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alex: Building a life

A book 

Alex: Building a Life

The Story of an American Who Fell Defending Israel

(Gefen Publishing House, 1996)


A 273 page collection of letters and drawings by Alex Singer that shares the thoughts and art of a young American who died defending Israel.

  • May be ordered directly from Gefen Publishing here.

  • To arrange discounts for educators and for bulk orders, please contact us.

All author's royalties are directed back to the Alex Singer Project, a non-profit organization.

Click below for free PDF version:

Two educational resources are available for use in conjunction with Alex: Building a Life: An educator's guide and a 15-minute video presentation on Alex's life, art, and writings.


Book Reviews

Alex's book invoked in me that our lives can be filled with meaning if we decide to pursue meaning. And that if we do, our sense of aloneness vanishes ... His sense of family, of Israel, of community, of nature, of aloneness are fascinating and beautiful. His writing has simultaneously comforted me and awoke in me all this longing to find a way to act, and to act as myself. It's not simple.

-Sarah Bardin

Alex's book has the potential to change lives. His writings convey powerfully and persuasively, an attitude and tone of voice that seems to be heard less and less. It's a voice that says that life is a gift to be lived fully, joyfully, spontaneously; that Judaism has the power and depth to challenge and enrich every Jew, and through them to improve the world; that doing for others is the most effective--the only--way of fulfilling yourself; and that Israel is the Jewish home and that instead of rejecting it for its faults we should work to correct them. Alex writes beautifully and honestly. His drawings are vivid and personal.

-Daniel Taub

I wish I could tell Alex how much he was able to guide me via his correspondences. Alex has played the role of a friend I have needed for quite some time now. There are very few people with whom one can openly and honestly discuss the issues behind aliya.

-Jason Greene

I attend the University of California at Berkeley, and am currently spending my junior year in Israel at the Hebrew University. ... Once I started Alex: Building a Life, I could not put it down. ... Reading Alex1s thoughts when he was deciding about aliya really helped me. There were so many moments as I was reading when I had to just stop because he had expressed my exact feelings right now. I don't think I have ever been so deeply affected by a book as I was by Alex. I have been spreading the word and all my friends are going to read the book as well.

-Sophy Weintraub

I am a graduate of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville MD, where I first read Alex’s book. I brought the book with me to our senior class trip to Israel, and read it again while traveling the country. I have bought copies for friends of mine who had made aliyah and are serving in the army.

I am currently working for PANIM--The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values in Rockville. We are designing an Israel education/advocacy seminar for high school students; and I am in the process of incorporating Alex’s life and the video/DVD about Alex into the seminar.

Alex inspired me as a high school student to follow my dreams and to act on what I believe. Alex has stayed with me throughout these years. My plan is to make aliyah in the next few years and I know that the book will be with me as I go through that process.

-Jordana Luks

I'm a student at the Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI in Hod Ha'Sharon). I felt that I ought to write to you and your family to give my thanks and gratitude for what you did in putting together Alex's incredible story. After recently listen to stories from our teachers Yossi Katz and Tuvia Book and seeing the presentation of Alex's letters and drawings that now stands proudly on the wall of our school, I decided to read the book and almost never put it down until reading your heart felt letter at the end. Especially with my group here about to go to Gadna (4-day basic training course), having had my own family fight for and protect Israel, and the great love we have for the country, Alex's story truly touched me and many others of us here.

His memory, may it be blessed, will continue to live on through each of us.

-Lauren Carel
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