I am a Nevergiveupper by Yael Surovsky

I am a Nevergiveupper by Yael Surovsky

[One of the highlights of my week is participating in a therapeutic writing workshop facilitated by Yocheved Rottenberg. And one of the highlights of that weekly highlight is hearing the beautiful poetry of fellow participant, Yael Surovsky, originally from South Africa and now Har Nof. It was only a few weeks into the workshop that Yael shared with us that her husband, Dr. Binyamin Surovsky, once a dentist with a thriving practice, suffered a devastating stroke during the COVID pandemic and was left severely disabled, unable to work or help care for the 3 of their 5 children still at home (they married off a daughter just 2 weeks before the stroke). In this poem, which Yael shared with us this week (twice, by popular request, both times greeted with an enthusiastic round of applause) she uses a term which her husband coined, OFG or Opportunities for Growth. Dr. Binyamin and Yael are both determined to see the great challenges they face as opportunities for growth. It’s an honor to know Yael, whom I thank for allowing me to share this poem and her story of pain and triumph over that “sneering little voice” that tries to pull her down.]

I am a Nevergiveupper by Yael Surovsky

I am a tryer
I am a giver and nurturer
I am a nevergiveupper
I am an OFGer (turning my challenges into Opportunities For Growth)

I am a grower
I grow myself
I grow my family
I grow towards what i think would make Hashem happy

I don’t beat myself up
I try to teach my kids not to beat themselves up too

I am a tryer
I try to love myself
And teach my kids
to love themselves too

I try to not listen
to the sneering little voice
that tries to tell me
that i’m not succeeding
that i’m not ok
Because i am OK
In Hashem’s eyes
I am a tryer
I am a grower
I am a never giver upper

What could be more OK
you silly little voice
Because I am a hero
And I’ll never give up!


  1. I remember you. Your husband was my dentist

  2. Rachel Horan

    Such an inspiration! Thank oyu for sharing!

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