Dassi Erlich was sitting in a Jerusalem restaurant last month with her sisters, Elly Sapper and Nicole Meyer, inside a cavernous space dominated by funky light fittings, when an ultra-Orthodox Jewish teenager approached the table.

The girl had recognised the three women from Israeli television coverage. As she spoke, they listened with tears in their eyes.

“She shared a similar story to ours,” Erlich says. “An insular school, vulnerable students, a female principal abusing her power …  As soon as she said it, you could see the fear. She wouldn’t tell us her name or what school she went to.

“[But] seeing us, our story and the campaign on TV had given her the courage and understanding to stop what was happening to her.”

It was a rare spontaneous encounter for the three siblings in a tightly-packed, gruelling nine-day visit to Israel.

They met with Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s top prosecutor Yuval Kaplinsky and members of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. They were trailed by Israeli and Australian camera crews.

 

Read the full article by Rachel Kleinman at The Age.

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