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AJPA JRelease - Blinded IDF Hero in Guinness World Records

Sunday, September 27, 2015   (0 Comments)
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Blinded IDF Hero in Guinness World Records
Inspiring Blind Israeli to Speak at Events Throughout NY Area

Sovietology expert. English literature scholar. Successful publisher. Best-selling author. And, he’s
listed in the Guinness 
World Records. 

Aharon Barr—Israeli war hero and Renaissance man—accompanied by his guide dog will visit the New York City area from September 25-October 22—where he is to be honored for a lifetime of accomplishments.  

Aharon will speak on a wide range of timely subjects—and he’ll share how his guide dog enables him to live and travel independently, in Israel and around the world.

Starting out as a specialist in Sovietology, Aharon studied English Literature, earned a Masters degree in Psychology, and later became a renowned publisher.  He released over 1,500 books—before becoming a celebrated writer in his own right. The author of nine books, he has written four novels, three collections of short stories, a book of poems, and even one book of bawdy limericks!

A year after becoming an IDF Paratrooper in 1957, Aharon lost his vision and left arm while defusing a landmine. Determined to move forward, he received his first four guide dogs in America—because no schools existed in Israel then—but received his last two dogs from the Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind.

Listed in the Guinness World Records, he once worked with the same guide dog for 15 years! His current dog, Porgy (named for Porgy & Bess), is a quiet Yellow Labrador and Golden Retriever mix. Porgy is so quiet that once mistakenly left outside for two hours, he never even barked!  Like all the guide dogs raised and trained by the Israel Guide Dog Center, Porgy was specially trained in Hebrew for the challenging conditions in Israel—even sirens and rockets.

When asked about the differences between guide dogs trained in America versus those in Israel, Aharon said: “It is so much easier to work with a dog in Hebrew, especially one that understands the environment and the culture.” He added: “Each dog is an individual. Some are playful and some serious. What makes you a team is when you work together for a while.”

Fiercely independent, Aharon travels all over the globe on his own—with only the companionship of his four-legged best friend. He lived in New York for seven years while studying English Literature and still has strong ties to the city and feels at home here. Wherever he is, Aharon loves to walk, often covering four or more miles a day. “I love the independence Porgy gives me, but sometimes I think I tire him out.”

Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind, founded in 1991, is the only accredited guide dog program in Israel—and the entire Middle East. We are also one of only a few nonprofit organizations in Israel that provides service companions to people with special needs, such as blind or autistic children and IDF veterans suffering from PTSD. Most of our clients are IDF veterans, many blinded in the course of performing their duties.

Our work transforms lives—providing blind Israelis with mobility, independence and self-confidence through the faithful assistance of guide dog partners. Our program includes breeding and raising puppies, guide dog training, and then partnering and instructing the visually impaired person with the guide dog, both at the Center and in their home. The process of creating a Partnership takes nearly two years and costs $25,000Yet these services are provided free of charge.

Israel Guide Dog Center

Celebrating Israel – and
an Israeli Hero:
Aharon Barr

September 25 - October 22, 2015

968 Easton Road, Suite H
Warrington, PA 18976
Tel: 215-343-9100 ● E-mail:
Internet: ● IRS 501(c) (3) #23-2519029


To meet or interview Aharon Barr and Michael Leventhal, Executive Director of Israel Guide Dog Center, call Charles Goldman at 914-645-4821 or Liz Martucci at 212-794-8711. For more information on the program, please contact Michael Leventhal at 215-343-9100,, or visit our website at

Charles Goldman
Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind

Liz Martucci
Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind

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