The True Adventures of Gidon Lev: Rascal. Holocaust Survivor. Optimist. is a quirky, and unusual take on "the Holocaust" book. Of the 15,000 children transported through or imprisoned in Theresienstadt, fewer than 100 survived. Gidon is one of those children. He is also the first Holocaust survivor I had ever met. I converted many years ago and had no connection to the Holocaust outside of books or films.
Gidon challenged my ideas of what a "Holocaust survivor" might be like in every way. He didn't want his story to focus on his experience in Theresienstadt and with good reason. He has lived a long and full life here in Israel. Yet naturally, spending one's childhood in a concentration camp leaves its marks. How could I write a book about the Holocaust that wasn't exactly about the Holocaust? How could I make a world simultaneously in great need of but inured to "yet another" holocaust story sit up and pay attention? It turns out that being a convert and an American gave me insights into Gidon's story that proved valuable and life-changing. The book is really a love letter to Gidon, to Israel and to the Jewish people.