We really appreciated Baruch from the start. Once he realized we had been in Israel/Jordon for almost two weeks he rearranged our travels so we saw, in addition to what we wanted, some additional sites that were of interest. We felt free to ask any questions and he answered freely. You could tell from some of his comments he was ex Israel military. He was very knowledgeable and was able to convey some complex issues into concepts that we could understand. Yousef, was again a winner. For some reason we felt very comfortable from the begging with him. Again, your country has a very complex history and he was able to expand in great detail the issues facing the Palestine people. He was a very relaxed and easy person to relate to. He also took us to some out of the way places which I believe not everyone gets to experience. We really appreciated the time we spent with him in and around Jericho. This was our first time with private guides and we enjoyed the experience tremendously! I would recommend your company and both of the guides you provided us. We will happily recommend your company to anyone considering a private tour. And a big thanks to YOU. You don't know how much we depended upon you.
Danny & Carole James, Ocala, FL
I had a wonderful time. I don't think I could praise Menashe enough. His knowledge of the country and the history both religious and non religious is incredible. He is also one of the nicest people I have had the pleasure of meeting and I would recommend him to anyone.
Walter Hall, Charels Town, WV
I am really glad we had 5 days with Inon - he was a wonderful guide who was able to really help us understand the history and the politics of Israel. Thanks again- we have had an amazing 14 days here in Israel and have a much better understanding of the people, the politics and the land and I am grateful for that.
Lisa Kling, Lexington MA
Everything was absolutely wonderful!! We had the most incredible time and it truly was an experience of a lifetime. It is something we will remember forever. Yohay was great! I highly recommend him to anyone and especially for Spanish speakers. He was very knowledgeable and went at our pace. Thank you very much for everything and I'm sure I'll be contacting you in the future when we return to Israel once again. I will be sure to recommend your company to all my family and friends. Many, many thanks!
Bina Surgeon, Washington DC
The trip was amazing. The itinerary worked out great. Inon was a wonderful guide. The family liked him very much. Every visit was meaningful to all of us. Thank you for everything. This wouldn't have been such a successful and wonderful journey without you. Please stay in touch.
Allan Greenberg, Baltimore, MD
The tour was GREAT! Dafna was much appreciated for her knowledge and courtesy. I have been asked many times about my favorite thing about our visit. In all honesty, I cannot choose just one single thing. Old Jerusalem, the Churches, Sea of Galilee, Dead Sea, Masada, Caesarea, Megiddo, and the Museum of Israel and the Holocaust Museum were all very impressive and thought provoking. I took over 1025 photos! Thank you for your service.
Mike Jonez, Yuma, AZ
We had a terrific time. Inon is a great guide and a very nice person. We all had a lot of fun. Highlights, it is hard to say – the old cities of Jaffa and Akko and getting to go up on the Golan Heights. Especially for me was the beautiful farms and orchards. All in all, it was just a great trip.
Ray Gipson, Hockley, TX
Thank you so much Yael. We had such a wonderful trip, thanks to you and Baruch. We already miss him and Israel, and of course, we will be back. We will definitely recommend you to all our friends who are visiting Israel. Thanks again for everything and will stay in touch.
Linda and Bill Frumkin, New Yorrk, NY
We had a wonderful time thanks to the organization (by yourself), the guides (Jacob and Raed), and the company. The hotels in Israel were excellent; the one in Amman could have been better. The guest house in Petra was excellent. Both the guides were very knowledgeable. Jerusalem was the highlight (followed by Rosh Hankira, Jaffa, and Haifa). We wish we could have had another day in Jerusalem to enjoy the old city. That was our time constraint. We were a bit rushed because of the number of places to visit. But Jacob did a wonderful job. The rest of Israel was no less fascinating especially the Galillee area with all its history which Jacob was very knowledgeable about. The Kibbutz run hotel was excellent.
Rajendra Vaidya, Los Alamos NM
Again, we had a fantastic time. There were many highlights! Naftali was great – knowledgeable, flexible, willing. He drove a van – which was roomy and comfortable. We loved Kibbutz Hagoshrim – wish we had had one more day there. I really liked the Melody – it was small, good breakfast, nice people – while not “on” the beach, it’s very close – and certainly more personal than the Hilton. On the food front, we loved loved loved Manta Ray and Herbert Samuel. Really enjoyed the culinary tour with Orly. Chakra in Jerusalem was good too; sorry we didn’t make it into Machne Yehuda – maybe next time. We had a great time, and I look forward to going back soon!
