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AJPA JRelease - Blinded IDF Hero to Campaign in NY for Blind Israelis

Thursday, October 20, 2016   (0 Comments)
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IDF soldier. War hero. Equestrian Champion. Clinical social worker. Farm owner.

Uri and Triton

Uri Basha—Israeli hero—will join Noach Braun, CEO and Co-Founder of Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind, in New York City from November 7-14. Accompanied by his guide dog Triton, he will speak about the lifesaving role of guide dogs for blind Israelis

Shell fragments blinded Uri, a young soldier in Israel’s First Lebanon War. Determined to maintain his independence, he immediately requested a guide dog, a major undertaking in the 80’s since no guide dog schools existed in Israel at that time.

Fortunately, since Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind began in 1991, Uri has benefited by having guide dogs trained in Hebrew— using state-of-the-art methods specially adapted for the challenging conditions in Israel.


Uri has never let his vision loss limit his life. At a rehab facility for injured soldiers, Uri discovered the joys of horseback riding and began training in competitive riding, placing sixth overall in England’s World Paralympics Championships. He also earned his Bachelor’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Tel Aviv University and his Masters in treating addictions and, for several years, counseled private patients and groups.

Today, Uri, his wife, Rachel, their four children, house pets, chickens, and horses live on a large goat farm. Rachel operates a pre-school there, while Uri devotes his time to raising his family and running his farm.

Last year, when his previous dog needed to retire, Uri told the trainers at the Israel Guide Dog Center that he wanted his next dog to be a German Shepherd. The problem was at that time they only bred Labs, Golden Retrievers and Golden-Lab mixes.

So they turned to one of their partner organizations in the U.S.—Guiding Eyes for the Blind. In a “paws-across-the-sea” partnership, Guiding Eyes provided the German Shepherd puppy, nurtured him, and brought him across the ocean to our Center in Israel. The IGDCB trained him—in Hebrew—to become a guide dog who is fully adapted to his new home and its special challenges. And now the dog—Triton”— is a true Israeli!

Uri’s story exemplifies how the Israel Guide Dog Center helps visually impaired Israelis by pairing them with guide dogs – restoring their independence and ability to move around freely and safely, opening opportunities for education and careers, enabling them to enjoy social and recreational activities, marriage and children – in short, life.

As Uri says, “It’s like taking a prisoner and releasing him from his handcuffs.”

The Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind transforms lives—by providing blind Israelis with specially trained guide dog partners. The Center breeds, raises and trains the puppies using advanced techniques, and partners and instructs the visually impaired person with the guide dog, both at the Center and in their home. This complex process takes nearly two years and costs $25,000. The Center has expanded its services, and now also provides Service Companions to autistic children, soldiers with PTSD, and other people with special needs.

Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind is one of only 49 charities to receive a perfect score of 100% from Charity Navigator—and the only Israeli organization to receive this honor. IGDCB’s sound fiscal management also earned it a 4-star rating from Guide Star.

To make a donation to help provide life-changing guide dogs to more blind Israelis like Uri, go to:

To meet or interview Uri Basha, war hero, Noach Braun, CEO and Co-Founder, 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


Celebrating Israel – and an Israeli Hero:
Uri Basha

NOVEMBER 7-14, 2016

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Disclaimer: JRelease is a press release service of AJPA. AJPA does not endorse and cannot vouch for material distributed by this service.


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