With all of the political, historical and religious significance of the area impacting every moment of your stay in Israel you will want, desire and need a guide that understands the landscape, has a great sense of humor and can communicate with everyone in your group from a 9 year old all the way to a 75 year old. Joe Freedman is the reason that my family’s trip to Israel was an incredible experience. When people ask me what my favorite part was during my trip to Israel, I do not identify a place, or a time or a day, I say it was Joe Freedman, he made every minute of the trip my favorite minute! -Fondly,
Chris Saso. San Jose, CA
Thank you for being our tour guide, historian, educator, navigator, comedian, friend, rabbi and so much more ! You have changed the way we all experienced the holy land. You helped us navigate through the country, set a positive tone and ease for the trip adventures, and we experienced with you things we would not have discovered otherwise. This trip was extra special and one of a lifetime that we will never ever forget! -Eva Sprintz, San Jose, CA (Bar and Bat Mitzva trip)
Joe is a remarkable Jewish educator. He has all of the skills that we believe are necessary to be a good family educator, including his outstanding knowledge of Judaic content, his ability to engage both adults and children meaningfully, his knowledge of family dynamics, his zaniness and sense of humor, his warmth and approachability, and his passion, zeal and love of Israel, its people and values…It was true family education at its best–mutual, engaging, fun and transformative. It allowed and empowered the parents who brought children an opportunity to not only be Jewish learners but act as educators for their children. -Rabbi Ron and Leora Isaacs, Bridgewater, NJ
What a wonderful leader and teacher you have been to our Kehilla. We have been blessed to see your passion in action: your stories, your wisdom, your wit, your tears and your smile have made this trip unforgettable! -Bonnie Rosenfeld, Agudath Israel, Caldwell, NJ
We are grateful to you for helping to make our recent trip to Israel such a wonderful experience. Your ability to match the itinerary to the interests and knowledge level of those you are guiding gave us experiences and perspective that we had not had on previous trips. As an educator, you presented material to us in a clear and easy to understand manner. Your mastery of information about sites visited combined with your knowledge of Jewish sources added a great deal to our experience. Throughout the time we spent together, your love for Israel, Judaism, and for all Jews across the religious spectrum was evident. We will gladly recommend you to both our Jewish and non-Jewish friends who want to make their visit to Israel an extraordinary experience. -Rabbi Irv and Jane Beigel (Syracuse, NY)
Joe, We’ve been back a week now, and as you said we would, are still processing all that we saw, did and heard, but we would be remiss if we didn’t let you know just how special the trip was to us, made more so by your wealth of knowledge, your stories and your passion for what you were sharing with us. It was much more, as you hoped, than just a sightseeing trip, and the difference was you. Looking at our pictures triggers memories of the trip, and telling our children about some of the things we did and saw helps us re-live those adventures. Again, thank you for everything you did. -Robin and Bob Elkinson, Metuchen, NJ
Thank you again for taking us on the tour [in the Old City of Jerusalem]. It was really one of the most informative tours that I have ever been on. I was amazed that I had spent a week in Jerusalem and almost everything that you shared with me was new.
-Ben Katchman (Don Katchman and Stephanie)
Joe…We wanted to thank you for making our Israel trip and experience truly amazing. All of us have marveled at your never ending depth of knowledge, how you can easily relate to three different generations of travelers, all at once, and your clear dedication to the people, land and history of Israel that came through in every aspect of your guidance. Thank you again for an incredible trip – you were “sababa” on top of “haval al haz’man!”
-Berland-Moser Bnai Mitzvah Trip
Thank you again for two extremely enjoyable and informative days of touring….Having been on many tours of Israel and Jerusalem in the last eight years, I particularly loved the way you combined so much information (including the great maps — and you didn’t even know that Dan was a HUGE map person!) with such a passion for the city. Your choice of poems and psalms to give context to what we were seeing, and to allow us to reflect on the deeper meaning of what we were seeing, was especially meaningful to me.
– Barbara Crook, No. American Representative of Palestinian Media Watch
Our guide, Joe, is an experienced, organized, interesting and warm professional who made a sincere effort to get to know our group of family and friends, and make our tour fun and educational. He planned the itinerary down to minute, in meticulous detail. Since our tour was private, he worked with my sister-in-law for over a year to fine-tune the itinerary. During the week, he also coordinated closely with Moshe, our seasoned bus driver. Our tour itinerary was ambitious, covering hundreds of miles in Israel and spanning many time periods of Israeli history. For every site/sight we visited, Joe explained its cultural, geographical, historical, linguistic and religious significance. Our group agreed that Joe was a superb guide! –Jennifer Aboaf , Denver, CO
Joe, Thank you!
Susan has been talking about taking a trip like this to Israel for several years. She wanted to take it when our three oldest grandchildren were in their Bar/Bat Mitzvah years. She has had great expectations about this trip for years.
The trip exceeded all of our expectations and you deserve a lot of the credit for that. We have been fortunate to have been able to travel to many places and to have had many guides and so I think we appreciate how important a guide is to a trip more than most travelers. You have been the best. To be able to make the trip special for those of us who have been to Israel several times as well as to the first time young visitors was not easy. To make a trip really special for 70 some grandparents as well as to 8 and 10 year olds and all ages in between was also tricky.
I know that this trip will change the lives of all the children as well as the adults. It opened our eyes to what it can be like to travel with an extended family, see special places, learn about Israel, learn about our religion and enjoy every minute. This has got to have long term as well as short term benefits for all of us.
You have changed the lives of some grateful people….
–Lonnie Edelheit, Seattle, WA, December-January, 2013-14
Joe is an absolutely fantastic guide. The itinerary he planned (with our input) was superb. Our group consisted of several generations of two families, and Joe was equally adept with the whole crowd – from 8 to (almost) 80. He is extremely knowledgeable, but not afraid to admit it on the rare occasions when he doesn’t know the answer. Always ready with a good story or a bad pun. Just a pleasure to be around. With Joe, you’ll get the most out of your trip. -Michael Sherman, Washington, DC