Mixed marriages between Jews and Arabs are already viewed as problematic in a country, where the Israeli-Palestinian conflict affects every aspect of daily life. And this is why Lehava, an organisation that aims to stop assimilation, helps those who’ve “lost their way”.
In 2017, when Noy Shitrit, a young Jewish woman from southern Israel, converted to Islam and married an Arab Israeli, the story shocked many in the country.
The Israeli public doesn’t normally view such unions in a positive light. The reason for this is the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the spilled blood over the years, and mutual incitement. And this was also why the masses struggled to understand what could have pushed a Jewish woman into the arms of “an enemy”.
But Anat Gopstein, whose husband was responsible for bringing Noy back into the fold, taking her away from a man who turned out to be an abusive partner, says she has some of the answers.
Helping those women, “who have lost their way”, was one of the reasons why in 2005, Anat together with her husband founded Lehava, an organisation that aims to put an end to Jewish assimilation in israel.
Although many in israel consider Lehava an alt-right movement that they accuse of incitement and even terror, Anat says “the hypocrisy of political games” will not stop her from carrying on with her activities.
Aside from helping converts find a way back to Judaism, the organisation is also known for helping youngsters…