I created this blog to chronicle my experiences as a small businessman in Israel, mostly with the tax authorities. If this blog helps a person or few, I’m gratified.

Here’s a little about me:

Gidon Ariel

Gidon Ariel is a resident of Maale Adumim, Israel, and its Mayor’s Advisor for International Affairs. Gidon founded and directs (with his wife Devra) the Holy City Prayer Society (www.holycityprayer.com), an organization dedicated to promoting the value of prayer among Jews and Christians worldwide. He is the chair of the Christian-Israel Common Interest Network.

A graduate of the prestigious Birkat Moshe yeshiva, Gidon recently directed the Maale Adumim Community Aliyah Project from North America, and it the past has served as Business Development director of Yeul Sachir, a company that provides services and benefits for freelancers; Director of Public Relations for Mekor Chaim Institutions of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz; and as a technical writer in NDS.

Gidon serves in the IDF reserves as a Captain in the Military Spokesperson’s Office after spending over 20 years in the Armored (Tank) Corps.

In Israeli politics, Gidon is a delegate to the Likud Party Central Committee (the Merkaz) and ran for the Maale Adumim city council. He also was the coordinator of anti-Disengagement activity in Maale Adumim.

Gidon Ariel made Aliya from Queens, NY in 1978, and is married to Devra, who was born in Kansas City, MO. They are the happy parents of Elisheva, Akiva, Shira Rina, Chayim Zvi, and Moriyah.

Gidon Ariel is available to speak on Israel political and security issues, Jewish-Christian relations, and any other topics of interest.

gidon.ariel@gmail.com; 054-5665037 (from the USA: 011-972-54-5665037).


9 Responses to About

  1. Susie Kaufman says:

    I just wanted to thank you for your site.
    Also, an even bigger thanks for being so helpful and patient with me on the phone while explaining the whole process and more to me in great detail.
    Best wishes,

  2. Ben says:

    Hi Gidon,
    I’m glad to see a fellow New Yorker writing about these things in Israel. I moved to Israel about 8 years ago, I don’t think it’s called Aliyah if your not Jewish, so I just say I moved here. I met and married my wonderful Kibbutznikit wife in New York and we decided to come here to try to build a new life for ourselves. Even after 8 years I’m having a hard time dealing with alot of the bureaucracy. Besides being semi-famous because of an “interesting problem”( http://news.nana10.co.il/Article/?ArticleID=612934&sid=126 ) I had in the moshav where I live now, I am having a hard time getting an english Osek Patur form that I can use to show that I have a registered business in Israel, for none Israeli business. Do you know anything about that?

  3. Gidon Ariel says:

    Hi Ben (I’ll try to send this to your contact page on your website too)

    First of all, you have a good looking site at first glance, with a pretty good alexa rating!

    Your story in Megadim looks like a real “brokh” good luck, I hope things work out ok.

    Are you an Israeli citizen? If you are, then I cannot see why you should have a problem getting an osek ptor. If you are not a citizen, I have no idea.

    Try calling Yeul Sachir, I think I remember there being some (or at least one) non-Israeli non-Jew who worked through them, but I may be wrong…

  4. ari says:

    hi gidon.

    i’m planning on heading out to the tax offices now to register as an atzmai’i. any advice as i head down this potentially bankrupting, forcing-me-to-move-back-to-the-U.S.-shekeless-road?

  5. Gidon Ariel says:

    Hi Ari,

    Good luck in your endeavors!

    I don’t know the nature and scope of the work you intend to do, but in general, registering as an atzmai is not potentially bankrupting!

    Especially, my “expertise” (sic) is about osek za’ir, which means small business, less than about 60,000 NIS a year (income or profit, or somewhere in between), about 5,000 NIS a month. If you make so little, then chances are the authorities will not require payments or even fines that will bankrupt you.

    This blog focuses on interfacing with bureaucracy, not financial success of your business. As a friend of mine once wisely said, he hopes he gets taxed a lot, because that means he is making a lot.

    If your business idea and execution are sensible and market-driven, then you will probably succeed.

    If you add advice from NBN, MATI, various blogs and websites to that mix, and don’t “jump over your pupik”, then you have a good chance at success, and will probably not be forced to move back to the US without a dime.

    I am sure you wrote some of your comment tongue in cheek, but keep your chin up, be optimistic, and good luck!

  6. This site is really cool. I am making aliyah this summer and I love finding blogs like your blog. You are a good example of a succesful aliyah as someone who moved to Israel and made it there in all aspects. I wish you much continued hatzlacha!

  7. Gidon Ariel says:

    Shucks thanks, Yisroel Meir, please be in touch when you get here, we’ll be happy to have you over for a shabbat!

  8. Aaron Huber says:


    Thanks for this great site. I am in my 2nd year of being an Osek Patur and find your blog posts very helpful.

    I will probably need to incorporate next year and do a lot of work via oDesk and for individuals in the US. Is there any exception for collecting VAT from foreign clients? My Israeli and Euro clients aren’t too concerned about paying VAT but it would be hard to pass this cost on or eat it with my US clients.

  9. Gidon Ariel says:

    Hi Aaron,

    I am pretty sure there are exemptions from VAT for work done having to do with chutz laaretz. What the magic word is – the client being abroad, the work being done abroad, the work not necessarily done in Israel, etc. – I am not sure. You should consult an accountant (guess what, I am not one:-)

    BTW, I am in the process of incorporating in the US (specifically in order to be a 501c3 corporation that can accept tax deductible donations). I expect to pull money from that corporation as an employee or a service provider in exchange for a receipt. Billing your US clients (and those from all over the world) dba an American corporation might be a good move for you marketing wise. Again, it would be prudent to consult an accountant.

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