Two ultra-Orthodox young women jump to their deaths in Jerusalem

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Hani Solish, 19, from Netanya, and Sarah Klapman, 24, from Jerusalem (photo credit: Courtesy)

Suicide note indicates at least one girl was leaving faith and feared disappointing her family.

By MAAYAN JAFFE-HOFFMAN   JANUARY 23, 2020 00:37

One of the two young cousins who jumped to their deaths from the top of a Jerusalem building overnight Sunday may have been sexually abused by a relative, Channel 12 reported Tuesday. Hani Solish, 19, from Netanya, and Sarah Klapman, 24, from Jerusalem, jumped from the top of the Mercaz Sapir building in Givat Shaul. The young women, both members of the Chabad movement, were found by Magen David Adom paramedics.

They left behind a suicide note explaining why they wanted to die.Channel 12 said that the relative who had abused one of the girls was arrested and convicted for abuse, and sentenced to service. He was released on parole a decade ago. It was also reported that the young woman had sought therapy but stopped going for treatment due to family pressure shortly after the incident.

Also, one of the two women had recently been struggling with commitment to her faith, according to news reports. The suicide note allegedly included that one of the girls feared disappointing her parents.Investigators determined that the two young women were in a WhatsApp group with three other friends, in which they discussed their struggles with religion, according to Channel 12.One of the women posted in the WhatsApp group shortly after the suicide: “I understand what you did.”

 As such, Channel 12 reported, investigators visited the homes of the three friends overnight and met with their parents to help ensure they would not also hurt themselves.Klapman’s family lives in the Crown Heights neighborhood of New York. She had been living with her grandmother in the Ramot neighborhood of Jerusalem. The women had met up at their grandmother’s house on Sunday and allegedly left from there to Mercaz Sapir.

The mother of a student learning at the Esh Ha-Talmud Yeshiva, which is adjacent to Mercaz Sapir, wrote on Facebook that her son called at 2:24 a.m. in a panic: “Mom,” he said, “You will not believe what just happened at our yeshiva.” The Facebook post was reported by the Orthodox Hebrew website Kol HaIr.

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