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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Keren Leibovitch’

Tomorrow 2012 – Inspiration

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

I went to the President’s Conference in Jerusalem today – it’s a three day conference for thousands of people with big-name speakers…and some surprises. I heard a lot of people, saw a lot…whatever. I want to write about some of them in the next few posts. Some annoyed me, some impressed me, one inspired me today.

There were several very moving speeches but by far, the most inspiring was Keren Leibovitch. She came to the stage moments after Dr. Ruth and Yossi Vardi left. The ever-efficient staff of the convention center quickly came out and removed the chairs, a small table and flowers. And then, Keren wheeled herself out onto the middle of the stage.

She introduced herself and then turned sideways to face the back projection wall and asked them to run a video. I could start the way she did – by showing it (if I could find it). She told us how old she was…or I think she did. But more importantly, she told us that she’d spent 3 years in a hospital after being injured during her army service and during that time, her ambitions were focused on getting home and learning to move around with a cup of coffee. Injured is a ridiculous term here, actually. She suffered massive damage to her back, leaving her 90% paralyzed in her legs. The inspiration comes from realizing that despite her injuries, she chooses to live, to strive, to challenge and challenge again. She is married and has a set of twins that are about 4 years old…and another set of twins that are about 2 years old – all boys, she explained with a smile…all boys.

Keren is an inspiration because, as she said, she has learned that failure is only a step towards success. She asked everyone, “please do not be afraid of failing. It is the step you take to success. I am the best in the world for what I do.” And for who she is – a true inspiration.

Keren is an Olympic gold medalist…several times over. She won three gold medals for Israel in 2000 in the Sydney Paralympics, and more four years later in Athens. While all the other athletes were able to stand and dive into the pool, gaining that extra momentum, Keren had to push off the wall because she is unable to stand. She won the first gold, won the second, and won the third because she believed in herself. Oh, and she didn’t just win – she broke a world record (twice in that one day…first in the morning in practice, and then again during the actual competition).

Inspiration.

Google Chief Eric Schmidt, Dr. Ruth, and Nobel Laureate Prof. Daniel Kahneman Offer Recipes for ‘Better Tomorrow’

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and Nobel laureate Professor Daniel Kahneman headlined the first plenary session of the Israeli Presidential Conference, presenting their prescriptions for bringing about “a better tomorrow.”

The panel also featured world record-holding Paralympic swimmer Keren Leibovitch, Yuri Milner, a leading Internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist and Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the renowned sex therapist.

Several of the panelists focused on the tremendous potential offered by technology, including social media, the rapid growth of smartphones and mobile devices and the widening of Internet access in the developing world.

“The smartphone revolution will be universal,” said Schmidt, emphasizing the need to increase Internet access in the developing world. “There are only one billion people with smartphones and two billion with access to the Internet. The World Wide Web has yet to live up to its name. Technology does not produce miracles, but connectivity, even in modest amounts, changes lives.”

Dr. Ruth spoke of her personal motivations and the lessons she would impart to the next generation.

“Young people need to get out there, stop complaining and do something productive,” said the 84-year old Dr. Ruth. “I survived the Holocaust, whereas 1.5 million children didn’t. I knew I needed to commit myself to Tikkun Olam (fixing the world).”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/special-features/president-conference-israel-2012/google-chief-eric-schmidt-dr-ruth-and-nobel-laureate-prof-daniel-kahneman-offer-recipes-for-better-tomorrow/2012/06/20/

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