Learn and Return was formed in 2012 in response to a growing phenomena in Israel; young, vulnerable, Jewish girls being enticed into abusive relationships with older, non-Jewish men. Many of these girls are either orphans, impoverished, or products of dysfunctional homes. Often these conditions leave these young women lonely and vulnerable and in desperate need of love and attention.
Many of these girls gravitate towards the attention from these men, and end up trapped in Arab villages with no way out. It is estimated that over 20,000 Jewish girls are in Arab villages. Learn and Return tries to reach these young girls before they get entangled in these unhealthy relationships. Are goal is toprevent abuse and the lifelong effects of such a relationship. We understand that strengthening the young girl’s Jewish roots and identity, and providing them with whatever they are missing in their lives, is vital to our cause.
The Statistics back up our goals:
-Over 1,000 calls a year are received by hotlines throughout the country from frantic girls and their families begging to be rescued.
-The Knesset Committee for the Rights of the Child stated, ” There are 1071 children missing in Israel, most of which are young girls that were lured away with gifts by older men. Because they originally went of their own free will, these girls are classified as ‘voluntarily missing’ and the police have decided not to pursue them.”
– The Knesset heard the story of a 15 year old girl who was lured away from home by a man from Ramallah. The woman telling the story, of her niece, claims that the biggest tragedy is that there was no place for her niece to go other than with this man because there was no room in government shelters. According to Yitzchak Kadmon of the Israeli Moatza L’Shlom HaYeled – National Committee for the Protection of Children” the situation in Israel today – regarding shelters for youth at risk – is worse (per capita) than it was 40 years ago.
Learn and Return is endorsed by the Mayor of Tzefat Ilan Shohat, Rav Ovadia Yosef,ztzl, Caroline Glick, Rav Berl Wein, Rav Zev Leff and Jonathan Rosenblum.