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The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY LIANNE KOLIRIN

A JEWISH woman who grew up an only child in a sin­gle-par­ent fam­ily has de­scribed be­ing united with her lon­glost half-brother as “a dream come true”.

Laura Hay­ward Al­fia was born in Is­rael but came to the UK at the age of four af­ter her mother split from her Is­raeli fa­ther, Avra­ham Al­fia.

Grow­ing up, she had lit­tle con­tact with Avra­ham or his fam­ily. But ear­lier this month, 14 years af­ter her fa­ther died from a sus­pected drugs over­dose, the 26-year-old was united with a half­brother she never knew ex­isted.

Miss Hay­ward Al­fia, who lives in south-east Lon­don, said: “Five years ago I went back to Is­rael to visit my fa­ther’s grave and that’s when my un­cle ca­su­ally men­tioned that my half-brother had called him from Swe­den a cou­ple of years be­fore.”

Miss Hay­ward Al­fia, who works at the Lon­don Col­lege of Fash­ion, at­tempted to find out more — with lit­tle suc­cess.

But in 2013 there was a break­through. “I re­ceived a friend re­quest on Face­book from some­one called Martin Mordechai Al­fia Jarne­fors. I thought it was a joke or scam. But then I got a mes­sage say­ing ‘I be­lieve I’m your brother’. I said I didn’t be­lieve him and asked for photos.”

The re­sponse con­vinced her.

“We look so alike, it’s un­be­liev­able. He’s very Swedish, but looks very Is­raeli and we both look like our fa­ther.”

The pair spent more than three years com­mu­ni­cat­ing, be­fore de­cid­ing to meet this month. Mr Jarne­fors came with his mother Kristina, who had split from Avra­ham soon af­ter his birth.

The 34-year-old taxi driver had known even less about his back­ground. But he found out about Ms Hay­ward Al­fia’s ex­is­tence af­ter he tracked down his un­cle with the help of an Is­raeli friend.

The long-awaited meet­ing took place in Lon­don. “I burst into tears when I met him,” said Ms Hay­ward Al­fia. “It’s like a dream come true that I have a sib­ling.”

Mr Jarne­fors said the mo­ment had been “very emo­tional. Words can’t ex­plain the feel­ing.”

The pair are now con­sid­er­ing a trip to­gether to Is­rael. Mean­while, there is an­other mys­tery to solve.

“We have found out that we have an­other brother, some­where in Ger­many” Ms Hay­ward Al­fia said.

Laura Hay­ward Al­fia with her half­brother Martin

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