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Menorah talk from leading Israeli activist against sexual violence

Yael Sherer, the leader of Israel’s Survivors of Sexual Violence Advocacy Group (SSVAG), spoke at Menorah Synagogue in Manchester.

She told of the horrors of the Hamas terrorist attack on 7 October, reporting the shocking first-person accounts of those caught up in the atrocity.

“Sexual violence, dismemberment, beheading, and mutilation of bodies occurred on the 7 and 8 of October and subsequently,” Yael told the audience. “The presence of cameras escalated the violence. We didn’t have enough rooms to cope with the bodies that arrived in a horrible condition.”

Yael described the massacre as “the biggest shock of our lives”.

She also told her own story of setting up the SSVAG and how she has succeeded in changing policies and legislation regarding sexual abuse in Israel.

Yael Sherer and her cousin Menorah member Francine Mitchell
Yael Sherer and her cousin Menorah member Francine Mitchell

As a result of her efforts, six to eighteen-year-olds in all schools, are educated about rape, consent, and safeguarding. And now five acute units have opened in Israeli hospitals to care for rape victims. Previously there were none.

Yael appealed to everyone to use social media and all their influence to support SSVAG in their efforts to ensure that every survivor of sexual violence receives prompt and coordinated treatment.

The event was organised by Menorah members Ann Angel, Vice Chair, Jacqueline Breeze, Renee Breeze and Francine Mitchell.

If you wish to find out more and support the work of SSVAG, please visit

  • Pictures by Gary Copitch
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