Mission

We understand that every Israel trip is a personal journey and should be treated as such. Therefore, no two tours are ever identical! The Israel Maven team constantly look for fresh and exciting ways to connect you with Israel, offering a meaningful and tailor-made experience to veteran travelers and newcomers alike.

We are a tour company that is dedicated to providing a high-quality trip to Israel for individuals, families, communities, and corporations at an affordable rate. From the minute you get on the plane until the moment you return home, Israel Maven takes care of every aspect of your Israel trip. We offer a wide range of services guaranteed to suit your needs, interests and budget and provide comprehensive support and consultation from the planning stages of your trip until you are safely back home, allowing you to make the most of your Israel experience.

We are all highly-trained and believe in “service with a smile”. We employ only those who genuinely enjoy what they do and whose people-skills match their professional abilities. As your satisfaction is of paramount importance to us, we work exclusively with suppliers who demonstrate a proven commitment to friendly and efficient service, along with uncompromising quality.

We are focused on your needs and will spare no effort in ensuring that you are satisfied. We pay attention to the little details while making sure to always keep the big picture in mind. You will find our drivers courteous and attentive, our guides filled with a genuine concern for your well-being and the entire Israel Maven team always ready to go the extra mile for you.

Team

Zev Jacobson
Director

As the director of Israel Maven Tours, how would you describe what you do on the day to day?

As director of the company, I see my role as one where I continuosly strive to create an eco-system which enables all members of our team to thrive. In practice; sometimes I lead, sometimes I listen, sometimes I make tough decisions & sometimes I gotta take out the garbage.

 

So how did it all start?

The idea started many years ago. My dad would always dream of making his way and visiting Israel but unfortunately, he passed away before he was able to make the journey. I decided that I wanted to create a living legacy in his honor. This legacy would grant others the opportunity to fall in love and connect with this vibrant country that means so much to me.

 

What is your background?

I was born & raised in the warm, close-knit Jewish community of Johannesburg South Africa. After I graduated from high-school, I came to Israel on a gap-year program (with some 220lbs of luggage), convinced my parents to let me stay for another year, and then eventually broke the news to them, that Israel was now my new home. I subsequently served in the Nachal Brigade in IDF during which time I learned, that no matter how hard I try, I would never lose my South Efrikken, accent – even in Hebrew. Upon rejoining civilian life, I completed a degree at Bar Ilan University in Computer Programming & Economics. This gave me a sound basis of knowledge & convinced me to follow my true passion – Jewish Education. I am a licensed tour guide, father of five and love interacting with people & showing them around Israel.

 

In your eyes, what constitutes a successful trip?

For each individual that visits, there is a moment. This moment is personal and differs for each person but it’s an inevitable part of your trip. This moment is one where you feel inspired. That moment where you feel inspired is the moment I know your trip has been a successful one.

 

Before starting your own company you used to be a tour guide, what’s the funniest thing that happened to you while guiding?

I was in the Golan Heights with a group and we were rappelling down a waterfall into a deep pool of water. I remember suddenly losing my balance and found myself up-side down, clawing frantically to try & get a grip onto something. There I was suspended in mid-air like an overturned beetle, wondering why I ever chose this line of work, while my group watched in hysterics. Finally, I somehow managed to get myself upright when I realized that I wasn’t so high up after all – only about a meter from the water-line.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you have for someone who is looking to visit Israel?

Wherever you find yourself in the country make sure to strike up conversations with people at any opportunity you can – you will be amazed at the insights you can gain.

JJ Jonah
CEO

Tell us what made you want to create Israel Maven Tours?

Ever since I made Aliyah when I was 8 years old, I had a passion for Israel and Zionism and wanted to share this passion throughout my life. I started working as an educator and eventually also as a Shaliach for the Jewish Agency in Los Angeles. In 2000, I decided that I wanted to start guiding and so found myself taking the Israel Tour Guide course. After guiding for a bunch of years and after gaining an understanding of what tourists want, I wasn’t satisfied with how any of the companies I was working with functioned. I wanted to create a company that would incorporate my passion with a higher level of professionalism and eduation in the tours we create. That is how Israel Maven was created.

 

What would you say is the most inspiring part of your job?

Thank god the business has grown over the past 10 years and we currently have 17 employees. My ability to support 17 individuals and their families is really something that inspires me.

 

In your eyes, what constitutes a successful trip?

On the last day of a trip when it’s time to say goodbye and there is this mix of emotions from clients who are both smiling and have tears in their eyes at the same time. When a client says to me “I will be back – you can count on it”, I know we have succeeded.

 

Before starting your own company you used to be a tour guide, what’s the funniest thing that happened to you while guiding?

It was the end of a long day of guiding a teenage group and we had finally arrived at the hotel we were supposed to be staying at. We were so excited to arrive, that I ran off the bus and into the hotel in order to make get the keys to hand out to the group. There was only one issue with this as there was a glass door I didn’t seen that was in between me and the hotel. Suffice to say the door shattered into a million pieces and so did my nose.

