015.

Introducing Obama’s latest 2-state solution…

A Soldier's Mother

To friends in America: Wishing someone “Happy Memorial Day” means you don’t understand the holiday.

President Obama believes anti-Semites limit their anti-Semitism to discrimination and organizing, but will always put their survival first!

What motivates a successful leader? Who are the best kinds of people to use as your role model?

The warnings came true: Among the 1000 released terrorists, many returned to terror activity

Torah is to be lived. Rabbi Moshe Levinger was a completely living Torah, the Torah of Eretz Yisrael

“Said Rabbi Yochanan: Happy are those who see the fall of Tadmor…” (Talmud Yerushalmi)

Why has Prime Minister Netanyahu given Erdan & Hanegbi insultingly low-level cabinet appointments?

Without Israel, the Jewish People are scattered nomads lacking Torah’s true national grandeur&power

Will it get better/worse for Bibi or does the wily Bibi know/plan something that will shock us all?

Dr. Vernon Smith, 2002 Economics Nobel Prize winner, on predicting housing markets & economic issues

100% of the ‘First Responders’ helping those Arab school girls were Jewish and they didn’t hesitate!

Women equalizing with men in all areas of Judaism is anathema to the very idea of male/female roles.

Bibi endorsing the “2 State Solution” endangers Israel, moving the policy Center-Right from far Left

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman
Audience at Israel Day Concert

The warnings came true: Among the 1000 released terrorists, many returned to terror activity

Rabbi Levinger (zt"l)

Torah is to be lived. Rabbi Moshe Levinger was a completely living Torah, the Torah of Eretz Yisrael

Without Israel, the Jewish People are scattered nomads lacking Torah’s true national grandeur&power

If other pleasures exceed the joy we feel for Jerusalem, then something is wrong with our Judaism.

There will be peace when we listen to G-d and do want he tells us to do – all for our very own good.

Rav Kook often studied Rebbe Nachman’s writings with guests during Suedat Shleeshi meal on Shabbat

Many think they’re serving G-d but they’re really asleep-Rebbe Nachman taught stories to wake people

Point is, the eyes are the soul’s windows and forbidden images, face it or not, pollute a Jew’s soul

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/felafel-on-rye/help-save-the-world/2012/08/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: