During the course of writing this book, I had the privilege to call upon a number of friends and colleagues and ask them to help me understand aspects of Gidon's story.  

Elisabeth Becker

Postdoctoral fellow with the Religion & Its Publics project at the University of Virginia, which seeks to bridge the gap between the academic study of religion and public conversations about religion, Elisabeth received her PhD in Sociology from Yale University in 2018. In addition to her academic work, Elisabeth writes for mainstream outlets on issues related to religion, diversity and migration, which have included pieces in The Washington Post, The Forward, UN Dispatch, Kveller, A Beautiful Perspective and Global Dialogue. Her trade book, On the Edge of the Worlds, chronicles inter-religious marriage in an increasingly divided world and is represented by Jessica Craig Literary.  | Website

Rachel Biale

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Author of Women and Jewish Law, Rachel Biale grew up on Kibbutz Kfar Ruppin in Israel. She earned a B.A. and  M.A. in Jewish history at UCLA and an M.S.W. at Yeshiva University. She lives in Berkeley, California, where she has a practice as a  parenting consultant. Her book, "Growing Up Below Sea Level: A Kibbutz Childhood" will be published by Mandel Villar in spring 2020. 

Marney Blom


Canadian journalist and the news director of Acts News Network Marney Blom is a graduate of Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario and the University of Toronto, for more than 25 years Marney has produced stories for radio and television, beginning her career as a reporter/producer for Crossroads Christian Communications, Inc. She has traveled extensively throughout North America, Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East producing human-interest news features. Marney is currently the Middle East foreign correspondent for the Canadian weekly television current affairs program Context: Behind the Headlines. In addition, her work has appeared on CBN News, Christian World News, TV7, Israel Vision, TBN, 100 Huntley Street, Mundo Cristiano, Evangelische Omroep, the Faytene Show and It’s A New Day. Her articles have appeared in Asian Report, Faith Today, Revival Magazine, and Christianity.ca. Marney directed and produced the documentary films, From the River to the Ends of the Earth (2009), and Between Heaven and Earth (2013) - a journey into the heart of Israel.  She is also the author of Shadow of the Sun - a historical fiction based on the true story of her family's survival of WWII Japanese internment camps in the former Dutch Indies. 

Michele Chabin


Born and raised in New York, journalist Michele Chabin was an editor at Seventeen and Cosmopolitan magazines before moving to Israel. Michele writes for both mainstream and religion-focused publications. For many years she was USA Today’s accredited stringer in Israel, and is currently the Israel or Middle East correspondent for Religion News Service, the New York Jewish Week and the National Catholic Register. Michele has won several journalism awards and was a 2017 Senior Fellow for the Fund for Investigative Journalism and the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. In 2019 she received a grant from the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute to report on a topic related to Jewish women. 

Nadene Ghouri


Nadene Ghouri is a multi-award winning journalist specialising in human interest and human rights issues. She is a former correspondent of both the BBC and Al Jazeera English and today is a freelance broadcaster and reporter working for BBC current affairs and leading publications including The Guardian and Mail on Sunday. She is the co-author of two New York Times bestsellers The Favoured Daughter about the life of Afghan human rights activist Fawzia Koofi and Born Into The Children of God with cult survivor Natacha Tormey. The Lightless Sky was named as one of the ‘buzz books’ of the 2105 London book fair and sold for six figure advances in both the US and UK. 

Yossi Klein Halevi


A celebrated American-Israeli journalist and writer living in Jerusalem, Yossi is the author of the award-winning Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided A Nation and Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor, among others, Yossi has also written for the Jerusalem Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Time. Yossi is a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.  | Website

Rabbi Susan Silverman

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As founder of Second Nurture: Every Child Deserves a Family—and a Community, Rabbi Susan Silverman has moved the issue of waiting-child adoption from the realm of a household decision to the common mission of communities. Her best-selling memoir, “Casting Lots: Creating a Family in a Beautiful, Broken World,” weaves together adoption and Judaism. In Israel, Susan works on behalf of asylum seekers and advocates for liberal Judaism in Israel. She is a founder of Miklat Israel, an NGO formed to stop the deportation of African asylum seekers. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Women of the Wall and on the International Council of The New Israel Fund. She and her spouse, Yosef Abramowitz, have five children and live in Jerusalem. 


Carolyn Davis is an environmentalist who has written for The Watersheds Project in RI, under the auspices of The Ocean Foundation, and formerly the Subscription Manager for the online newsletter, Endangered Species & Wetlands Report.  She has worked and/or studied in six countries. Her specialties are the environment and general research. The fifth wheelchair-user to be selected as a US Peace Corps Volunteer, Carolyn conducted a national survey in Jamaica for agencies that provided services to people with disabilities and was a facilitator of The Jamaica Coalition on Disability, which has been a force in JA to increase the civil rights of people with disabilities. Prior to becoming a librarian, Carolyn was a mediation intern in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, under the auspices of George Mason University and The Centre for the Study of Conflict at the University of Ulster at Coleraine. | Website |


Kariann Farrey has been a newspaper copy editor and passionate advocate for community journalism for nearly 20 years. She lives on the eastern border of Minnesota along the Mississippi River with her 11-year-old daughter and three male cats, all 2 and younger. She enjoys visiting the ocean, dancing and head-banging at live music concerts, and communing with her extremely comfortable bed.