 

What is the last book that you read?

The Prime Ministers

 

What’s the best piece of advice you have for someone who is looking to visit Israel?

Use Israel Maven Tours 😉

Adina Cannon
Operations Manager
Bracha Spivak
Operations Manager

Can you tell us how you got to Israel Maven tours and why it seemed like an appealing place to work?

Zev and JJ are long time friends of mine and it has been many years where they’ve asked if I’d come on board and join the team. When the time was right, I said YES and joined the Israel Maven family.

 

So what’s been the most inspiring group you’ve put together/been a part of?

I worked with HGF and PJ Library (an organization that sends free, award-winning books that celebrate Jewish values and culture to families with children 6 months through 8 years old) on a group of authors that came to Israel to get inspired and write some PJ books about Israel. That was a special group and an amazing experience!

 

When you’re looking to get away from it all, where in Israel do you go?

I go to Machtesh Ramon. I love to desert, the quiet, the animals and the nothingness.

 

Is there anywhere in Israel you haven’t been that you’d love to go?

There are many places I haven’t been to. I have to take a few days off and go visit some new places ?.

 

What do you love most about Israel that you want the world to know?

I love Israel because it is the best place in the world for us to live in!

 

Any advice for those who are on the fence about coming?

A. Israel is the safest place to travel too! Reality is very different than what is seen on the news
B. There is always a way to make it work. large budget or low budget- Israel is lots of fun any way!

Chani Walker
Travel Specialist

How did you find your way to Israel Maven Tours?

I was pulled into this awesome environment by a current colleague – Deb – who used to be  my colleague at an incredible organization called Mayanot. I worked in an office that brought youth to Israel for free and I guess I was always inspired by the thought of bringing Israel to life to as many people as I could.

 

So what would you say is the most inspiring part of your job?

When hearing about Israel, it’s not always portrayed in the most positive light. I love that I can show individuals the best that Israel has to offer so they can thoroughly experience our wonderful country!

 

OK, so to thoroughly experience the country, what would you say is the best meal you’ve ever had in Israel?

Cramim. Duuuuuuude! (*Cramim is a spa hotel located in the beautiful rolling hills in the outskirts of Jerusalem.)

 

We can’t wait. So to get to know you, what would you say is the strangest talent you have?

I can memorize the show Friends. Oddly enough, it doesn’t come handy often.

 

Lastly, if someone were to ask you what is the best piece of advice you have for someone who is looking to visit Israel?

Expect to be surprised.

Chaya Sara Amit
Operations Manager
Dave Lawrence
Travel Specialist

​What makes a South African who uses words like gatvol end up working in a company that organizes tours to Israel?

​We South Africans like to stick together. As someone who made Aliya from Jo-burg, I networked with those I knew who introduced me to Zev, the CEO. The chance to work in a friendly environment doing something that had meaning was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

 

So your favorite part of working at Israel Maven Tours is….

​I’ve worked in many ​different spaces in the past but there is a feeling of family in the office that welcomes you, encourages you and you know that people have your back. It’s not something that is easy to find in the work space.

 

That’s inspiring to hear in a workplace. If we’re talking about inspiration, what would you say is the most inspiring part of your job?

Crunching numbers. Kidding. Seeing people experience Israel for the first time and through them getting myself to experience it every day is something that inspires me and I am grateful for on a day to day basis.

 

So getting down to business, rumor has it you can drink a bottle of beer in 5 seconds. What meal would be the ideal one to follow up such an accomplishment with in Israel?

(Laughs out loud) On Fridays, during the nicer months of the year Tishbi winery has a meat smoker food truck. It’s the best meat sandwich I’ve ever had.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you have for someone who is looking to visit Israel?

Make a plan to interact with the local in an authentic setting. It will give you a real feel for our country that you won’t get by purely hitting up the tourist sites.

Deborah Rabinsky
Travel Specialist

So that accent, you’re not American?

I grew up in Sydney, Australia where I graduated with honors from the University of Sydney with a BSW in social work. In 2008 I decided that Israel was the place for me and turned my dream into my home. Since then I’ve looked to share my love of Israel with others and have been in the tourist field starting at Mayanot Birthright Israel where I dabbled in group coordination, staff training and support, crisis intervention, recruitment and follow up with alumni, staff selection and training, alumni programming and coordination of post trip programs. From there the next natural move was to continue in the field and I’ve been here at Israel Maven Tours for 6 years!

 

What do you enjoy most about your job at Israel Maven Tours?

Meeting the people behind who I’ve been corresponding with for months and seeing them enjoy their time here in Israel. Hearing how all the coordinating, managing and logistics came together to provide an incredibly meaningful experience that they will hopefully cherish for years to come.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you have for someone who is looking to visit Israel?

Don’t waste too much time – let us do the heavy lifting. Sit back, pick your feet up, relax and we’ll have a kick-ass itinerary ready for you in no time.

 

What is your favorite place in the country?

