Learn and Return


How does Learn & Return prevent girls from getting trapped?

Once we get a call from a parent, a principle, a sibling or friend, we get the girl’s information and contact her directly. Our counselors will travel across Israel to meet with the girl personally. Usually it requires several meetings and intensive counseling to convince her that she is being targeted in a new form of terrorism. We introduce her to girls who were rescued from Arab villages, who share their terrifying stories of what happened once they were in a village.

These men often prey on girls from troubled homes. Many times we provide counseling for her parents and, if her home life is dysfunctional, we offer her a place in our shelter.

Girls from stable homes are also at risk, and the problem is even seen in the religious community. We try to offer whatever is missing in each girl’s life -- love, attention, direction, a place to stay, referrals for addiction counseling – whatever it was that made her so vulnerable. The results are encouraging: hundreds of girls are rescued each year, and have gone on to marry Jewish boys and build Jewish homes in Israel!

By providing a safe alternative that enhances self esteem and Jewish identity while providing practical tools for a productive future, we are creating self assured young women, who feel connected to society and to Israel. They will not be entrapped by abusive men who might lure them, with gifts, into a life of suffering.

Target Population:

Upon joining the program, most participants fall into one or more of the following categories: school drop outs; substance abusers; suffer estranged family relationship; ex- convicts; from dysfunctional and/or financially challenged homes or live in high-crime neighborhoods.

Program Goals:

  • Get at risk young girls off the streets and away from crime
  • Help teens escape potentially abusive relationships; stop relationships from turning abusive
  • Rehabilitate teens and offer them the opportunity for a new start
  • Enhance self esteem and promote positive behavior and enrich personal abilities
  • Improve communication and additional life skills
  • Develop personal responsibility and responsibility to the community
  • Provide each girl with whatever she is missing emotionally and physically

Malka’s Story:

Malka is a girl that Learn and Return saved from a life of abuse. At 17 and very overweight, she spent most evenings alone. Yousef, the Arab at the supermarket told her she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Though she didn't want to get involved with a non Jewish person, his constant compliments and gifts got to her.

She went with him in his car. "At first, I ducked under the window to make sure no one saw me" Malka admitted. "After awhile, I got used to going with him." She started to fall in love with him and was about to go to his home in a village.

Her friend told our counselor at the Learn and Return Teen Center in Tzefat and we got her to come in. We had her meet with girls who had been rescued from the villages. With the help of our counselors, and a new social life, Malka left her him before she was taken.

I Was Bad – Eti’s Story

When describing herself then and now – Eti states “I was bad”.

Eti’s caring parents tried to help her when negative behavior patterns including drinking, smoking and vandalizing property began in her early teen years ,but they didn’t know how to do it. Sleepless nights waiting for Eli to return at 4 or 5 am not knowing where she was, what she was doing or if she would make it home was a living hell. Luckily Eti’s aunt suggested that she try Learn and Return activities. When Eti saw groups of teens enjoying fun activities, she agreed to give Learn and Return a try.

"They had free food there and some fun stuff going on," Eti said. I didn't plan on dropping my drinking friends or my lifesyle but there was a counselor there who I really liked. She would talk to me all the time and call me when I didn't come. She is the one that helped me turn around my life and get back on track". The behavior transition was gradual.

Eti see-sawed - spending time alternatively with her old drinking buddies and her new Center friends. Classes, healthy teen activities like cook-outs, bowling and trips coupled with one-on-one counseling and a new set of wholesome friends began affecting Eti’s outlook. Smoking and alcohol consumption have ceased; Eti is back in school, fulfilling her potential.

Today, Eti is proud of her accomplishments; she loves her family and is looking forward to continuing her studies. Her new self esteem shields her.

Learn and Return
Preventing Abuse of Jewish Girls in Israel
IN ISRAEL: PO Box 5155 Jerusalem 9105101, Israel • Telephone: (972) – 2-651-4538 • Amutah #: 58-058-964-6
IN U.S.: PO Box 761069 Los Angeles, CA 90076 • U.S.A tax deductible 501(c)3 # : 45-545-0973 • info@learnandreturn.us