In the Media

Press Mentions

Press Mentions

What makes being a Tour Guide in Israel truly special is the diversity of people I encounter. Each tour presents a unique experience, with no two groups ever having the same needs. Occasionally, I collaborate with Journalists and TV crews, whose requirements starkly contrast those of typical Tourist Groups. Nevertheless, they receive the same personalized service from me, which includes providing insights into the inner workings of the country, as well as assistance with bureaucratic matters. Oftentimes, my presence plays a significant role in the success of these productions. Journalists will then express their appreciation by crediting me by name in their articles or documentaries. On this page, you will find a compilation of such mentions, showcasing my contributions to their endeavors.

April 2019 – The German town of Wiehl and the Israeli town of Yokne’am are sister cities. As head of the local Town-Partnership Association, Gerhard Hermann organizes school trips to Israel, during which he visits the country with groups of 17-year-old German high school students. The aim of these trips is for the German students to meet their Israeli counterparts and to learn from them about such topics as Israeli society, politics and religion. To be allowed to guide these students during their trip to Israel was a very important assignment for me. As their tour guide, I accompanied them to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and to the northern region of Israel. Upon his return back home, Gerhard Hermann wrote an article entitled Journey to the Near East, which appeared on the official website of the city of Wiehl. The article, which mentions me by name, describes the special importance of bringing together young people from Germany and Israel, as well as the strong impact that this trip has had on the students.

March 2019 – As a member of the small Catholic community in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Wolfgang Fröhling organizes a trip to Israel for various parishes from his region. Under the religious leadership of Pastor Bernhard Scholz, I was tasked with introducing the tour group to the Holy Land as the setting for the biblical stories over the course of 14 days. On our trip, we traveled through Israel from north to south and met representatives of the various religious and ethnic groups that make up the mosaic of Israeli society. Back in Germany, church leader Jürgen Grieger set about writing an article about the trip for the church newsletter Pfarrmitteilungen (Pastoral Announcements). The article, entitled Israel – Promised Land – we were there, describes the trip to Israel with me as the tour guide as a unique opportunity to get to know and understand the Holy Land and its people better. The highlights of the tour included not only a visit to Nazareth for the Feast of the Annunciation, but also an adventurous journey through Timna Park in the Israel’s south and a visit to the Bedouin town of Rahat.

March 2019 – Americans Jim and Kathy Uszler visit Israel in January 2019 as part of a three-week trip through the Middle East on a journey called The Suez Canal Crossing. Participants on this trip have the opportunity to get to know Israel, Jordan and Egypt on a cruise through the region. I was the tour guide for the Israeli part of this adventure and was therefore able to show my guests Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the Galilee. Having worked in the media all his life, Jim’s hobby is hosting a program called Passport to Adventure on the local radio station Huntley Community Radio, where he reports on his numerous trips to faraway places. When Jim returned to the US, he asked me to appear on his show as an interview-guest to talk about my personal story, my work as a tour guide, and about Israel as a popular tourist destination. The interview with me begins at minute 7:25.

March 2019 – Journalist Rainer Heubeck reports in a fourth article about his visit to various nature-sites in Israel in 2017. Together with three other German journalists, Rainer was a guest of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, which had hired me as the official tour guide for this intimate group. The article, entitled Salt Deserts and Marshes, was published in the weekly industry magazine Touristik Aktuell. Rainer describes his adventurous jeep tour through the Judean Desert, his hike through the desert oasis of Ein Gedi and his visit to the Hula Nature Reserve. In his article, Rainer comes to the conclusion that despite its tiny size, Israel has an immense variety of geographical zones and is therefore a highly recommended destination for nature lovers.

January 2019 – In a third article about his visit to Israel, journalist Rainer Heubeck again describes his impressions of Israel’s nature-sites in the desert and the North. The original trip was organized by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism in 2017 under the heading Three Climate Zones in Five Days. In his new article entitled Salt Deserts, Waterfalls and Artificial Marshes – From the Dead Sea to the Galilee, Rainer reports on a jeep tour in the Judean Desert, a hike in the desert oasis of Ein Gedi and on a visit to the Hula Nature Reserve in the Galilee. The article – in which I am mentioned by name – was published in the online travel magazine Schwarz auf Weiss.