Love the Negev – I love the desert and there are so many unique activities you can only do down there. I haven’t yet done sand boarding or jeeping in the Ramon Crater and would love to do both. Of course an overnight at the Bersheet Hotel with Crater view wouldn’t hurt!

 

Which trip that you organized would you have joined and why?

This is hard to answer as there are so so many, and every trip has its own unique appeal! If I have to choose though, I would say the Friendship Circle of Michigan Family trip. Their itinerary was so detailed and carefully crafted to suit the needs of the participants with a focus on hands-on, interactive, meaningful activities and interactions with local Israelis.

 

What is your favorite Hebrew word that has no direct English translation?

Yalla

Leora Landesman-Goldberg
Travel Specialist

We heard that if you’re looking for food related options, we should talk to you.

Hmmm…..Well I grew up in Jerusalem in a house where my parents owned a catering company that expanded into a wordlwide Kosher tour agency. Being surrounded by food and travel it was only natural that I studied hospitality and went into the field of tourism. I’m probably the pickiest person in the office when it comes to food but everyone knows who to ask when they need a suggestion. Some would say I hold the power. 🙂

 

So tell us then, what’s the best meal you’ve ever had in Israel?

For a family event we arranged an unforgettable meal in the middle of the Machtesh (Mitzpeh Ramon Crator). A beautiful table with tablecloth, silverware & glasses were set up out in the heart of the Israeli desert, where we were served a full meat meal with a variety of salads, side dishes and wine. Definitely a magical evening I will never forget.

 

And as a native Israeli, where in the country would you like to visit that you have yet to see?

Hevron, that city where all our Patriarchs and Matriarchs are buried.

 

What’s the one word in Hebrew you’d like to teach us that has no direct English translation?

Chutzpah. And you need a lot of it to live here.

 

If you had one piece of advice to give to someone coming to Israel, what would it be?

Make sure you come open minded, get ready to see some of the best views, nicest sites and taste the most delicious food!

Michal Isenberg
Operations Manager
Nahum Binder
Business Development

What would be the best piece of advice you have if I’ve decided to come.

Carpe Diem

 

So if you were to seize the day and go somewhere you’ve yet to visit, where would you go?

Just before you get to the Dead Sea there are salt caves that you can only get to by rapelling down an 84 meter shaft. It’s on my bucket list.

 

That does sound pretty exciting. Let’s say you got really hungry after, where would you go to eat?

It’s quite a ride, (and I wouldn’t really go straight from there) but in the Golan Heights there is a meat restaurant called – Ha’Bokrim (The Cowboy’s) that I could feast at every night.

 

Now that your full. Tell us what the most inspiring part of your job is.

Having the opportunity to create an inspiring experience for others and share my love of Israel.

 

What’s the last book you read?

Harpoon: Inside the Covert War aginst Terrorism’s Money Masters

Rachel Eichel
Travel Specialist

How did you get from law to tourism?

Since I was a young girl I dreamt of being a lawyer and continued down that path as I graduated from Law school allowing me to finally practice law. After many years in family law and real-estate, I decided that I was ready for a change. After looking into different options and directions, I heard about Israel Maven. Helping people fulfill their dreams to experience Israel for the first time and the ability to create a memorable trip to Israel sounded like an amazing opportunity to me!

 

So what is it that you do as a Travel Specialist?

Through many phone calls and emails, I take all of what I know from my clients and translate them into words and actions so that they can have their ultimate Israel experience.

 

And as someone relatively new to the field, what is something surprising about the work or your clients?

I learned that there are so many people that have yet to visit Israel in their lives.

 

Where in the country have you not yet visited that you would like to?

The Chermon.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you have for someone who is looking to visit Israel?

Enjoy the special atmosphere that is in the air here in the holy land and make sure to be open to new experiences!

 

What’s your favorite Hebrew word that has no direct translation?

Yalla

Racheli Rosental
Accounts
Tsiona David
Digital Marketing

How long have you been a part of the team at Israel Maven Tours?

Officially or unofficially? I started working part time as a coordinator for groups, then in administration and that tunred into a full time job here at the company. These days I do a little bit of this and a little bit of that, from graphics to social media to coordinating groups of 800 people.

 

What do you like about working here?

Besides for the fact that I fall in love with the country each time I view it through the clients eyes, the feeling of family that is cultivated in the office. After being in the workforce for many years, knowing that you are working for honest, well intentioned and good hearted people who have accrued like-minded individuals to work in their company is something I do not take for granted.

 

What is your favorite place in Israel?

While I was always more of a green grass type of person rather than a desert person, there is something about going to the south of Israel and viewing the crater – Machtesh Ramon that gives you perspective of where and who you are. If I could be viewing it from the Presidential Suite at the Beresheet hotel, even better. 😉

 

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had in Israel?

I’m not such a believer in the ‘best’ of anything, it’s more about where you’re at, where you’re going and what you are in the mood for. BUT if you are looking for an authenticly fresh and delicious Israeli bite, then I’d tell you to go to to Aricha Sabich in the Machane Yehuda market. Grilled eggplant, potato, egg, salads and tehina all stuffed into a pita that ends up dripping down your hands in a market full of people shouting Hebrew around you is home to me.