Ruth Sarfaty, Teaneck NJ
Marilyn and I wish to both thank you for your planning, executing and bringing to fruition a “ dream come true”. When we first started thinking of possibly taking two of our five grandchildren on a trip of a lifetime to Eretz Yisrael, I never would have thought it could happen. Dafna, was the most perfect choice of guide you could have made for our family trip. Her knowledge, her compassion, her stories, her showing the connections between the sights we were standing on, the biblical stories our grandchildren heard when they were younger, and all the interconnections between the old testament with the new testament was just fabulous… To stand on mountain tops, to enter valleys of history, to enter caves where biblical stories took place, what an awesome powering feeling. All this and more, Dafna did for us and the children. Going to Israel now, and being guided by Dafna and you, it was such an inspiring and great feeling seeing Israel though the eyes of our grandchildren, even though we ourselves had been there before. It was truly now different and special. We especially liked the tree planting ceremony continuing the tradition with planting one more tree in the hills of Judea and watch them grow tall and fulfill the dreams and memories of generations gone by. What more can I say, but Todah, Todah.
David and Marilyn Samson, Deerfield, IL
My mom and I had a wonderful time in Israel... It's hard to imagine that such a small country has so many incredible sights to see... We were there for two weeks, and though Jacob really kept us on the move, there are still places I'd like to go back and visit.... Next time! The tour was very much what we'd hoped for, and our time with Jacob was the best!... His wealth of knowledge about all aspects of Israeli history, culture, and politics, not to mention his stories and humorous anecdotes, made our time with him most enjoyable!.. Spending time with him was definitely a "highlight" for us! Other highlights for me include the nature walks (Tel Dan, Banyas, Ein Gedi, etc.), the ruins of Caesarea and Beit She'an, the beautiful gardens of Gethsemane and Mount of the Beatitudes, and the food!!! I also loved having the chance to swim in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and especially the Dead Sea! I would certainly recommend Gems in Israel to others interested in visiting "the holy land." Thank you again for all your guidance and support during this memorable journey.
Erin Mason, Los Angeles, CA
We loved Yossi. He was flexible, knowlegable and wonderful. The whole thing was perfect. You did a great job and we really really appreciate it. Thanks again.
Tal Kahana, Los Angeles, CA
First, I have to let you know that the order in which we traveled throughout Israel (our “program” as Naftali would call it) really made sense. We could begin to see and understand why Israel has struggled to maintain the Golan. We could understand how these struggles fit into Israel’s history as we visited Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. It all seemed to make logical sense! Linda, Pammie and I cannot say thank you enough for the excellent planning you did for our trip. Naftali was an amazing guide! We thoroughly enjoyed his gentle mannerism and amazing knowledge of the country. We loved how he was able to take us to “Gems of Israel” that are not necessarily seen by just every tourist. I want to thank you again for all the time, attention and detail you gave to ensuring our trip was enjoyable from start to finish! David and I both felt that no stone was left unturned from the months of planning through each and every day of our itinerary. It’s hard to say what the highlights were for me as I loved everything! For sure the Bell Caves, S’Fat, Rosh Hanikra, Ein Gedi, Yad Vashem and Bet Shean were incredible. I also loved our impromptu visits to the goat farm for lunch and the Trappist monastery. Food! OMG it was AMAZING! Americans could stand to learn quite a bit from the way Israelis eat. The breakfasts were wonderful and every lunch place we stopped at was fabulous. I was able to eat healthfully everywhere we went. Hotels: all were excellent. Loved Hagoshrim…wished we had a bit more down time to enjoy the serenity. The meals were wonderful there. The Dan’s were very nice…would have loved a better view and higher floor in the Boutique but honestly, we weren’t there very much. Loved the warm environment of Hotel Berdichevsky. The staff was very nice and the room was great… Once again, we had the most amazing trip and would not hesitate to recommend you and Naftali to friends and family.
