The unconventional American Jewish physician and surfer Dorian Doc Paskowitz died earlier this month on November 10 at an old age. He started a surfing Odyssey with his family, a wife and camper full of kids, and came to Israel in 1956 bringing with him the first surfboard which he showed to locals on the Frishman Beach in Tel Aviv.
By 1957, with a failing marriage, he’d moved to Israel to live on a kibbutz. He started teaching lifeguards how to surf.
Years later, he came back to Israel with a message of peace, showing how surf can unite people, even Israelis and Palestinians.
He formed Surfers for Peace with Kelly Slater in 2007, and some years later I met surfer Grant Shilling in Tel Aviv carrying this torch of giving Gazans boards for surfing.
Raskovin and many other Israelis are longing to make a bridge of peace in the Middle East –– whether it’s done with a longboard or a short one.
Raskovin plans on meeting with Lebanese surfers in Marseille, France. “Our bigger project is the Med Surf Cup to collect people from all over the Mediterranean –– a network of surfers in constant dialogue.”
Today Doc’s mission rings true in Israel where surfers like Arthur Rashkovan run surfing coexistence programs in the Mediterranean. This past Friday Israeli surfers came together to build a surfer’s ring at sea to pay tribute to their beloved Doc who was known to have said:
“First I’m a surfer, then a Jew, then a doctor.
Lower photo via @pitchon