 

What is the last book that you read?

The Whole Brain Child.

Yedida Weisberg
CFO
Dahlia Lazan
JLI Land & Spirit Team
Dani Cahn
Travel Specialist
Nitza Spitz
Office Manager

As Office Manager of Israel Maven Tour, what’s your managing style?

I am a mother hen…

 

What’s your favorite part about working at the company?

Nothing beats the energetic vibe that is in the office. Always on the move, thinking of inspirational ways to show Israel to anyone who wants to come visit.

 

If you could adventure on any of the adventures you hear about in the office what would it be and why?

Graffiti tours and Culinary tours of the different markets in the country

 

If a client asked you what your favorite spot in Israel is, you would say…….

Zichron Yaakov – no questions about it. There is something about the combination of history and panoramic view that just makes it a very special place (and the wineries aren’t half bad…)

 

As a mom to four kids, what’s your favorite kid friendly place in Israel?

Yaffo. We go there often to look at the waves and walk through the arab market.

 

What is your favorite Hebrew word that has no direct translation?

Nu…

David Abraham
Travel Specialist
Sharon Monderer
Travel Specialist and Events Coordinator

Guides List

Aidel Gestetner
Tour Guide
Ami Braun
Tour Guide

Ami Braun was born in the US in 1978, in Chicago. His family made Aliya when he was five years old. Ami grew up in the town of Karnei Shomron, later moving to Jerusalem. It is there that he started his guiding career as a local guide at the Western Wall Tunnels in 1999, developing a love of Jewish history and guiding.

Ami completed the State of Israel Tour Guide course in 2007, and has been working as a licensed Tour Guide ever since. Between 1999- 2007 Ami was involved in various programs of informal education as well as working as a local guide in Jerusalem. He honed his guiding skills as a local guide at the City of David, Yad Vashem and the aforementioned Western Wall Tunnels. During this time Ami spent one year in Melbourne, Australia, as an emissary of the Jewish Agency, educating school children and students regarding Judaism & Zionism.

Ami has guided a variety of types of groups from around the world. Starting with youth movements and Birthright groups. Over recent years he has specialized in guiding multi generation, family and congregation groups. Traveling the world has become a passion for him. Climbing Kilimanjaro in Africa, trekking through the Annapurna mountain range in Nepal, skiing in Europe, along with site seeing in Europe’s most beautiful cities. These are just a few of the travels that Ami has experienced around the world. Running has become a central part of Amis’ life, as he has recently completed the half marathon runs in both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Above all, his love and passion to the land of Israel is felt as he brings the history of the country to life. Ami is a graduate of Bar Ilan University with a BA in Psychology.

Asaf Solomon
Tour Guide

Asaf Salomon, an Israeli, born and raised, certified Tour guide who grew up just outside of Jerusalem and developed a love of the land of Israel from an early age.

After studying in yeshiva and serving as a commander in a combat unit in the IDF he was certified by Israel’s Ministry of Tourism as a licensed Israeli tour guide and has completed his BA in Jewish History and Archaeology at Hebrew University as well as his MA in Middle Eastern studies and Islam from Bar Ilan University. He works as a senior guide in the VIP division of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.  Additionally, he also works at the Davidson Center and at other Jewish Quarter Tourism sites and specializes in tours of Jerusalem and the Old City.

Asaf leads In-depth tours of Archaeology and History of the region as well as modern Geo-politics and cultural tours in flawless English In addition to guiding heads of state and celebrities from around the world (such as Pope Francis) Asaf has led trips all over Israel for numerous synagogues, organizations, students (including Birthright trips), families and individuals. Asaf is passionate about his work and sharing his love of the land of Israel and its people, through historical stories, personal experiences and hands-on learning. Asaf guides family groups and individuals on exciting and educational tours throughout Israel.

Asaf Aizen
Tour Guide

Shalom! My name is Assaf and I am an experienced, certified tour guide. I have been guiding for years. I was born and raised in Israel, and am currently living in the most unique city in the world, Jerusalem. I am proud to say that I am living the dream, by guiding people through the land that I love.

Avi Beldesar
Tour Guide
Brian Shapiro
Tour Guide

Brian Shapiro hails from Manchester & made Aliya in 1980. Not merely content to live in Israel, he helped to establish Kibbutz Bet Rimon in the Lower Galilee. The founding members were a mix of native Sabras and new immigrants from England and they engaged in agriculture and farming, thereby settling the land. Brian served in the Nachal Brigade of the IDF, & finally set up home in Givat Zev, a small town north west of Jerusalem where he lives with his wife and kids. He takes an active part in community life and volunteers regularly in the neighborhood patrol. Brian loves hiking the terrain of Israel and sees himself primarily as an educator. He has been a guide for the past five years, during which time he has inspired hundreds of participants. His warm manner and sense of humor endear him to participants of all ages and backgrounds.

