This Friday in Shul we will be hearing from a very special guest from Israel by the name of Moran Samuel. A staunch advocate for ZDVO (Zahal Disabled Veteran Organisation), Moran, 34, was born healthy with an incredible optimism and zest for life. From an early age, she discovered basketball and went on to excel in her chosen sport eventually playing for one of Israel’s top women’s teams.

During Moran’s compulsory IDF service in the Air Force, her status as a gifted athlete was fully recognised allowing her to continue training and competing whilst serving the State of Israel.

Moran’s life changed dramatically at age 24 when she suffered a spinal aneurysm. Being paralysed and confined to a wheelchair did not stop Moran from completing a physiotherapy degree and start playing wheelchair basketball.

Whilst Moran was honoured to play in Beit Halochem Tel Aviv’s women’s basketball team, the Israel Sports Association for the Disabled recognised Moran as an athlete with tremendous potential and as women’s wheelchair basketball was in its infancy, it was suggested she take up rowing.

Moran has won numerous titles including gold at the 2015 World Rowing Championships in France and gold at the 2015 World Rowing Cup in Italy. In 2016, she won bronze at the Paralympic Games in Rio.

Moran is an active and passionate member of the Beit Halochem family, mentoring other members and inspiring and encouraging newly injured soldiers and victims of terror. She regularly gives motivational speeches to visiting groups and continues to train with her basketball team, on a daily basis.

Moran is a true inspiration to so many and I look forward to welcoming her (and all of you) to Shul this Friday night.

There also a number of exciting events coming up over the next few weeks so please make a note of these and come along.

Shabbat shalom!!

Rabbi Yossi and Chana Raizel Friedman