Tuvia Book
Author, educator, Tour-Guide, artist

Noam Gershony: From Lebanon to London

The Israeli star of the XXX Para-Olympic London games was Noam Gershony. Noam features in the fantastic new book, “Isresilience: What Israelis Can Teach the World,” (Gefen, 2020) co-written by Dr. Naomi Baum and Michael Dickson.   The nation cried collective tears of emotion and pride following his odyssey which stretched from being pulled from the wreck of his Apache helicopter during the Second Lebanon War all the way to ascending the Olympic medal podium to receive the coveted gold medal for our country and himself. From paralysis to world-class athlete after six years of grueling rehabilitation fueled by grit and determination, together with tremendous support and love from friends and family. A visibly emotional Gershony teared up during the medals ceremony.  He summed up the feelings of a nation when he said:

I’m on top of the world, hearing Hatikvah play and seeing the Israeli flag fly high. I can’t describe this feeling.

Noam Gershony. (Razi Livnat/courtesy ISAP)

Our Para-Olympic heroes, some of whom were wounded in the defense of our homeland, and some of whom were born with disabilities, all rise above them to prove that they can go further than those born without disabilities. These special men and women who overcome war injuries and physical disabilities, fight to recover and overcome and go on to achieve great results for themselves and our nation are an inspiration to us all.    In this difficult Covid era, when it is so easy to feel down and depressed, we can learn so much from Noam and these sporting role models. These courageous individuals teach us all not to wallow in self-pity and that, “If there is a will, there is a way.” Noam advises that,

On a daily basis find the thing that will remind you of how good your life is. Turn everything that happens to you into a positive.


Dr. Tuvia Book is the author of “For the Sake of Zion, A Curriculum of Israel Education” (Koren, 2017).   His forthcoming book on the Second Temple Period,  will be published by Koren later this year.  He also is a  Ministry of Tourism licensed Tour Guide, Jewish educator and a Judaica artist.  www.tuviabook.com 

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 is the author (and illustrator) of the internationally acclaimed Zionism curriculum; “For the Sake of Zion; A Curriculum of Israel Education” (fifth edition, 2017, Koren) and is at present working on his next book, a history of the Jewish people. Tuvia has a doctorate in Israel education. His dissertation title is: “Through the Soldiers’ Eyes: Exploring the Influence of a Birthright Mifgash on the Israeli Soldier Participants.”
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