Daniel Gutman
Tour Guide

Daniel Gutman, licensed tour guide through Israel’s Ministry of Tourism, creates personalized Israel experiences that his clients remember for a lifetime. From the Dead Sea and Masada to the ancient ruins of Cesarea, Daniel will tell you the story behind each stone, bridging the gap between modern and ancient. Whether you follow Abraham’s ancient footsteps through the modern city of Jerusalem, taste wild herbs growing out of the edge of a cliff in Peki’in, or ride an all-terrain vehicle (whether of the four wheeled or four footed variety) through the sand dunes, Daniel will lead you on the adventure of a lifetime.

Elad Tsur
Tour Guide

Elad is a licensed tour guide in Israel, authorized by the ministry of tourism. His job is to plan and guide trips through the country, and to do everything to turn the tour in Israel to a meaningful and rich experience. Israel is very rich with content: there are meaningful religious, biblical and historical sites; there are gorgeous beaches and spas; parks and nature experiences, and more and Elad specializes in helping every bond through these experiences.

Elad loves ancient and biblical sites and stories, and relating them to current events. Fun activities, good music, good food, entertainment and humor are essential in every trip, and that is how he loves to guide.

Eli Parnassa
Tour Guide

Born and raised in Jerusalem Eli joined the Israeli air force after high school where he spent his time serving the country. After his time in the army, Eli travelled throughout New Zealand, Australia and parts of Asia. Once back from his trip, Eli went to law school where he studied and completed his law degree. While sitting in class during one of his courses, Eli decided that he wanted to become a tour guide and went for the course. He now loves guiding as he finds exploring the country, learning about the land, and meeting the people much more enjoyable and fulfilling.

Gili Houpt
Tour Guide

Gili Houpt is a tour guide, musician, songwriter, Jewish educator and chazan living in Jerusalem. Gili has performed and lectured throughout the world, beginning his educational career in New York and New Jersey as a school administrator and teacher of math, science, philosophy and Judaic studies. A spiritual disciple of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, he strives to bring the messages of love, holiness and peace to Jews of all backgrounds. Gili’s music and teachings have been featured in numerous radio programs and newspaper articles in the United States and Israel.

Seven years ago Gili and his wife Chaya made aliya with three young children and were subsequently blessed with a fourth, their very own sabra born in Jerusalem. They now live in the neighborhood of Har Nof, where Gili is involved in planning activities and performing at the local schools and synagogues. Upon moving to Israel, Gili studied for two years to become a licensed tour guide, continuing his educational career using the Land of Israel as his classroom. He enjoys bringing people of all backgrounds to sites across the Holy Land, specializing in sites around the Old City of Jerusalem. He is part of an elite cadre of VIP guides at the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, leading tours for celebrities, philanthropists, dignitaries and heads of state from all over the world.

Ilan Aharoni
Tour Guide

Ilan fell in love with the land of Israel when he was in high school. It was an agricultural school and students participated in farming duties. Plowing the fields hearing only the monotonous sound of the tractor engine, with the smell of fresh soil had an impact in a very significant way.

After his release from military service, he wanted to know the land better. Ilan joined the Israeli ministry of tourism tour guide course. In doing so, he guided many hikes and got to every corner in this beautiful land.

As he got into guiding tourists he was already equipped with knowledge and experience to give his clients the best experience possible. Ilan started with Guiding Jewish families who came to discover their Jewish heritage. That same heritage brought christianity into the world, and he enjoys sharing this connection with my Christian groups.

Ilan is very passionate about Israel. He loves sharing it with others. He invites you to experience it with him.


Itzik Yanai
Tour Guide

Itzik has been working as a Licensed Tour Guide for several years, sharing my passion and deep knowledge for the land of Israel with many high school students, Birthright groups, families and Bar & Bat Mitzvah Tours.

Itzik attributes his strong Zionist upbringing to the influence of my father who served in the Hagana and later was an emissary to the Israeli Embassy in London. He served in the paratroopers of the Israeli Defense Force, reached the rank of a captain and was a company leader.

Following his military service, he began working as a licensed tour guide and educator for United Synagogue Youth, later he coordinated their short and long term programs in Israel. He has recently returned to Israel after spending three years in New York as the Central Shaliach (emissary) for USY on behalf of the Jewish Agency. During this time Itzik engaged youth and families through informal and educational Israel programming. In return he gained an appreciation and understanding of North American Jewry.

In his role as a guide hr addresses both the historical events of Israel as well as current issues facing the state. Using Jewish texts and personal stories he creates a meaningful connection between visitors and the land of Israel.

When he is not guiding he enjoys listening to music, running and spending time outdoors.

Itzik lives in Jerusalem with his wife Yael and three daughters.

Jamie Salter
Tour Guide

Jamie Salter is a Jewish Educator and officially licensed Israel Tour Guide. He has a BA in Modern History from Oxford University and a MA in Jewish Education from the Hebrew University. Jamie works in many different Jewish educational arenas – in recent years he has taught in a Jewish school in America, guided British Members of Parliament on their trip to Israel, and lectured in England on the most recent archaeological discoveries in the ‘City of David’. He is a regular guide and educator in Israel for, amongst others, Machon Pardes, Hebrew Union College, and Taglit Birthright. Jamie is the co-coordinator of the Ministry of Tourism Tour Guide course at Yad Ben Zvi Institute. Jamie and his family live in Jerusalem.

