Leah Pachko was just eighteen years old when she began to question the world around her. Her name at the time, however, was not ‘Leah.’ She was growing up as a non-Jew in Brazil, and despite her family’s disapproval, she began to investigate Torah Judaism.
Before long she was completely fascinated with her learning, and dreamed of travelling to Jerusalem. Unable to afford the trip but unwilling to compromise on her goals, she and her sister sold everything they had and used the money to buy two tickets to Israel.
Upon arriving they were quickly connected to Rebbetzin Adina Bisker in Ramot, where they successfully underwent their conversion. Leah now learns at Neve Yerushalayim seminary in Har Nof. During her time at Neve, the determined young woman worked long hours cleaning houses in order to establish modest savings.
Leah’s friends and teachers were ecstatic recently, when she became engaged to be married. Her chassan is a ger as well. The couple have no supportive family.
Leah now faces the daunting task of making a simple wedding, and establishing a basic household, without the presence of family.
A hachnasas kallah fund has been opened in the couple’s honor. Donations go toward basic wedding essentials, and furnishing a simple apartment for after the wedding. The campaign page is worth seeing if only for the striking happiness exuded by Leah in video footage. Despite her challenges, her positivity is inspiring: “We don’t have a mother, we don’t have a father,” she says, addressing the camera. “But Avraham Avinu is our father, and Sara Imenu is our mother – and there is nothing greater than that.”