Meet Aliza

“I discovered that I was a Jew at age thirteen, and I was heartbroken,” said Aliza. “I had negative preconceived notions about Jews, and it didn’t help that my classmates liked to remind me of my roots. A year later, my parents sent me to a secular Jewish summer program, but I felt no connection. Judaism just wasn’t for me.”

“Several years later, an acquaintance of mine moved to Israel. It came as a surprise to me, for I had no idea that she was Jewish. I enjoyed following her journey and photos on social media, and though I still felt little connection to Judaism, my curiosity was piqued. I began to read about our traditions and history, and over time feelings of Jewish pride began to awaken. I found a relative living in Israel and asked her to buy me a necklace with a Star of David on it. I was thrilled when it finally arrived in Russia after many months, and I’ve been wearing it ever since.”

“As interest in my heritage continued to grow, I paid a visit to the local synagogue. The security guard opened the door and led me to the bulletin board. My life changed when I walked in that day. Expecting to see a schedule of prayers and services, I was surprised to find a fun and active youth club. As a kid, I cared little about my Jewish roots, but today I am very proud to be a member of the Jewish nation.”

“The real surprise, though, was yet to come.”

“When I walked into the synagogue for the first time just over a year ago, I never dreamed that I’d meet my husband there. I married Shneur Zalman under a Chupah two months ago. We now share a Jewish home and look forward to having a Jewish family, preserving the traditions of our people.”

“After our wedding, I decided to give back. Today, I lead the Eurostars youth club in our community. I’m grateful that God gave me the opportunities that I’ve had this past year, and I want all Jewish youth in our city to have the same.”

Meet Babushka
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