Jonty Blackman
Tour Guide

Born in South Africa and living in Israel since 1995, Jonty has managed to touch thousands of Jews of all ages, whether accompanying groups as an educator or lecturing on specific subjects. Jonty has taught and guided many groups visiting Israel. He and his family have just returned from a two year ‘shlichut’ in Sydney, Australia, where Jonty worked at Moriah College, serving as the Director of the Experiential Deaprtment of Jewish Education. Jonty has also lectured in various countries, including Australia, England, South Africa, Canada and the United States. “I think my love for what I do is infectious” , he says. Jonty studied for a number of years at Yeshivat Har Etzion and received his Masters Degree in Jewish Education from Hebrew University’s Melton Centre for Jewish Education. The wisest decision Jonty ever made was to marry Abi Ofstein. They live in Jerusalem with their four children.

Josh Even Chen
Tour Guide

A native of North Carolina, Josh has called Israel his home ever since immigrating to Israel as a child with his family in 1978. After graduating with honors from the Israel Studies and Biology Departments of Bar-Ilan University, and completing a teaching degree, Josh went on to complete the Ministry of Tourism tour-guide course. Since 1990, Josh has been involved in guiding and education in Israel and abroad, with Israeli and English speaking groups of varied ages and backgrounds. His favorite locations for guiding are Jerusalem and sites from the Second Temple time period. He believes that the utmost important factor in guiding is connecting the relevancy of the historic narrative to modern life, and thus making the tour even more meaningful and memorable. Josh believes that working as a tour guide and informal educator is a challenge and a privilege, and a unique way to be involved in modern Israeli society. Josh lives in Ma’aleh Adumim with his wife Chana and their six children, and enjoys off-road biking and tennis in his spare time.

Kobi Cooper
Tour Guide

Kobi made Aliyah in 1994 from Philadelphia to serve in the IDF where after getting injured in combat training he ended up in the Old City of Jerusalem a logistical officer in charge of the army educational seminars of Jerusalem.   After an 8-year hiatus where he ended up living in 7 countries on 5 continents and studying in 6 universities (with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Northwestern University) he ended up back in Jerusalem doing religious studies.  Instead of becoming a rabbi however, he switched to studying to be a tour guide and has been guiding families and groups since 2008. In addition to trips focusing on history, politics, religion and outdoor adventure, he has also led numerous tech and culinary tours around the country. He is the father of 3, lives in Jerusalem, and wears lots of hats: storyteller, historian, comic, sommelier, foodie, singer, sports fanatic and is always up for a quest for meaning and adventure. He can’t wait to help you have a meaningful, memorable and enjoyable experience in Israel.

Kuti Ben David
Tour Guide

Kuti is a native Jerusalemite, born in Jerusalem in 1968 to American parents. He spent his childhood in the holy city of Jerusalem where he was able to observe the special atmosphere of the different cultures of the city. The curiosity to know what lies behind the next hill, what the story of each and every place is what caused him to tour, hike, learn and explore the land of Israel. He loved touring as a child, as a teenager, and later.

Kuti studied archeology and “studies of the land of Israel” at Bar Ilan University and has a master’s degree from the University of Haifa in the land Israel Studies and Tourism. Before becoming a guide Kuti worked in a management position for ten years. During those years he was involved in guiding and touring the land of Israel as a sideline and a hobby. After years of work as a manager, he decided to make his main livelihood as a tour guide. This way he feels he can fully express his love for the land of Israel and its heritage.

Today, his wife Tzofia and their six children do not miss any opportunity to tour this amazing country, passing the love for this country and land to the next generation.

Lauren Shachar
Tour Guide
Lavi Kreisman
Tour Guide

Lavi was born in New York City, but moved to Israel at the tender age of three months when his family made Aliyah. Traveling all over Israel while growing up, he developed a love for the land and its unique nature. After serving as a combat soldier in the IDF, he volunteered for a year as an informal educator in the Jewish community in Highland Park, New Jersey. Fascinated by the rich history and variety of geographical marvels that Israel has to offer, Lavi decided to pursue a career as a tour guide, with the hopes of sharing his love for the land with others. And so, upon returning to Israel, he began his studies in dual majors, History and Archaeology of Israel at Bar Ilan University. After graduating with a double Masters, he completed another two year tour-guiding course and became licensed by the Ministry of Tourism. Since 2008, Lavi has been fulfilling his passion for guiding tours all over the country with various types of groups including families, businesses and Birthright trips. What free time he has, he devotes to his beautiful wife and three adorable children.