David and Linda Shapiro, Naples FL
Thank you for your follow-up, excellent tour arrangements and thoughtfulness from the beginning of the arrangement process to the end of the actual tour itself. Both Eric and I found Israel to be one of the highlights of our entire trip (Greece, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt) and we did enjoy the time that we spent with Jacob. I enjoyed Israel for its level of diversity between the different groups of people that live within Israel and seeing the ample and various agricultural aspects of the country. Eric enjoyed the historical and religious significance of Israel. The Dan (Boutique) hotel was very nice. The hotel at the Sea of Galilee was OK. As for Jordan the diving in Aqaba was fantastic and seeing Petra was a very worthwhile experience. The Movenpick Cairo Pyramids hotel was a very nice hotel and super accommodating of our early check-in and late check-out. The guide in Cairo was very knowledgeable about the things that we visited in Cairo. The boat cruise had very nice accommodations and was a super enjoyable experience with regards to the scenery and the places that we stopped at along the way (Robert the guide from the boat was excellent) with OK food. Again thank you for all of your efforts.
Jeff and Eric Zeak, Manhattan, KS
Just a note to thank you for our outstanding Israel experience. The variety of sites we visited encompassed both the beauty and history of Israel. Your planning, organization, recommendations, and advise were all excellent and helpful. The accommodations were very nice and centrally located. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable, pleasant, energetic and showed initiative. All in all, we had a wonderful time and would highly recommend your service to anyone planning a trip to Israel.
Ronni and Harvey Ableman, Brooklyn, NY
I wanted to thank youfor arranging a great trip for the 4 of us. For Ivy and myself we could not have been more pleased. We were very pleased to have met you on the journey and were happy to have the personal contact. What was most impressive for me was the great service and patience you had prior to the trip and the coordination and timing of every detail during the trip. Every single meeting and pick up was prompt and worry-free. Jacob was patient, pleasant, knowledgeable, prompt, and always in good humor. The itinerary was packed and satisfying including a good combination of nature, histrory, and flexibility. The Petra trip was indeed a highlight. All of the hotels were good recommendtions. We were assigned the newly constructed wing in Ha Goshrim and it was outstanding. The rooms in Mt. Zion could use an upgrade but the hotel in general makes up for it in service and character. The Tel Aviv hotel was very good with no complaints and good food and service..If we can be in contact with any prospective clients we would be glad to do so. Thanks again for a super trip.
Chuck Goldman and Ivy Braun, Brooklyn, NY
A note to let you know we had a wonderful trip. Everything was great: hotels, itinerary and most especially Jacob. My kids absolutely loved him and hung onto his every word. He isnot only informative but also has a dry sense of humor that we all enjoyed. There was absolutely no way we could have seen or learned more in the time that we had. On the last day, rather than bringing us directly to Bethlehem as agreed upon, he brought us to Caesaria and down the coast, I think because he heard us regret we wouldn't get to see the Mediterranean. This was beyond the call of duty and took many hours longer than the day originally planned for, but we enjoyed it so much. Another super bonus was the places he took us or sent us to eat. I think we will have fond memories of a few places, but Pizza in Nazareth was a standout. Thank you again. For a quick, last minute request, you did a beautiful job for us.
Breda Beckerle, Sandy Point, NY
Our time with Baruch couldn't have been better! He was so informative on all aspects of Israel culture, politics, history. He was very sensitive to what we wanted to do. And best of all, he had a great sense of humor. Thanks for the referral. I look forward to another trip to Israel.
Dianne Callan, S.Dennis, MA
I am just waiting to board my flight to Paris and can't stop thinking about what a great tour of Israel we have just had. Everything was perfect from the accommodations, to the food, to the all of the fantastic sights we were able to experience. As for Baruch, he is one of the best guides I have ever seen in my life, without him I'm sure we would have enjoyed things but his knowledge of Israel, history and religion really made this tour a step above my expectations. Lastly our day with Orly (culinary tour/cooking class) and her family was the perfect way to finish a great week here in Israel. We thoroughly enjoyed all the food we made as well as getting to know her and her family a little bit. I highly recommend this experience for anyone who visits Israel. I want to thank you again for all your hard work it really made all the difference in this great trip.
