Upstander not Bystander

Christian supporter of Israel and the Jewish people

George Gougoulis is self-educated on Judaism and is a committed supporter of Israel and the Jewish people.

George Gougoulis
Upstander George Gougoulis.

George Gougoulis’ love of Judaism began when he was five years old. He and his dad were driving down Balaclava Road, for the first time when he saw a man wearing a kippah. He said to his dad, “That man has got a funny little hat on his head.” When his father replied that the man was Jewish and he was wearing a kippah he asked what does that mean? The conversation continued. “Do you believe in God? Yes. Do you believe in Jesus? Yes. Jesus was Jewish and we got God from the Jewish people. So, if you love the Jewish people, God and Jesus will be very happy with you.”

“That was how I sort of learned about Judaism,” he explained. “It’s become a lifelong passion; I have a lot of Jewish friends and I am well-versed in its history.” Gougoulis is devoutly Greek Orthodox. He goes to church every week and celebrates the high holy days. “I am the equivalent of a ‘frumer’ he said proudly.

He is self-educated on Judaism and is a committed supporter of Israel and the Jewish people. “Sadly, the Shoah is a period of history. I can’t stop researching, even my Jewish friends say to me, you know more than we do.” He is outspoken in his defence of Jewish people. “I have always been pro-Israel and pro the Jewish community.

“However, now it is so one-sided. If you have an opinion, outside of the anti-Israeli sentiment, no one wants to hear it, but we’re all happy to hear the anti-Israeli sentiment.” Gougoulis uses social media to air his views. He uploads his ‘little monologues and diatribes’ on Facebook. “My posts are my thoughts and I believe it is important that people hear and see them.”

As a learned advocate, he is passionate in his delivery speaking openly and honestly but not rudely. He promotes Jewish businesses and organisations within his own business and has a considerable number of Jewish clients. Sandy Waislitz, founder of Light Up With Hope candles, has been a close friend of Gougoulis for a long time and it was his acute sense of justice, emotional intellect and sense of humour that drew him to her.

“Equally impressive lurking beneath the surface is a history buff, particularly when it comes to Holocaust matters. His depth of knowledge is incredible, he has no personal connection to this time but could impressively engage with any historian.

“He has had a strong link with our community for a long time, but I believe he is currently driven by a courageous and outspoken desire to never again allow humanity to slump that low; to be a significant voice on the right side of history. Supporting me with my candle initiative and lighting daily candles in his salon to raise awareness of the hostages is just one blessed example of his righteousness,” Waislitz said.

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