Team distributing holiday packages
Team distributing holiday packages Yad L'Achim

In what has become an annual event, members of Yad L'Achim's security team distributed holiday packages to Jewish women in Arab villages and towns. The packages included machzorim for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, kosher honey and meat, and the Four Species.

Some of the recipients were "second generation" – youths born to Jewish mothers and Arab fathers who'd been raised as Muslims but succeeded in making secret contact with Yad L'Achim. These youths received machzorim in Arabic, which is their mother tongue.

The distribution largely took place prior to Rosh Hashana, before the coronavirus lockdown was imposed. But in some instances, Yad L'Achim's social workers, who are defined as "vital workers," were able to bring packages all the way up to Sukkot eve.

Most of the packages were distributed in mixed Arab-Jewish towns in Israel, but some were delivered to Judea and Samaria, in places like Hebron, Shechem (Nablus), Ramallah and Jenin.

"Receiving holiday packages strengthens their connection to Judaism and is a high point for these lost Jews who are in captivity in Arab communities," said an official in Yad L'Achim's security division. "Even more important than the packages themselves, was the opportunity to meet with our social workers.

"The demand this year was higher than usual, but we made every effort to meet it."

Yad L'Achim also delivered holiday packages to men who had been involved with non-Jewish women via the cults. With the help of its counter-missionary division, the men came to understand that these relationships were devastating and that it was imperative to sever their ties with cults like the "Messianic Jews" and "J's Witnesses."

"It was very moving for us to receive pictures of these men holding their Lulav and Esrog, when just a year ago they were celebrating 'Tabernacles' in Christian churches and planning to start families with non-Jewish women," a leading Yad L'Achim official said.

In addition, Yad L'Achim provided food coupons worth hundreds of thousands of shekels to Jewish women who've cut off ties with their Arab spouses with the organization's help and support.