Scott Southwell, Tokyo, Japan
It was great meeting you too.I am just sorry that we could not spend more time together. Baruch was terrific. The kids did not want him to leave at the end of our tour. Baruch was very informative about the history of Israel and the politics of Israel. He also knew how to balance our needs...Our trip was very diverse. It included hiking, rapelling, digging in an archeological dig with the head archeologist, getting to know kangaroos who made aliyah, and learning about the ancient and modern history of Israel. What more could you ask for? Also, I have to tell you, the best place we stayed was Ein Harod. The views are amazing, the cats warm and friendly and so were the lambs. I will do my best to recommend others to you.
Gail Bauchman, New York, NY
Hi Yael. Great to hear from you. We love Dafna. She is the greatest tour guide ever. I hope we did not burn her out because we did so much. I just think we are so lucky to have found you all. I still can't get over it. If you have any future travelers that want to ask about your tour company send them my way. In terms of hotels Sheraton was in great location but was tight space, Mt. Zion was gorgeous... Scots was awesome LOVED it, Dan in Haifa was terrific too. Daphna's food places were all superb... we want more now! Photographers were great. What can I say I loved everything. Thanks for everything!
Claudia Ravins, Oyster Bay Cove, NY
Hi Yael, We had a wonderful trip. You arranged everything wonderfully. We especially want you to know that Dafna was a delight in every way. She was a perfect fit for us with her knowledge of archeology and we enjoyed all of our time with her. I dont know where she gets her energy,she packed so much into every day.We were able to see much more than we expected. We all miss her since we got quite attached to her.You both are great ambassadors for Israel. Thanks from all of us.
Angie Chernin, Ann Arbor MI
Dafna Zuriel was my private guide. I attended her tour with the Chernin family in December of 2009. Dafna gave us a rich tour and an experience of a life time. Her guided trip is one I will cherish for a lifetime. The pictures I captured and historical knowledge I am compiling for high school presentations. My World History teachers are exstatic about this! I could not create this presentation without Dafna's extensive historical knowledge of Israel. Danfa is a remarkable guide and I highly recommend her. Thank you for hiring Dafna and having such a qualified educated individual on your staff. Sincerely, JoAnn Perry,MLIS
JoAnn Perry, Loveland, CO
Our trip was FANTASTIC. From the planning to the culmination of the trip the process was seamless, stress free. Your choice of hotels and kibbutzim was great. Tal Segal is the most knowledgeable guide I ever met, he was punctual, flexible, thorough, and a pleasure to travel with. Several times we thought he should be the next Teddy Kolleck. A+ in all aspects.
Ruben Niesvizky, Forest Hills, NY
The tour with Zamir was great. His knowledge of the geography and history and his insights regarding the connection between the two, were invaluable. Thank you so much for organizing this and I will contact you again on my next trip to Israel.
Rise Ain, Potomac, MD
Many thanks for a terrific trip to Israel, Yael! Arie & Asher took great care of us, and my whole family felt that the trip was very enjoyable and educational -- a big success! It's difficult to guide a group of three generations, but Arie was equally attuned to the needs of the grandparents and the seven grandchildren, whose ages ranged from 11 to 20. The itinerary was terrific, and Arie made thoughtful adjustments to it as our needs and interests became clear to him. The accommodations were excellent -- comfortable and reasonably priced. And Arie knew exactly where to find the best falafel and schwarma! We so appreciate all of the efforts made on our behalf and on how responsive you, Arie, and Asher (our driver) were to all of our diverse interests and requests. We can't wait to come back some time during the warmer weather and have Arie teach our kids to kite surf in the Mediterranean Sea!"
