Nadav Ben Yehuda
Professional athlete, high-altitude mountain climber, rescuer, photographer, speaker and a social activist.
Ben Yehuda initiates mountaineering and photography projects all over the world as a distinguished athlete and explorer, with a focus on technical and high-altitude expeditions globally – and he is considered by many to be the most accomplished Israeli mountaineer in history.
Looking back at his mountaineering endeavors, Ben Yehuda (30) went on dozens of climbing projects – 8 of them to 8,000m mountains in the Himalayas – among them the first Israeli ascent of Annapurna I, the deadliest mountain on the planet, and a fast ascent of an 8,000er without supplemental oxygen or pre-acclimatization. In other projects around the world, Nadav performed the highest chess game in history, and made the first Israeli winter ascent of mt. Elbrus in the harsh conditions of minus 58C° of the Russian winter.
In 2012, Nadav was attempting to scale Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world. During the night of the summit, he found another climber from Turkey lying unconscious on the ice. Though less than 300 meters from the peak of Everest, Ben Yehuda turned his back on the prize to rescue this other climber, forsaking the opportunity to become the youngest Israeli ever to conquer the world’s highest summit. Nadav got severely injured during the rescue, and struggled for years towards his recovery. For these actions, he was awarded a Presidential Medal of Honor from Israel President Shimon Peres.
In 2014, Ben Yehuda went on a successful two-month 8,000m expedition in Tibet – a project that was fully dedicated to support and spread the Organ Donation cause across the world. On his way back home, Nadav was called by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and stayed in Nepal due to the notorious deadly blizzard that struck the most visited trekking routes of the country – and led rescue missions across the great Himalayan ranges of Annapurna, Langtang and Everest. In 2015, Nadav joined the Embassy of Nepal in Israel to coordinate rescue missions and humanitarian support, while filling key positions in the international investigation of the Israeli MOFA for tracing missing Israeli citizens during the major earthquakes and humanitarian crisis in Nepal.
Throughout the years, Nadav was recognized for his accomplishments in many ways. Among those – He was awarded a Presidential Medal of Honor from the Israeli President, and received honorary diplomatic positions from the government of Nepal. Nadav was awarded a Citation Award from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and received an honorary Medal from the President of Florida International University. Nadav was awarded a day on his name from the Mayor and the Districts Commission of the city of Miami, and he received the title of the Best Alpine Athlete by the Israeli Sports Association; Nadav was chosen by Forbes magazine for the list of the most influential people under 30, and was honored in dozens of other occasions for his accomplishments in Mountaineering, Alpinism, Mountain Rescues, Photography, Diplomacy and Social Activism.
Ben Yehuda continues to initiate mountaineering and photography projects globally, pushing boundaries as an Israeli athlete and explorer, and speaks in front of numerous people around the world – about Mountains, Ethics, Professionalism – and everything in between.
Nadav has reached more summits of over 8,000 meters than any other Israeli in history, and has recently been chosen for the list of the most influential people under the age of 30 of Forbes magazine.
Nadav went to climb Mount Everest when he was 24 years old, and was about to become the youngest Israeli to climb to the top of the world’s highest mountain. After years of preparation and only 300 meters shy from the desired peak, Ben Yehuda encountered an unconscious climber on the ice, and had to make the most difficult decision of his life.
The lectures of Nadav Ben Yehuda deals with subjects that concerns us all: Dealing with crises and lack of motivation, overcoming difficulties and achieving goals even under the most difficult conditions. In his lectures, Ben Yehuda shares his personal experiences, and passes on his motives for action.