Leah was born on 1925 in Tel Aviv to Henya and Tzadok, who made aliyah in 1919 from Russia, in order to realize their Zionist vision.
In her parents’ home, she was educated with a love for the nation and the homeland and inspired with a drive to put nationalist values into practice and establish a State of Israel. While she was a Gymnasium student, she joined Hagam (an acronym for “expanded physical education”) with her friends, a youth group of the Hagana. She was sent to a course for squad commanders.
She started studying at a teachers’ seminary in 1943, when the horrors of the Holocaust were already now. The British banishment of the Mapilim was also known. Ben-Gurion’s timid response frustrated the youth. Leah was one of those who yearned to take action and looked for ways to fight the occupiers and remove them from the Land of Israel.
The opportunity arose during summer vacation, when she was sent to Kibbutz Kfar HaHoresh for training, under cover of helping the kibbutzim. She met her future husband there, Yaakov “Blond Dov” Granek, a guard and Lehi member. Blond Dov was impressed by Leah’s idealistic, effervescent and determined character, and he thought she would make a great recruit for Lehi.
Leah immediately joined the operations division, where her personality and talents could be expressed. She surveilled and observed, as well as taking part in many operations. On one occasion, she was arrested for putting up posters and imprisoned for a year-and-a-half in Bethlehem Prison. Once released, she returned to full underground duty.
In November 1946, Leah and Dov married. The central committee of Lehi gave them a wedding present: commanding an operation laying mines. Dov was sent to Europe while Leah became an instructor and commander for military courses, including live-fire exercises in the Aaronson family’s vineyard in Zikhron Yaakov. After three months, she returned to active duty, in a group which mostly laid mines.
Once the IDF was established, Leah and Dov enlisted in the 8th Brigade under Yitzhak Sadeh. Leah was the commander of the women’s company. Dov commanded a company in the commando Battalion 89 of Moshe Dayan. He was killed in action at Auja al-Hafir on 26 December 1948.
After the establishment of the State, Leah was sent to the Untied States to teach in a Jewish school. After her return to Israel, she remained a teacher and educator until her retirement.
She married Moshe Cohen, and together they ran a farm in Moshav Magshimim. They had two children, Tzvika and Ditza, as well as numerous grandchildren.