Colors: Purple Color

A few years ago, I shared with Queens Jewish Link readers the start of my genealogical journey [Treasures from the Attic, 2013], which recently reached an emotional highlight. To briefly recap, while sitting shiv’ah for my mother a”h in 2002, I was intrigued by the visits of cousins whom I had hardly known. That, coupled with the discovery of a suitcase filled with documents, from my grandfather (my mother’s father passed away in 1966), set me on a course where I have created a family tree with over 2,500 names.

Astronauts really are made of the right stuff. They are exceptionally bright, have complex technical skills, are in outstanding physical condition, and have perfect vision. They are also exceptionally courageous, reliable in case of an emergency, and trusted with highly prized secrets. Their missions into space helped transform the present into a better tomorrow. Many, interestingly enough, are Jewish.

This weekend, the nation reacted to the news that there were two mass shootings, one in El Paso, Texas, and the other in Dayton, Ohio. In an all too familiar and an all too predictable reaction, every side of the issues said what they always say. There was little to no mourning for the victims of the tragedy, because the nation is too engrossed in political point-scoring to focus on the humanity.

Shira, rescued woman from an Arab village, to tell her story of how Yad L’Achim helped rescue her and her children.

“He Said to Me, “If You Leave, I Will Kill You.”

Shira was trapped in an Arab village for over 20 years, starting from the age of 16. Now she is free and telling her story for the very first time in a series of events across Los Angeles, New York, and Connecticut, organized by Yad L’Achim.

This will be the first time Shira has ever told her personal life story in a public setting. Shira will talk about her harrowing decade-plus living a life of fear and her story of rescue that took place during Pesach of last year. Her husband was the head of a criminal enterprise and Shira’s dedication to her children despite her suffering will inspire and amaze you.

Also appearing live at each of the events will be Sari, known as “the mother of rescued women,” who has helped to rescue over a thousand women and children. She will share several stories of rescued women.

The first few events, for women only, have already taken place in Los Angeles and all attendees stayed until the very end of the event. The women were spellbound after hearing Shira and Sari speak as well as a surprise guest that brought the audience to their feet in applause. At the conclusion of the events, special videos were shown including “David’s Bar-Mitzvah,” a boy who was rescued from an Arab Village.

“Achmed ben Sara” is a name that would raise eyebrows in any Jewish community. It is also the name of a speaking tour, traveling cities throughout North America showcasing the hair-raising stories of Jewish women and children trapped in Arab villages.

After a series of successful events in Florida, the tour is now coming to California, New York and Connecticut.

Young Jewish girls, often from troubled backgrounds, are groomed by Arab men who, posing as Jews, offer them gifts and attention to gain their trust. But once they follow their new sweetheart into Arab territory, the excitement turns to terror. Women are routinely subject to depraved violence and abuse at the hands of the men they hoped would be their Prince Charming. Their children are raised as Arab Muslims and taught to hate Jews.

“It’s almost impossible for a Westerner to imagine how totally trapped they are,” says Yossi Eliav, Director of Special Projects, organizer of the tour. “Some live like prisoners, without access to a phone or even the freedom to go outside.”

“One woman did not have access to a phone for 32 years and no way to call for help,” says R’ Nesanel Gantz, Director of Yad L’Achim in North America.

Yad L’Achim, founded in the 1950s, has rescued thousands of these imprisoned women and their children. The operations are conducted with the utmost secrecy, as the lives of the women, their children, and all operatives are at high risk. Once free, Yad L’Achim provides safe shelter for these women and their children and supports their reintegration into society. The number of Jewish women and children trapped in these conditions today numbers in the thousands.

“People aren’t aware how many hundreds of girls are drawn into these nightmare scenarios each year,” says Eliav. “Our mission is to show their plight to the world and save as many lives as we can.”



Wednesday, May 15

The Valley @ Chabad of North Hollywood, 13079 Chandler Blvd.

Thursday, May 16 

Beverly Hills @ Nessa Synagogue, 142 S Rexford Dr.


NEW YORK EVENTS - 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 19

Brooklyn @ Har Levanon Synagogue, 820 Ave. S


Monday, May 20

Crown Heights @ Lubavitcher Yeshiva Hall, 580 Crown St. (8 p.m.)


Tuesday, May 21

Far Rockaway/5 Towns @ TAG (elementary), 4-44 Beach 6th St.


Wednesday, May 22

Stamford Connecticut @ Chabad, 770 High Ridge Road


Thursday, May 23

Queens @ Ohel Simcha, 141-41 72nd Ave.

For more information including schedule, visit  or call: 646-860-9165.

 By Rhonda Goldstein

I’d like to share my impressions of Germany, to complement Warren Hecht’s article from September 5. Please be forewarned: This essay is part travelogue, part history lesson, and part my personal impressions of Germany. For all those not interested in any of those topics, you can stop reading now.

The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), representing over 1000 traditional rabbis in matters of public policy, Tuesday condemned Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) for trivializing the Holocaust, falsely denying that she did so, and failing to apologize. “’Never Again’ will Jews allow anti-Jewish slurs to go unchallenged, even if they are uttered by media darlings,” said Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, Eastern Regional Vice President of the CJV.

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