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Rashel: Home in Israel — At Last

Rashel's mother, who was Jewish, was kidnapped by a Muslim man in Casablanca, Morocco, when she was thirteen. Soon after, she became pregnant and gave birth to Rashel in Morocco.

In the years that followed, attempts were made to rescue the mother and her daughter from the Muslim man's home and take them to Israel. Unfortunately, all these efforts failed. Ultimately, the mother managed to escape to Israel, but was forced to leave her beloved daughter Rashel in Morocco. She later tried to track down Rashel so that she too could come to the Holy Land, but all traces of the girl had vanished.

Rashel was passed between families, did menial jobs, and did not get an education. When she asked about her mother, her father told her that she had died. When she got a bit older, Rashel went to a local Israeli government office and showed the clerk her birth certificate. He confirmed that her mother was Jewish. "I cried so much because I tried to find my mother, but as long as my father was alive, I was scared," says Rashel with tears.

When her father died in 2006, Rashel increased her efforts to find her mother. By then Rashel had married and become a mother herself. One day when she was working at a restaurant in Casablanca, a tourist couple from Israel commented that she looked Jewish. She told them about her Jewish mother and everything she knew about her family, and when the couple returned to Israel they managed to track the family down.

The family made telephone contact and confirmed Rashel's identity. When they met, the relatives thought they were looking at Rashel's mother, since Rashel resembled her mother so strongly. Sadly, by this time Rashel's mother had died of cancer.

After great efforts, and with the help of the Jewish Agency for Israel — one of The Fellowship's partner organizations funded through our On Wings of Eagles program — Rashel obtained a tourist visa and went to Israel. There, she met her extended family. Six months ago she even received an immigration visa and made aliyah — thanks to our Wings program — with her young daughter.

"All my life, since I was a child and until I was united with my family, I never had a true home," Rashel says emotionally. "I didn't have a family. My father sent me out to work and to live in other homes. I cooked for a pittance or waited on tables. When I arrived in Israel and put my head on my pillow at the absorption center, I felt happy. I felt I finally had a home."

There are many other Jews around the world like Rashel who long to find their true home in Israel. You can help them come to the Holy Land through your gift to On Wings of Eagles. Please give today

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