After completing her conversion, Svetlana, now Sara has spent the last three years learning in seminary. Her parents have taken an aloof stance to her religious convictions, and are struggling themselves as new immigrants.
Three months ago Sara was introduced to Chanan, a young man who is also deeply committed to spiritual growth, and who was orphaned as a teen. Chana's seminary and Chanan's yeshiva have promised to help them with a modest wedding ceremony and payment for the first few months' rent on a small apartment, but they have nothing with which to furnish their home or cook their meals. Aside from a small suitcase of second-hand clothing and a few keepsakes, neither one owns nearly anything.
Chanan and Sara don't have family who are able to provide for them as they approach their wedding next week. We are their family.
So mazal tov, and blessings to you.
And thank you for being our partners in this important work.
Recently I was in the Yad Eliezer office when a young woman came in alone and asked if we might be able to help her. Sara explained in timid, accented Hebrew that as a young teen she come to Israel with her parents and grandmother from a small town north of Kiev. She had her share of challenges adjusting to a new country and language, but enjoyed her studies, particularly the few Jewish classes that were taught in her school. One day in a private conversation with her teacher, she realized that her maternal grandmother wasn't Jewish, which meant of course that she herself was not Jewish. At first she was devastated, but she quickly resolved that she would do whatever it took to become a full-fledged member of the Jewish people.