Carol Steiker, Newton, MA
Doug, Adam, Mara, and I are now back home and so I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for arranging our trip of a lifetime. This is something that we will remember for the rest of our lives, particularly because we experienced this trip together. In the coming year, both of my children will be married, so this was the last opportunity to spend this special time with them – and to do it at a magical place: Israel. Yael, every part of our trip’s accommodations were perfectly set. There were no problems with the driver who picked us up from the airport and returned us at the end of the trip. All hotels were properly scheduled, and each met or exceeded my expectations. Each place had its own charm, and I’d return to any of the hotels. Thank you for these choices and for setting this up so that there was ZERO hassle on our part. This removed any anxieties along the way, and made the trip quite pleasurable. Dafna. Well, I could probably write pages about her, but I will be brief. Simply put, she will be with me for a long time in my head and my heart. She was the perfect guide for us, although I know she wondered if this was true from time to time. I hope that by the end of the two weeks she understood that we liked her very much, and she had become more than a walking encyclopedia of Israeli knowledge. She rearranged our itinerary in appropriate ways, took us to a few favorite mountain spots of hers, and most importantly she sensed what each of us needed at varying times, and she always accommodated each person’s needs;
Marty Siegel, Bloomington, Indiana
The trip was a blast! Thank you for putting us in touch with Rabbi Bearman and Gideon. The Bat Mitzvah service was lovely. My daughter on the ancient temple steps with the city of Jerusalem in the background is the site I am not likely to forget… Gideon was an absolute delight! He clearly knew a lot about the places we visited with him, and he seemed to genuinely enjoy talking about Israel. He even acted out certain historical events for the kids. The few days that we spent with him were absolutely the highlight of the trip!
Rina Alberstein, Clifton, VA
We are home. Thanks so much for all of your work on our trip. We had a great time and can't wait to return. Thanks for making the extra effort for the Kotel tour… the hotel in Tel Aviv worked out well and was well worth it for the few hours that we had. We arrived and went to the beach for swimming and dinner before cleaning up and going to the airport. Max and Sarah thought that it was very cool to be swimming in the Mediterranean Sea. The Scots Hotel is a beauty and was a nice change from the larger hotels that we stayed in. Their artwork in the lobbies, their gardens and their pool were stunning. We liked touring with Zamir. He was knowledgeable and, most importantly he had a knack for finding great places for lunch. Thanks again for everything.
Ann Greenstein and Jeff Farbman Arlington Heights, IL
Your guidence was like that of a prophet. You need to know the important role you play in the lives of the travelors you meet. You made Israel come to life for both the kids and adults of our group. It is a great responsibilty to be a teacher. You are a fine teacher of Jewish and Israeli life and history. You play an important role for future generations. When our children, our future, think and speak of eretz yisraoel, they will relate what you taught and shared with them. Toda Rabah
Mark Weiss, Chicago, IL
Thank you so much for the itinerary. It was exactly what Cheryl and I wanted. And, thank you for Tal. He was the perfect match for the type of trip we envisioned. Knowledgeable, part mountain goat, part guide, exceptionally professional, he showed us Israel, its people, its history, its uniqueness. Thank you again. .
Leona Rothbaum, Lake Worth FL
Our day at Ein Harod was certainly one of the highlights of our trip. The art museum is a gem, and I can't imagine why so few tourists know about it. We found it to be especially meaningful that the museum was founded in 1948; how wonderful that the preservation and display of art was deemed a priority at such a perilous time and place. Thanks so much for all your planning on our behalf, and for the flawless execution of those plans. We have already recommended you to another friend....We couldn't have been happier with our trip. Each day with Baruch was better than the day before.
Marilyn and David Samson, Deerfield, IL
We had an extraordinary time in Israel. The country offers so much on so many different levels. Zamir did a wonderful job showing us highlights over a relatively short period of time. We greatly benefitted from his extensive knowledge of the country and its history, as well as his wisdom. He was wonderful with our son, and I really appreciated his guiding us and keeping us focused, as well as his flexibility. I would highly recommend him as a guide based on our experience. Thank you also for your flexibility given our changing itinerary. I appreciate all the time you spent on the phone and e-mail....and, thank you and Zamir for helping us have such a wonderful, incredible experience in Israel.
Barbara & John Cohn, Dallas TX
...my head is filled with images and my heart is filled with feelings from our trip. We are very grateful to you both for your help in planning our experience, and providing us with a wonderful guide. The trip was a dream come true for me and far exceeded my hopes, for both me and David. We knew that I would love and be inspired by the sights and experiences, but I am so delighted that David had such a profoundly moving experience as well. He was going to accompany me to fulfill my dream, and he returned with a deepened awareness of our heritage and appreciation for the people and the land of Israel.
Nancy Schlack, Chicago, IL
Thank you so much for organising such a fabulous trip. Both Shlomit and Chantal were wonderful and so a good time was had by both us adults and our children. We all felt that we learned so much about Israel.