September 2018 – Two years after his first trip to Israel, journalist Rainer Heubeck writes another article about his visit. At the time, the trip was organized by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism under the headline Three Climate Zones in Five Days. In his new article entitled Salt Deserts, Waterfalls and Artificial Marshes, Rainer describes his impressions of the Judean Desert, the Dead Sea and the Hula Nature Reserve. The article – in which I am mentioned by name again – was published in Forum – Das Wochenmagazin.

July 2018 – German news channel N-TV (and later also Cable Channel ANIXE) broadcasts another episode of the series titled This is my …, in which various actors and celebrities travel to a specific country in order to introduce it to viewers. Sebastian Ströbel, who is best known for starring in the German TV series Die Bergretter (The Mountain Rescuers), was accompanied by an N-TV camera crew during his visit to Israel in January 2018 and was guided by me through the country. Together we visited the city of Eilat, where Sebastian swam with dolphins, while at the Ramon Crater, Sebastian rapelled down a steep cliff. In the Negev Desert he visited a Bedouin camp and rode on a camel, and in the Timna Nature Park he admired the fascinating rock formations. The days with Sebastian and the N-TV crew flew by very quickly, mainly because we had a lot of fun together and laughed all the way throughout the production. The result of all this hard work can be admired in the adventurous documentary called This is my Israel, in which I myself make an appearance beginning at minute 17:13.

April 2018 – Katharina Schmidt-Hirschfelder is a journalist for the German-Jewish newspaper Jüdische Allgemeine. For Israel’s 70th anniversary, she is collecting ideas for a planned trip through Israel, which will last 70 hours. For her article, she interviews German TV actor Sebastian Ströbel, whom I had the pleasure of guiding here in Israel during the filming of a documentary. In the article, entitled Anything but boring, Katharina writes about Sebastian’s and my thoughts, ideas and suggestions for those planning a first trip to Israel. In the interview, I explained how Tel Aviv and especially Jerusalem are the minimum building blocks of any trip to Israel. I also described the city of Haifa as a hidden gem, as it is one of the few places in the Holy Land that was not visited by Abraham, Mohammed or Jesus.

July 2016 – Travel writer and newspaper journalist Charukesi Ramadurai hails from the South Indian city of Bangalore. She and three of her colleagues visited Israel as guests of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism and I had the pleasure of guiding the group through the country. During our visit to Jerusalem, I showed my Indian guests not only the important historical and religious sites of the city, but also some secret corners hidden in small alleys far off the beaten track. In her third newspaper article about her trip to Israel, Charukesi describes her experiences with the locals, as well as her feelings about visiting some of the holiest places in the world. She also discusses the virtues of the Hebrew word Balagan (Chaos), which perfectly describes the everyday lifestyle of the average Israeli. The article titled Notes from Jerusalem appeared in the E-Paper LiveMint and mentions me by name.

June 2016 – Indian travel writer and freelance journalist Anurag Mallick from Bangalore travels to Israel with three other Indian colleagues, as a guest of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism. In his article Notes from Israel: So long and thanks for all the hummus, Anurag describes his experiences as an Indian visitor to Israel. The article, which appeared in the newspaper The New Indian Express, mentions me by name as Anurag’s tour guide. I can only say that I really enjoyed reliving this great journey while reading his article.

June 2016 – Journalist Charukesi Ramadurai, who hails from Bangalore in India, visits Israel with three Indian colleagues as a guest of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism. In a second article about her experiences in Israel, she describes her search for a national cuisine and the ultimate realization that no such cuisine exists in Israel. Since this is a country of immigrants, Israeli cuisine varies not by region but by country of origin. The article What’s cooking in Israel, in which I am mentioned by name, appeared in the newspaper The Hindu BusinessLine.

June 2016 – Charukesi Ramadurai is an English-speaking journalist from Bangalore in southern India. Together with three other Indian colleagues, she visits Israel as a guest of the Ministry of Tourism. As their guide, my task is to primarily show them the northern region of the Galilee and to put the focus of the trip on the topic of Israeli cuisine. Of course, neither Jerusalem nor Tel Aviv were left out of our itinerary, so that Charukesi and her colleagues were able to get a complete picture of the diversity of Israel as a tourist destination. After the trip, the Indian daily newspaper The Hindu published the article Notes from Tel Aviv, in which I am mentioned by name.

