In the wake of a spate of terror attacks in and near Bet El in at the end of 2018 in which female Bet El high school graduates were seriously wounded, philanthropist Cherna Moskowitz "slammed her fist down," Baruch Gordon, Director of Bet El institutions said. "Moskowitz said, 'We we have to empower the women in Judea and Samaria to be able to use handguns.'"
Cherna Moskowitz, the wife of the late philanthropist Irving Moskowitz, and her daughter Laurie Hirsch, donated a grant to Bet El to launch the Cherna Moskowitz Women’s Empowerment Program. The goal of the program is to empower women and teenagers, granting them practical tools and knowledge to feel safe in incidents of terror or other assaults.
The staff of Kapon Defense teaches the women of Bet El to use handguns by providing instruction and practice at shooting ranges. The ability to use handguns empowers the women to feel safer at home and on the roads of Judea and Samaria. El HaLev teaches Bet El high school girls Krav Maga (a form of martial arts) as a powerful defense tool, not only against terrorism but against instances of sexual harassment as well.
"[Krav Maga] helps us feel confident about ourselves," a female Bet El high school student told Moscowitz before thanking her for sponsoring the program. Other girls who participated in the program told Moskowitz, "Now I know how to protect myself" and "I know how to react in the case that something happens." Moskowitz accepted the girls' words of appreciation but added, "I hope you'll never need it."
"I believe that everyone should be prepared," Moskowitz said. "You never know if you're going to be in a dangerous situation and you should always be prepared so you're not a sitting duck. An assailant will attack a sitting duck - they look for easy victims, not difficult victims - that's why women are often the targets."
"It's good for our girls to feel strong and feel they can take care of themselves and know what to do if there's a problem," Moskowitz added. She also warned the women on the shooting range that although owning a handgun is a positive tool, guns are also extremely dangerous and must be placed far away from the access of children.
"Unfortunately, young children will get to guns and play cops and robbers and kill someone," Moskowitz said. "It's happened. Guns are very positive but always remember that if you have one, keep it in a safe place."