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Group Cites Worrying Increase in Jewish-Arab Intermarriage

Lehava organization records a 'significant increase' in the number of Jewish girls in relationships with Arabs.
By David Lev
First Publish: 11/10/2013, 11:08 PM

Bentzi Gopstein
Bentzi Gopstein
Hezky Ezra

There has been a significant increase in the number of Jewish girls who have entered into relationships with Arabs, the Lehava organization said Sunday.

Lehava, which provides educational materials and runs programs to discourage Jewish girls from entering into such relationships, said that in just the past two weeks, the organization had received more than 50 requests for intervention to break up such relationships or to help remove a young woman from such a relationship.

Lehava and similar organizations say that many vulnerable Jewish girls are preyed upon by Arab men, who lure them into abusive relationships after effectively isolating them from their friends and families.

The problem exists around the country, said Benzi Gopstein, chairman of Lehava. The organization has received requests for help from cities and towns, both religious and non-religious, and in Judea and Samaria. Several of the girls are currently working in the National Service.

As a result of the increase, Gopstein sent out a letter to rabbis, yeshiva and seminary heads stressing the problem, and asking them to intervene where possible. The letter asks rabbis to speak about the issue from the pulpit on Shabbat, in commemoration of the story in this week's Torah portion of the week, which relates the story of Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, who is held captive by Shechem, a local chieftain.

We call upon rabbis to to discuss the seriousness of the problem of assimilation and to warn congregants about its dangers, how it affects all groups all over the country, and how it captures our nation's daughters,” said Gopstein in the letter.