Hello, I’m Gideon, author and publisher of the On Jewish Matters magazine.
It is not easy to be Jewish. We have a long and difficult history that proves it. The Jewish people hoped that after the Holocaust the world will finally let them live freely and peacefully. Unfortunately this is not the case. I created this website to strengthen the Jewish people by way of knowledge sharing among all good people of every faith to end the Jewish people’s struggle to live freely as equals among the world’s nations.
I grew up in a period of frequent wars between Israel and its neighbors. The Six Day war erupted when I was in 3rd grade. The Yom Kippur war erupted when I was in 10th grade. I was nineteen years old when I was dispatched as a Golani soldier with my unit to Lebanon to fight the PLO. As a student at the Technion, I was called to serve during the First Lebanon war. I’m named after my uncle Gideon Pick who was killed in battle with the Jordanian army in the 1950s. My father Oscar was a in a Nazi concentration camp, before escaping and becoming a Jewish partisan. My mother was two years old when her family had to immigrate from Germany to Israel, after the Nazis came to power.
My story is not unique. It is the story of many Jews.
I was born into a period when Jews came to Israel in huge numbers: Wave after wave of Jews came to the tiny country to build a new home for themselves, to help building a new country, and to raise a family in the one place where Jews were the majority. Israel was only 10 years old at the time. Almost every adult I knew was either a Holocaust survivor, or a refugee from an Arab country.
Many of my childhood friends came from places where they had to escape hardship and humiliation; places such as Arab and communist countries. The majority of the people in my hometown were new immigrants. I was one of the few who were born in Israel. My childhood friends were from Morocco, Yemen, Iran, Syria, Libya, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, France, Iraq, Poland, India, and from many other places. We all grew up together. Few years later we all joined the Israeli Army. It was our turn to defend our homeland.
I received my military training in the Golani brigade. Upon discharge from the army, I attended the Technion. I’m a mechanical engineer in my profession. I also served in the US Army. I currently live with my family in Boca Raton, Florida.
This picture was taken in Museum Beit Hatfutsot (Diaspora House) in Tel Aviv. It is a replica of the decoration on the Arch of Titus in Rome. The arc was constructed after the First Jewish-Roman War. It shows the treasures taken from the Temple, including the Menorah and the trumpets of Jericho. By Jewish customs, Jews are forbidden from walking under the real Titus Arch in Rome.
The picture on the left was taken in the renovated synagogue, Sinagoga Mayor, in Barcelona, which stood vacant for hundreds of years, after the Jews of Barcelona were forced out of their city in August 1391, after riots in which thousands of Jews were murdered or forcibly converted. The picture on the right was taken in a support for Israel rally in Miami Beach, during the Gaza war of 2014.
As a Golani soldier in the Israeli Army in the 1970s
As a soldier in the US Army in the 1980s
Hanukkah celebration with Florida’s Governor Rick Scott and the First Lady (December 2015).