Meet Leora

“My story started before I can remember,” Leora began. “I was born during difficult times. My parents were struggling to make ends meet when a friend of my mom suggested that she look into a program called Chesed. That was the first time she ever walked through the doors to the synagogue, and though at the time it was out of desperation, I can proudly say that I was the one who brought my family back to Judaism.”

“The thing is, despite the fact that I had been studying in the Jewish school since the first grade, being a Jew meant little to me until five years ago. If you had told me then that one day I’d be religious, I would have laughed. Not mixing meat and dairy was a strange concept to me, and ignoring my phone one day a week seemed impossible.”

“Then, one summer I went to the Jewish summer camp, Gan Israel, and it all started to change. I had a counselor who was very kind to me and lit my soul. When I went home after the summer, I began lighting Shabbos candles. They say that one good deed leads to another. As time went on, I began to observe Shabbos, then Kosher laws. Religion has brought meaning to my life and has made me a better person. I’ve since taken up Jewish studies in Moscow’s Machon Chamesh Institute.”

“Today, I’m visiting New York City, home of Chabad’s headquarters. I came to visit the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s resting place – to thank him for sending people to places as far as my hometown of Rostov so that they can light souls like mine.”

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