Faces of The Fellowship: Leah

The Fellowship  |  September 30, 2021

Family of 5 standing in front of an Israeli flag.
(Photo: Yossi Zeliger)

“This year we are able to celebrate Sukkot without fear of our neighbors denying us to build a sukkah,” says Leah, a new olim (immigrant) from Argentina and mother of three.

Sukkot is meant to be a time where the Jewish people remember when God provided for the Israelites and where they celebrate the harvest season with family and friends. But when Leah and her family lived in Argentina, they faced a lot of judgement for observing their faith.

“We had to get the consent of all the neighbors to build a sukkah on the shared roof of the building,” explains Leah. The sukkah is the temporary hut Jews build to honor the week-long holiday of Sukkot. “As none of our neighbors were Jewish, they did not understand the meaning of the tradition.”

There was one neighbor in particular who carried a lot of dislike for the Jewish people. And each year, Leah and her family worried their neighbors would prevent them from celebrating.

After arriving just before the High Holy Days in Israel on a Fellowship Freedom Flight, the family discovered that this year not only were they free to observe Sukkot, they were building their sukkah next to their neighbors! “There is a communal garden where residents can build a sukkah. It is heartwarming to see such a sense of unity and brotherhood,” says Leah.

This Jewish family is so grateful to you. You helped them make a new life in Israel where they can live their faith free of fear for the first time. You even made it possible for them to receive a washing machine and refrigerator that was so desperately needed in their new apartment. Thank you!