Tuvia Book
Author, educator, Tour-Guide, artist

Get up, and walk the Land!

Fulfilling the first commandment, the first Jew, Abraham, received from God to: “Lech Lecha” (“You go!”) has played a seminal role in forming and strengthening my own Zionist Jewish identity.  Walking the length and breadth of the Land of Israel, whether through orienteering and marching during my IDF army service, teaching at Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI) or guiding Birthright groups, has made me the person and Jew that I am today.  It has also blessed me by giving me the opportunity to infuse and pass on to countless other young Jews our connection to our land through our feet.  It is not enough to read the Good Book, or “talk the talk,” one does not get it unless one, “walks the walk!”

tuv taglit

My Amazing Israel Birthright Group walking the walk.

As an educator, having participants literally walk in the footsteps of the ancient Israelites and view the same landscapes whilst being able to use all of their senses in the experience is, in my opinion, to gain a deeper level of understanding and appreciation for the biblical and modern Zionist protagonists than can be gleaned in a classroom far removed from the scenes of where these momentous events transpired.  The concept of “experiential education” calls for a utilisation of all of one’s senses in a dynamic, stimulating and challenging atmosphere.  One cannot replace or artificially create an experience.  One has to be there to feel it. There is no better way for Israel trip participants to strengthen their Jewish identity then to walk through the places where key events that shaped the destiny of our people occurred!  As Yonatan Netanyahu z”l so eloquently stated:

In this search through our past we come upon other periods-of tranquility and liberty, when we were the people of the land as well as the people of the book.

In Jewish terms, we need to understand that we are all links in the chain of Jewish continuity, part of a bigger dramatic story of God, people and land.  By walking through the land and feeling it, smelling it, seeing it, tasting it and hearing it, we begin to hear ourselves.

About the Author
Dr. Tuvia Book was born in London and raised in both the UK and South Africa. After making Aliya at the age of 17 and studying in Yeshiva he volunteered for the IDF, where he served in an elite combat unit. Upon his discharge he completed his BA at Bar-Ilan University, as well as certification in graphic design. He then served as the Information Officer at the Israeli Consulate of Philadelphia, while earning a graduate degree in Jewish Studies. Upon his return to Israel, Dr. Book graduated from a course of study with the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, and is a licensed tour guide. Tuvia has been working in the field of Jewish Education, both formal and informal, for many years. He has guided and taught Jewish students and educators from around the English-speaking world for some of Israel’s premier educational institutions and programs. Tuvia has been guiding groups for Birthright Israel since its inception and, in addition, has lectured throughout North America, Australia, Europe and South Africa. Tuvia served as a Shaliach (emissary) for the Jewish Agency for Israel as the Director of Israel and Zionist Education at the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York (Jewish Education Project). He was a lecturer/educational guide at the Alexander Muss Institute for Israel Education (AMIIE) in Israel for a decade. Tuvia has lectured at both Bar Ilan University and Hebrew University. He was a Senior Editor and Teaching Fellow at the Tikvah Fund. He is a research associate at the Hudson Institute. Tuvia is the author and illustrator the internationally acclaimed Israel education curriculum; "For the Sake of Zion; A Curriculum of Israel Studies" (Fifth edition, Koren 2017), and "Moral Dilemmas of the Modern Israeli Soldier" (Rama, 2011) and has a doctorate in Israel Education. His latest book, "Jewish Journeys, The Second Temple Period to the Bar Kokhba Revolt – 536 BCE-136 CE," was published by Koren this year. To order: