Haaretz The young people who gathered Sunday at Jerusalem’s Shamgar Funeral Home were unfortunately no strangers to the place. Only Thursday they had been there for the funeral of M., a friend who had committed suicide, and now they were there for A., who had also taken her own life.
Both of the dead had been in their 20s and grown up religious, but had chosen to leave the observant way of life. According to those working with Haredi young people who decide to leave their communities, seven such young adults have committed suicide over the past 18 months.[...]
These last two suicides have shaken up the community of former Haredim, which numbers several hundred, many of whom forge close relationships with one another to replace the families that in many cases have abandoned them. The feeling that they are part of a solid, growing community has increased over the past few years as members connect through Facebook groups and forums, some run independently and some by Hillel, an NGO that helps former Haredim fill the gaps in their education and make the transition into general society. [...]
“When people ask me how I am with this, I refuse to answer,” Hass said Sunday. “I don’t answer, and I don’t think about whether I could have done better or done worse. Our goal now, with the minimal resources we have, which includes only two social workers on staff and other volunteers, is to prevent a wave.”