Vivienne Kahan, Melbourne, Australia
I just wanted you to know that our family had a fabulous time in Israel. Israel is a beautiful and diverse country. Our trip was a spiritually uplifting one as well. Our guide, Naftali Cohen, is a wonderful guide and person. He really captured the essence of Israel for our family. Naftali's descriptive and very knowledgeable explanations of the sites, Israel's history, and Israel today made our experience terrific.
Janine Pawlowsky, Bala Cynwyd, PA
Wanted to thank you for a great trip you organized. The whole family had a fantastic time.
Edwin Gans, Canada
I just wanted to let you know that the tour with Joe was wonderful. We had a great time, he
was so knowledgeable and kind, my parents loved it, and we all learned a lot. Thank you all.
Rabbi Nina H. Mandel Sunbury, PA
I just want to thank you for making a "shidduch" for me with Zamir. Altogether, he was very pleasant to be with and knowledgeable. I am not your ordinary tourist--I've spent quite a bit of time in Israel and know a lot--but I learned much from him in our travels.
Ruth Seldin White Plains, NY
We thoroughly enjoyed everything. Yossi was special and wonderful. He knew how to relate to every member of our family on their own level of interests and was just plain wonderful. I am still trying to put our trip into words. Yossi was amazing. Yossi treated us like family...he taught us, he protected us, he found was to save us money, he went out of his way to make sure that every part of our tour was perfect and of course he shlepped us around.
Lois Reisman-Dunetz & Jeff Dunetz Dix Hills, NY
On the whole we give high ratings to the trip. The guides made it....w/o them (who I compare to good college professors) the trip would be close to zero. Anybody who can afford it should get a private guide....
Peter Lusing Far Hills, NJ
The tours were wonderful. The guides were both very very knowledgeable and we enjoyed them both so much.
Warren Harmel Dallas, Texas
We were so pleased with our jeep tour and with Joe. He is an excellent guide and we learned so much from him. Thank you for setting up the day. It was a wonderful experience for us!
Nina Schwartz Kantrowitz and Adam Kantrowitz, New York, NY
Thank you for arranging a wonderful time for both Erica and me. Baruch was a perfect choice as a guide for us. His demeanor with Erica was perfect, and I certainly enjoyed his company and the knowledge he shared. I hope I did not tire him with too many of my questions. In fact, when it came time to say goodbye and pay him, Erica said, “You mean we have to pay you? But, you are our friend. Why do we have to pay you?” That should sum up our experience.
Marc and (9 year old) Erica Rothman, Rydal, PA
By coincidence, your message popped up on my screen just as I was about to send you an Email telling you how very much we enjoyed our trip to Israel. Our appreciation of your wonderful country was greatly enhanced by Baruch, our guide for the five days. His passion, his knowledge, and his pleasant nature made our trip all the more enjoyable. Please convey to him Usha’s and my very sincere thanks and kindest regards. Thank you, too, for your efforts. Your efficiency and attention to detail ensured that our trip went off without a hitch and left us free to enjoy ourselves.
Homi & Usha Mullan, London, UK
We just got back and wanted to say thanks for all of your help! Booking a guide through you for our day trip to Massada and the Dead Sea was an easy and great idea. …Baruch was incredibly helpful with information and oversight of the area and the places we were to go….. On the way he gave us insight into the people and the land and we even had a short fun detour to a local Wadi to see a monastery cut into the rock. He was great with our teenage kids and was a super choice for the day trip to Massada. …because he had a jeep, we took advantage of the fact and did some four wheeling in the desert area. We only wish we had more time.
Josh Werner, North Easton, MA
The tour was excellent, and so was the guide, Sandy. He and my brothers were like triplets with the same sense of humor. Sandy was knowledgable and respectful of all traditions, and of course , the Jezreel Valley is gorgeous. I will definitely be in touch the next time I'm in Israel, and I've already been recommending your site to friends. I'm so glad I found Gems. Thanks again.
Sandy Lebowitz, Brooklyn, NY
The tour was wonderful and Joe Yudin is a great guide. We had several private tours on this trip and the Gems’ tour was the most unusual and memorable. We will recommend it to all our friends.
Ilya Ravkin, Palo Alto, CA
I would like to thank you for everything, we had a beautiful time and our guide was excellent. We are delighted and longing to return as soon as we earn enough to travel! Thanks again.
Yael Cristina, Barcelona, Spain