Michelle Burden Interviews Gidon Ariel: Unveiling the Roots of Jewish Identity
| Published: October 24, 2023
In a candid and enlightening interview, Michelle Burden engages Gidon Ariel in a deep exploration of his upbringing and the profound connection he shares with the Jewish community. This conversation serves as a window into the intricate tapestry of Gidon’s identity and his unwavering commitment to his Jewish heritage.
A Journey Through Heritage: The Beginning
As the audio recording commences, it’s Michelle Burden who takes the lead, introducing herself and her guest, Gidon Ariel. They recognize the recording process, laying the groundwork for a personal and enlightening conversation.
Gidon Ariel and Michelle Burden quickly delve into the heart of their discussion, with Michelle taking the lead, saying, “This is Gidon Ariel, and my name is Michelle Burden, and we are doing an interview on Gidon and how you were raised and how you Jewishly connect with the community.” Gidon’s voice exudes a warm, personal touch as he begins to share his unique story.
With this simple introduction, Gidon sets the tone for an exploration of his life’s most fundamental aspects: his upbringing and the profound connection he holds with his Jewish roots. The duo acknowledges the importance of this conversation, setting the stage for a rich and enlightening exchange.
Understanding the Ancestral Roots: A Glimpse into Family
The conversation takes an introspective turn as Michelle poses the initial question, “Tell me a little bit about your parents. Are they Jewish? What were their backgrounds in religious upbringing?” Gidon’s response provides a glimpse into the deeply rooted history of his family.
Gidon begins with reverence, paying tribute to both his parents, who are now of blessed memory. His father, a Holocaust survivor, was born in Hungary and later moved to Israel before finding his way to Paris and eventually settling in New York. Gidon’s mother, on the other hand, was born in New York, and her family had immigrated to the United States from white Russia around the turn of the century.
His father’s family maintained Orthodox Jewish traditions, while his mother’s family was less observant. This juxtaposition of backgrounds laid the foundation for Gidon’s own unique journey.
Defining Jewish Identity: Beyond Qualifiers
Michelle’s curiosity extends to the heart of Gidon’s personal connection to Judaism, asking, “How do you identify as Jewish? According to your family background, practice, culture, what do you use as your identifiers for being Jewish?”
In response, Gidon’s voice resonates with conviction as he declares, “I am a Jew.” He candidly addresses the question of qualifiers, expressing his discomfort with the notion of quantifying one’s Jewishness. For Gidon, being Jewish transcends labels or qualifiers. He emphasizes the importance of unity within the Jewish family, echoing the sentiment that all humans share a common bond as part of the larger human family.
Listen to this recording to learn more about the intriguing journey of Gidon Ariel and the rich tapestry of Jewish identity he unveils.
Note: For the complete interview, we encourage you to listen to the audio recording, which offers an even deeper insight into the remarkable life of Gidon Ariel and his deep connection to the Jewish community.