Let's Make Things Better

Finding Hope in the Darkest Days


By Gidon Lev

By Julie Gray

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$36.00 CAD

“To me, hard times are like hide-and-seek – where is the solution, where is the hope? We can never give up looking for these things because they are just waiting to be found.”

Gidon Lev is 89 years old. He’s been a dance teacher and a farmer. He loves soccer, his kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids, his beloved late wife of 40 years, Susan and his unexpected late-in-life partner, Julie, whom he met when he was 82. A self-identified rascal and optimist, Gidon Lev is also a Holocaust survivor who was imprisoned for nearly four years in the concentration camp of Theresienstadt. Liberated when he was ten, he lost at least 26 members of his family in the Holocaust, including his father, grandfather, great aunts and great uncles. After decades of silence, Gidon first told his story of being imprisoned in Theresienstadt to a group of German high school students. What followed was nothing less than extraordinary: from that one talk, Gidon has spoken to celebrities and diplomats and taken social media by storm, all with his signature bluntness, charm, and wisdom. Gidon’s life is extraordinary not only because he is one of the few living Holocaust survivors remaining but because of his lessons learned over nearly a century. As Gidon says, you don’t get the life you want, you get the life you get—and it’s what you do with it that counts. Let’s Make Things Better is the calling card of an indomitable spirit—sharing timeless simple beliefs and truths, from reconciling with the past, standing up to hate, living for the moment, bringing people together, and where to find hope for the future.
Gidon's ultimate lesson for all of us is that we have many opportunities, large and small, in front of us every day. And our single most readily available and possibly best purpose is to makethingsbetter – to incrementally improve what is in front of us and to leave something better behind us. This is a power that we all have, at any moment, and Gidon's life is a lesson of how to do it, even in the face of astonishing adversity.


On Sale
Nov 12, 2024
Page Count
256 pages
Hachette Go

Gidon Lev

About the Author

Gidon Lev was born Petr Wolfgang Löw in 1935 in Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad) in the Czech Republic. He was deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp north of Prague in 1941 at the age of 6 , and remained in the camp until liberation in May 1945. Married twice, Gidon is the father of six with fifteen grandchildren and two great‑granddaughters. He now lives in Northern Israel with his life partner of many years, Julie Gray.

Julie Gray is a writer and native Californian whose work can be found in the Times of Israel, Moment Magazine, the Huffington Post, the Jewish Journal the NY Post and many other publications. She has spoken and taught about storytelling techniques at Warner Bros. Studios, Cal Arts, the London Screenwriter’s Festival, The Haifa International Film Festival as well as the Weitzman Institute and the IDC in Israel. Julie has volunteered with the Middle East Peace Initiative, USAID, Kids for Peace, Amnesty International and Combatants for Peace.

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