Rami Reuveni
Tour Guide

Rami was born in Jerusalem in 1983. He began studying Bible and Political Science at Bar-Ilan University in 2008. It was then, as a student, that he started to work in a tourism company. Immediately, he knew that as he loved the Bible and the Biblical land, that becoming a tour guide was his calling. Over the following 3 years, Rami got his BA and received his Tour Guide license from the Israeli Ministry of Tourism. Rami has planned and guided tours throughout Israel for a wide variety of groups, government agencies, international student groups such as Taglit (Birthright), businessmen, and private families. Today. Rami lives in Lod with his wonderful wife, Reut, and their three amazing kids.

Renee Halpert
Tour Guide

Renee is a Canadian-born, native English speaking Tour Guide and educator who made Aliyah with her spouse and young family in 1993 from Toronto. Growing up in Vancouver, she was involved in Jewish youth groups, summer camps and student
leadership, and developed her love of the outdoors. Prior to making Israel her home, she visited Israel 5 times, including two years of study. Renee enjoys exploring Israel’s beautiful landscapes, Jewish heritage, and the country’s culturally diverse society.

Renee’s formal education includes a B.A. in History, an M.Ed in Adult Education, and the rigorous Israeli Tour Guide licensing program. She is an experienced facilitator in corporate, community, and not-for-profit settings. Her background includes
management roles in training development, professional writing for hi-tech, environmental education, and implementing community based programs. As a guide, she enjoys highlighting the diversity in Israeli society, addressing geopolitics, bringing history and archaeology to life, and exploring challenges facing the modern state of Israel. Renee fuses her passion for Israel, knowledge, and creativity, to offer a stimulating and fun touring and learning experience.

Renee loves sharing life with Joe and their four amazing children, practicing yoga, hiking, and cycling.

Rotem Shachar
Tour Guide
My name is Rotem — I was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, and when I was 2 years old, my family moved to the USA, so I had to go with them.
I grew up in Miami, Florida, and went to the University of Florida where I obtained a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. in Soil and Water Science.
After finishing up my studies I moved back to Israel and began a Ph.D. in Hydrology. I didn’t really like that so much so after about a year I left my studies and began my job search. I did 3 different jobs in the field before deciding that as much as I enjoyed my studies at UF, I’m not finding a job that suits me, and I decided to go to school in order to become a tour guide.
Being a tour guide is amazing, and I’m excited to be able to show you this fantastic country.
I offer tours throughout the entire country, and we can work together to custom build the perfect tour for you.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon!
Shlomo Lipschitz
Tour Guide

6th Generation Jerusalemite who is in love with the Land and is passionate about sharing the story of Israel with others. Shlomo has guided and led many international delegations and groups from around the world to Israel and has been described as remarkably knowledgeable, energetic and super friendly!

Shlomo’s great passion and knowledge for history, culture and travel took him across the world to Italy and Holland where he spent time guiding Israeli and American tourists. Shlomo also specialize in tours for high tech vip guests, and consider to be google’s home tour guide. When not guiding Shlomo enjoys producing short films and documentaries and enjoys photography as a hobby

Tal Kazaz
Tour Guide
Being born and raised in Jerusalem, as well as traveling around the world for years, Tal realized that his passion for his home was to know in depth and share with others, the different people, places and stories that connect together into the unique mosaic known as Israel.
Since that realization years ago, Tal has studied Israel’s many sides through the academy as-well-as by foot, and has been granted a license from the ministry of Tourism to lead groups throughout the whole of the country, tell its stories and share its vivid colors with people visiting from all over the world.
Tanya Geiger
Tour Guide

Tanya Geiger is a certified Israeli tour guide, born and raised in Jerusalem. Tanya is an IDF veteran; she will tell you that this was the best and most influential time of her life, which set a strong mark on her Jewish and Israeli identity. Tanya graduated with a BA at Hebrew University studying Anthropology and Sociology. She works for private clients worldwide and specializes in day tours of Jerusalem, modern and Old city. Tanya works at the Kotel tunnels as a guide as well. Tanya offers tailor made tours for individuals, business conferences and families, Jews, Christians and non-affiliated. Tanya is a qualified driver for tourist so she can offer driving services together with the guiding.

Tomer Chazan
Tour Guide

Tomer Chazan was born in Israel, but spent much of his childhood in Johannesburg, South Africa. He served in the elite Egoz counter-guerilla unit for three years and following his service, studied to be a guide at Lander Institute, Touro College. Since then, he has been working with agencies guiding large and small groups, families and individuals. In 2010, Tomer obtained his Handesai Diploma in Interactive Communications from Haddasah College in Jerusalem. A large part of his career is dedicated to combining media with education. Tomer uses “edutainment” to guide and bring across his knowledge in a fun, educational and dynamic way. Tomer lives in Gush Etzion with his wife and daughters. His passions include flying, scuba diving, 4×4 off-roading, cycling, kickboxing and playing guitar.

Uri Vogel
Tour Guide

Uri Vogel, a licensed tour guide, was born in 1973 in Haifa. He graduated from Bar Ilan University in economics and political science and worked for 10 years in the Israeli defense ministry dealing with Palestinian terrorism. Uri specializes in current history of the Middle East based on his studies and experience, and also in Educational, Family and Biblical tours. Uri, his wife Noa and their 5 children are leading founding member of a mixed religious-secular, ecological group that built their community in the south of Israel.