Emily Monaco was born and raised in New York, but in 2007, moved to Paris, and via a series of strange events, ended up making the French capital her permanent home. After pursuing a Masters degree in 19th century French literature – and many years of trying – she came to the conclusion that she will likely never be French. Emily navigates the world of culture shock and writes about food and drink for various publications including The Wall Street Journal, Expedia, Culture: The Cheese Magazine, and Vice Munchies, as well as on her blog, Tomato Kumato. She is also a writer of fiction, and offers guided tours of Paris’ food, wine, and literary haunts. | Website |


Pamela Smith is an independent proofreader, copy editor and concerts manager based in Northern Ireland. Originally from Hampshire, England, she has lived in NI for nearly 30 years. Her music degree led to a PhD in electroacoustic music from Durham University, and most of her working life has been in music, as an administrator, Arts Council officer and consultant. Proofreading beckoned as a new career a few years ago, and she currently combines this with running an annual programme of professional chamber music concerts for Belfast Music Society. Home is in beautiful County Down, not far from Strangford Lough and the Mourne Mountains. | Website


Diana Rosenthal Roberson is a scientific publications editor and archivist at the American Museum of Natural History. Previously, she worked at News 12 as an online news editor and producer. She studied history and journalism at New York University and obtained a Master's in archiving and library science from Pratt Institute. Born and raised on Long Island, New York, Diana currently lives with her husband in New York City. | Website


Katherine Swailes was born in the UK to an English mother and Austrian-Israeli father (another survivor), and moved with her parents to Long Island, NY and then to Israel. Her parent's taught her to believe that she could do anything she truly wanted, providing she worked for it. The ethos was not lost on her — over a forty year career to date, she attained a PhD in an aspect of biochemistry whilst working at University College London, subsequently gained qualifications and worked in pharmaceutical marketing, personal (fitness) training and sport's therapy,  and more recently requalified as an editor and proofreader. Kathy now lives and works in New Zealand with her two best friends (husband and dog) as an independent copy editor, proofreader and occasional transcriber. | Website


Mary Phillips is a retired Nonprofit Development Director and Public Policy Director, Social Researcher, Legislative Lobbyist, Victim Assistant, Social Worker, human living in Portland Oregon. She holds a Counseling Masters Degree, published social research, just completed a memoir, and mentors authors writing novels and memoir. She says, “We need more imperfect honest stories in the stream; stories that sit beside us, give us hope, and teach us methods to move from Victim to Survivor to Living this Adventure that is our Great Life.


Lynn Poritz is an American born Israeli editor and marketing writer. With an undergrad from NYU and an MA from Pace University, Lynn currently teaches English to at-risk teens in Tel Aviv.  Lynn believes in the urgency of telling the stories of a generation who created a country with will, grit and dedication. Their stories are of immigration, wars, deprivation, the Holocaust and also of work, love, relationships, joy, loss and improving our world. These stories scream out to be told and are everywhere. Their stories must be heard.


Kathryn Barnsley is a retired military public affairs officer. She served as a trusted advisor to senior leaders; communicated her organizations’ stories to the public; mentored young team members in writing, editing and storytelling; and led national award-winning teams of journalists, photographers and videographers around the world. She developed formidable crisis communication skills, handling international interest in emergency situations with dignity and sensitivity. A huge part of Kathryn’s professional life focused on helping people tell their stories. She strongly believes in the power of storytelling to share our human experience, to encourage and inspire, and to bring people together. After she retired, Kathryn completed the copyediting certificate program through University of California San Diego Extension to hone her decades of copyediting skills. She is transitioning to become an independent copyeditor.

Daniela Yumiko Edwards (DY Edwards) is an American writer and poet based in Michigan. She talks entirely too much about her cat and writes almost anything ranging from video game reviews to recipes. | Website |

Karina Sinclair has spent most of her life in the business of storytelling and has nearly 20 years experience in broadcast television production. She was the lead script-writer and producer for an extreme weather documentary series which aired on National Geographic and other national networks. Her love of storytelling has led to a mild addiction to running and writing for blogs, with niche topics like homemade ice cream, the local art scene, digital marketing, mental health, and the importance of girls studying STEAM. She's now a freelance manuscript editor, video producer, and photographer, as well as an active volunteer for Editors Canada | Website |

Heidi Sutherlin has eleven years of experience as a graphic designer and cover artist working with authors and publishers all over the world. She provides custom cover art, and layout and formatting for both ebook and print. One of her strengths is to work not only in any genre and style for any audience but also in a variety of project styles. She works with authors of all levels. Heidi's philosophy is that naked books deserve great cover art, but more importantly, everyone deserves to experience that moment when the book they've worked so hard on, dreamt about, and had long conversations with, finally becomes "real."  | Website |