The Belzer Rebbe has ordered the founding of an organization which will support those who leave his community, without any intention of bringing them back into the religious community.
The organization, which is called, "Ahavat Kodmim," was founded after a 23-year-old former Belzer hasid committed suicide due to severe emotional distress.
According to sources close to the Belzer Rebbe, the young man's suicide sent shockwaves throughout the community and brought about the understanding that the disconnect between those who leave the community and their families is destructive and unacceptable.
"They studied in our schools throughout their lives; even though they decided not to keep Torah and its commandments, we must take care of them throughout and embrace them, without any conditions," one of the organization's founders was quoted as saying on Galatz.
Recently, a group of about 30 former Belzer hasidim traveled to the city of Belz and other places in Europe, as part of a trip organized by the hasidic sect.
Though many former Belzer hasidim remain in contact with their families, the fact that the hasidic sect encourages this, and even founded an organization to encourage it at the urging of the hasidic sect's leader, is unprecedented.