Yomi Groner
Tour Guide

Yomi was born in Binghamton NY. Emigrating to Jerusalem at age 10, Yomi had the greatest opportunity of being able to live and learn in our eternal capital. Yomi worked in college during the summers at an archeological dig outside of Jerusalem which led him to a love of history , archeology and biblical geography. Yomi has led tours throughout the world; Israel, China, Japan, Russia, New Zealand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Washington DC and the Galapagos Islands. Yomi’s clients include the associated press, Christie’s auction house , and Israel’s prime ministers office. Yomi’s passion is guiding and sharing the wonderful history of Israel with Israelis and tourists from abroad. Yomi is a graduate of the Archaeological Seminars Tour Guides course and has been a licensed guide by the State of Israel for the past seven years.

Yonit Schiller
Tour Guide

Born in Israel, Yonit grew up in Buffalo, New York, where she developed an affection for snow and hot chocolate. Yonit was an international student at York University (Toronto), where she received a BA in History and Religious Studies. Deciding to make a change in her life which reflected her deepening Jewish identity and love for Israel, Yonit made aliyah at the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War in 2006. Upon completing the MA program in Jewish Education at the Hebrew University, the schoolroom setting could not contain Yonit’s boundless energy or provide an outlet for adventure. It was at this juncture that she set her sights on becoming a tour guide. In her mind, there is nothing more exciting than walking the land and connecting to one’s roots.

When she isn’t inspiring Jewish youth, exploring the Holy Land with Christian ministers, or touring the hills of the Judean Desert with Bar/Bat Mitzvah families, Yonit works as an events and documentary photographer.

Zalman Spivak
Tour Guide

Zalman is originally from Baltimore MD and made Aliyah with his family at the age of seven. He grew up in Jerusalem and Efrat and joined the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were he served in the Nachal Infantry Brigade for three years, completing his services as a staff-sergeant. He has studied at Hebrew University and Herzog College, and served as the Israel Shaliach (Emissary) in Los Angeles for the Jewish Agency and The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. Since 2001, Zalman has been a freelance educator and tour-guide with participants from all over the world, in Israel and abroad. He is married to Bracha. They have four children and live in Nofei Prat, a young pluralistic Jewish community in the foothills of the Judean Desert. When not guiding, Zelman likes to spend time with his family, read, cook and of course, travel the country.

Zvi Levran
Tour Guide

Zvi was born in New York and has lived in Israel for 39 years. While in the U.S. he worked in Jewish education in numerous school and camp settings and organized for Israel on college campuses, eventually directing the Student Department of the American Zionist Youth Foundation.

Zvi graduated Brandeis University (BA, Jewish History) and later obtained an MA from the Hebrew University in Jewish History and Jewish Education.

Since arriving in Israel he has worked for the “Melitz Centers for Jewish-Zionist Education” as facilitator and supervisor, coordinator of Diaspora Staff Training, staff member of the Israel Experience School and as shaliach (Israeli Emissary) in New York. He has taught Jewish history in Israeli High schools (three years) and has served as educational staff for numerous American programs in Israel, including the Young Judaea Year Course and Rockland Community College.

Zvi is a licensed tour guide since 1988 and has been a member of the staff of Archaeological Seminars. He served as an Education Officer (lieutenant) at the IDF Officer’s Academy and later as a Commander of a Jerusalem based IDF Seminar Center. He continued in an educational capacity in the IDF reserves until recently. He has also studied at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies and the Kerem Teachers Seminar.

Zvi is a former President and current active member and volunteer at a promiment Reform congregation in Jerusalem – Kehilat Kol HaNeshama. He is an avid off-road bicycle rider and has been involved since its inception with the Alyn Children’s Hospital Charity Bikeathon (18 years). He counts photography and hiking in the out-of-doors as additional hobbies.

Zvi has extensive experience in both group tourism work as well as in individual guiding, with Jewish and Christian visitors.

Zvi and his wife Debbi, a lawyer, live in Jerusalem and are the parents of two boys Yaniv (25 – living in the north of Israel and working as a rappelling and rock climbing expert and instructor), Amit (23 – currently serving in the IDF), and a girl, Noa (18 – participating in a “gap year” pre-Army leadership program in the Galilee).

Zvi’s educational style and technique are influenced by his non-formal and formal teaching experience with adults and youth. Drama, costumes, dialogue, role-plays and games often accompany the presentation of history, sites and issues. Biblical and traditional texts along with modern poetry, prose and music provide additional stimuli for discussion and analysis. Values are discussed and dilemmas are raised in an objective manner that is participant focused, making for a lively exchange of ideas and opinions amongst varied ages. In addition, Zvi’s summer camp background in the U.S. and his nature, biking and hiking experiences in Israel provide the know-how for developing and framing “off the beaten track” and “people to people” experiences in a positive atmosphere with group bonding.




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