Leontina grew up in Sofia. There have been Jewish communities in Sofia since Roman times, augmented over the centuries by Jews from Hungary, Bavaria, Spain, Germany, Russia, Romania, and Galicia. Find here a history of Jewish life in Sofia, or read this account from the Foundation for the Advancement of Sephardic Studies and Culture.
Much of Bulgaria's Jewish population are Sepharic, and before the 1940s Ladino was spoken widely.
Leontina participated in Hashomer Hatzair, one of the oldest Zionist youth goups in Europe. You can visit their website to learn more about their history, aims, and activities.
Leontina praises the Bulgaria's multicultural society. However after the Second World War, Bulgaria's communist leaders often tried to deny the existence of minority groups by manipulating or suppressing census data or by forcibly assimilating groups they labelled "undesirable". After the fall of the communist regime in 1989, minoritiy communities could enjoy greater freedom of expression. Flip through the PDF of this book to learn abour the suppression of minorities under Bulgarian communism (available in chapter titled "Ethnographic Characteristics").
The Joint Distribution Committee operated in Bulgaria today, assisting Jews living in poverty. Read more about their work in Bulgaria here.