When a Child Is Smuggled Into or Out of Israel, I Step In

Haredi children smuggled abroad to avoid harming matchmaking options for their relatives, mothers compelled to flee the country and leave their children behind – these are the kinds of harrowing stories encountered by Divra Horowits from Israel’s International Social Service

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Divra Horowits.
Divra Horowits.Credit: Rami Shllush
Ayelett Shani
Ayelett Shani

Tell me a little about yourself and about what you do.

I’m a social worker, and for the past nine years I have been working in the International Social Service, which is a unit in the department of international affairs of the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry. The ISS is an umbrella organization that’s based in Geneva and has many member states – in fact, it covers almost the entire world. We’re the Israeli branch, which has existed for more than 50 years. The goal is to mediate in social welfare cases; in other words, cases involving two countries, centering around people who are unable to help themselves or are being prevented by someone from helping themselves.

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