"I am 34 years old. I immigrated to Israel at a young age. My parents, new immigrants with no profession and no language, were not able to integrate. We lived a life of poverty, in a violent and neglected environment. I went through a childhood of deprivation and difficulties. At the age of 17 I got married in order to leave home. I gave birth to three children. My husband and I lived from hand to mouth. Our financial difficulties led me to embezzle an amount of money from my employer. I was convicted of theft and transferred to the care of a community court. As part of the rehabilitation process, I committed to continuous work.
“I started working in a bakery. I was on my feet for long hours and earned minimum wage. There was financial pressure at home. They took advantage of me at work. My Hebrew is garbled, I have no self-confidence. I felt like I was a shadow of myself. I didn't know how long I would last without being dragged into a criminal act again.
“Then the Comeback mentors arrived. The training process I went through strengthened me. On their recommendation, I approached my boss and asked him to finance a confectionary course for me. He agreed, on the condition that I undertake to work for him for three more years. I completed the course successfully. When I went back to work, my back was straighter.
“Comeback's coach didn't leave me. She showed me my successes, which led to more successes. I felt that there was someone who saw me, someone to whom I wanted to prove that I would succeed.
“During the training process, I realized that I have strengths, and that there is no reason why I should not get a promotion at work. I asked, and to my surprise I was promoted. Today I am in a management position. My salary has increased. I no longer have to report to work at five in the morning. I feel strong, I have more time for myself and the children, and I am more relaxed. Today I am certain that I will not commit theft or other crimes again."
The Story of Shalom
"I came up with a lot of ideas for things I wanted to do in my life, but I was scattered and disorganized. In a long process at Comeback, I learned to organize all the projects I set for myself.
“During the years in prison I married a woman from my village. When I was released I had a child from her, a child who doesn't know me at all. I had no idea how to be a father, how to go out and make a living."