December 2016 – Doug Stephan is an American radio talk show host, who already has several Israel-visits under his belt. This time around, he is visiting Israel in order to host his daily radio talk show from here. During his visit to the country, I had the opportunity to show Doug the various attractions and sites around Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. As it turned out, Doug is a very open-minded and knowledgeable person, which made his visit to Israel particularly interesting for me as his tour guide. On the last day of his stay in Israel, he interviewed me live on his radio talk show On Air with Doug, Jen and Victoria.

November 2016 – Birgit Querengäßer, a journalist for German women’s magazine Jolie, visits Tel Aviv in order to write an article on vegan life in Israel. Together we crisscross the city and also visit an organic farm outside of Tel Aviv. To my great surprise, I learn that the vegan lifestyle has developed into a global movement and that Tel Aviv has become its epicenter. The pinnacle of our trip is reached when I take Birgit to Jerusalem, where we go on the hunt for the most delicious hummus in the Old City. By the end of the trip, Birgit understands that she has found veggie-heaven here in Israel. She describes her experiences of her trip in the aptly named article In Veggie-Paradise, which was published in February 2017 and which also mentions me by name.

September 2016 – Rainer Heubeck is one of five German journalists, whom I have the pleasure of guiding through Israel on behalf of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism. The theme of our tour is Three Climate Zones in Five Days. Following this trip, the newspaper Neue Westfälische Zeitung is publishing an article entitled Salt Deserts, Marshes and Biblical Places, in which Rainer describes his impressions of the Judean Desert, the Ein Gedi desert oasis and the Hula Nature Reserve. The article also mentions me by name.

September 2016 – With much pleasure I accompany five German journalists through Israel as their tour guide. The trip is officially organized by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism under the headline Three Climate Zones in Five Days. Nevertheless, my guests are just as interested in day-to-day life in Israel, as well as in the country’s political issues. For this reason, I organize various face-to-face meetings with local Israelis for my guests, thereby allowing them to learn more about Israeli society, politics and religion. Following the trip, journalist Corinna Kuhs wrote an article in the Aachener Zeitung, entitled Contrasts create the magic of Israel, in which I am mentioned by name.

September 2016 – A very special wedding takes place in Nahariya, the northernmost city on Israel’s coast. Having met on a trip to India, bride Hadas hails from Israel while groom Hans hails from Austria. The bride’s family commissioned me to plan and organize the perfect Israel-trip for the Austrian guests, which consisted of the groom’s friends and family. As a tour guide, I was able to introduce my guests to this wonderful country and its people, which resulted in all of us having had a lot of fun together while learning a lot. After returning to Austria, Andreas Rath – a good friend of the groom – wrote an article in the local Austrian newspaper about the trip and the magical wedding ceremony. The article, in which I am mentioned by name, is entitled A special wedding in Israel.

February 2016 – Markus Rosch is the foreign correspondent in Israel for German public TV channel ARD. He calls me up, asking whether he can interview me in front of the camera in my capacity as Tour Guide and Israel-expert. The interview is then supposed to appear in his weekly Video-Blog called The Near East Close Up. In the interview, I am supposed to talk about Masada, the mountain fortress built by King Herod the Great in the Judean Desert 2000 years ago. Having never stood in front of a camera before, I was somewhat apprehensive about the task at hand. How did I fare in the end? Find out for yourself by watching the Video-Blog episode entitled The Masada Mythos.

November 2015 – A group of teachers from Bavaria visits Israel. As it turns out, this is not just a group of colleagues from work, but also a group of old friends who have been traveling together for 17 years already. As their tour guide, I spent an entire week with this group, during which we crossed the Israel from North to South. At the end of the trip, group leader Wolfgang Lippert took me aside and said: Ofer, we’ve been doing these trips together for 17 years. Of all the tour guides we’ve had so far, you were the best! Upon their return, the group published an article about their trip in the local newspaper. The article, entitled Where Jesus Dwelled And War Raged also mentions me by name.

Now is the Time

You have been thinking about visiting your family in Israel for a long time already? You have always wanted to visit the Holy Land and walk in the footsteps of the Bible? You have been wondering why Israel is in conflict with its neighbors and whether the stories you hear on the news reflect the reality on the ground? These are only some of the reasons why you should get in touch with me in order to start talking about your Trip to Israel. Let me enlighten you with regards to the adventures awaiting you on one of my Private Tours, which I will tailor to your individual preferences in order to make this an experience you won’t soon forget. Click on the button on the left in order to be taken to the Contact Form page.

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