Oh, Leah. Leah, I wish we could have met before this happened. You see, most of the 15 year-old girls I meet are students in the 16- hour IMPACT Teen Classes we teach. You would probably have felt right at home with us.
Maybe, had you been there, you would have trusted those first signals that no doubt, began to rise in your gut when Dorosham gave you and your friends a ride. We talk a lot about the importance of honoring your instincts. Maybe you would have gotten out of the car with your friends rather than staying alone with a man your instincts told you not to trust.
Once he got you alone, you still had the strength and the conviction to tell him you didn’t want to sleep with him. A 15 year-old girl all alone facing down a 23 year-old man. That took amazing courage . I only wish you had had the chance to learn the kind of skills we teach so you would have been able to back up your conviction.
Maybe you would have known how to keep facing him and keep him out of your personal space. Maybe you would have startled him by yelling “BACK OFF!!! and had the presence of mind to push the emergency number on your cellphone.
If he didn’t listen to you, maybe you would have dropped to the sand in that well-practiced defensive ground position- one knee protecting your head and your other leg drawn back like a coiled snake, ready to strike. If he tried to come near you, that coiled leg would have shot out and hit him so hard between the legs, he might have crumpled to the ground. He might have gone down to his knees only to receive a devastating kick to the head and another and another… until he was no longer a threat.
You might have walked away, Leah. Maybe you would have used your cellphone to call the police. It would have been HIM, not you, that they would have found lying on Hill 69. He might have been dragged off to jail where he belonged and you might have gone home to your family…where you belong.
Instead, Leah, you are lying in a fresh grave in the Ashkelon Cemetary. Your family is broken. Your friends are in mourning. And all of us are left asking ourselves “What if…?”
The next IMPACT for Teens Course I teach, Leah, I will look into the eyes of those 15 young women and I will think of you. I will hope that none of them will ever need the skills we will teach them, but I will remember that each one of them represents a chance to rewrite the ending of tragic stories like yours: a chance you deserved but never had.
Murdered Ashkelon girl laid to rest
Yaakov Lappin , THE JERUSALEM POST
Hundreds of relatives and friends of 15-year-old Leah Drenkin gathered at an Ashkelon cemetery on Thursday afternoon to pay their last respects to the murdered teenager.
Police believe Nikolai Dorosham, 26, strangled Drenkin in a clearing on Hill 69, near Nitzanim, early on Wednesday, because she refused to have sexual intercourse with him. He has been arrested and charged with murder.
Drenkin’s grandmother, tearful and dazed, crawled on the grave, as dozens of Drenkin’s sobbing friends from high school gathered around, wearing black T-shirts.
Her father shook as he scattered earth over his daughter’s grave.
“She was a flower that was cut down,” Esther Oren, principal of the high school Drenkin attended, told The Jerusalem Post after the funeral.
“Every parent would want a girl like her. She was social, polite, she excelled in her studies. And she was pretty. The teachers are in shock,” Oren said.
Psychologists have been called to the school to offer support to Drenkin’s schoolmates.
“We do not live in a normal world. Leah, I think of what you went through during those terrible hours. I am sorry we could not save you,” Oren told the mourners.
“Just when the whole of the nation of Israel is supposed to focus on unconditional love ahead of Yom Kippur, we get this news,” said Eli Efrah, head of Ashkelon’s Burial Society.
“This is a tragedy for the city of Ashkelon, and for all people with blood running through their veins. We have enough trouble from outside of the country. We don’t need it inside…”