Tuvia Book
Author, educator, Tour-Guide, artist

The Heart of the Matter: SACH

This week my family visited Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon for my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah project. The Save a Child’s Heart organization, according to the mission statement on its website (www.saveachildsheart.org) is,

An Israeli-based international humanitarian project, whose mission is to improve the quality of pediatric cardiac care for children from developing countries who suffer from heart disease and to create centers of competence in these countries. SACH is totally dedicated to the idea that every child deserves the best medical treatment available, regardless of the child’s nationality, religion, colour, gender or financial situation.”

At the hospital we met with Randi Weiss, the dynamic Director of Youth Leadership, who showed us a moving introduction film and then took us around the ICU ward where Dr. Hanita introduced us to patients from Gaza and Africa. The mothers from Gaza were so appreciative of the wonderful staff in the hospital including Fatma, an Israeli-Arab social worker who works on the SACH team as a translator and social worker. Randi explained that part of the SACH mission is training doctors from Africa and the PA to perform the life saving procedures in their countries of origin.


SACH (photo (c)T. Book, 2015)

After visiting the Wolfson Medical center we then went to volunteer at the recuperation center where the children and their parents or caregivers, mainly hailing from developing sub-Saharan African or Arab countries, are either preparing for or recuperating from the surgery that will allow them to live normal lives.  We met with the special volunteers and played and interacted with the children. My family was deeply moved and asked why there is so little awareness and appreciation outside Israel for all the good that Israel does for the world. SACH is one of many Israeli organisations dedicated to making the world a better place by practicing the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam.


SACH child

Happy Post-Op SACH Patient.  (Photo, (c) T. Book, 2015)

Israel strives to be a, “Light unto the nations.”  Daniel Gordis succinctly summed it up when he stated that, in addition to striving for the benefit our own citizens,

This country has become a country, with all of its imperfections, that sees as part of its purpose as looking out for other people.”


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.”