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Need to find a Christian guide in Jerusalem and Galilee

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Monroe, North...
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Need to find a Christian guide in Jerusalem and Galilee

Hi everyone. My husband and I are going to Jerusalem the end of February/beginning of March 2011. We are trying to find a knowledgeable Christian tour guide that does daily tours and has a strong Biblical emphasis. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Haifa
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1. Re: Need to find a Christian guide in Jerusalem and Galilee

You can have Christian guide, I think I saw here recommendation on on Arab guide, but....

I tend to believe that most guides in Israel are "knowledgeable and have strong Biblical emphasis"...!

Actually most Christian pilgrims tours are guided by Jewish guide, but of course if you prefer a Christian one it is legit.

Washington State
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2. Re: Need to find a Christian guide in Jerusalem and Galilee

What you will find is that most guides hire out by the day (or sometimes half day). You would not join a tour, but hire the guide for whatever duration you agree upon.

Several of us have used Aram H. Khatchadourian:

P.O. Box 14003

Old City, Jerusalem

91140 Israel

Cell: 050-735-1859

Home: 02-626-4537

Aram lives in the Armenian section of the Old City and grew up there If you use him, ask him to get you into St. Vartan's Chapel.

Los Angeles
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3. Re: Need to find a Christian guide in Jerusalem and Galilee

This was recenlty posted on the forum. Not by me. You can find the thread under "Great Arab Christian Guide" from a few days ago.

I just got back from Jerusalem and my small group (6 of us) had a fabulous Arab Christian guide. His name is Joseph Tissawak and he grew up in the Christian quarter of the old city so he knows a lot of people in the old city. He also knows many of the priests at the various Catholic churches around the city which helped us maneuver through the long lines and significantly improved our experience. Joseph also took us to Bethlehem (which is in the Palestinian controlled area) so he could go with us through the security gate. Joseph has a solid knowledge of the history and also has a firm grasp of the political issues. I have traveled to over 80 countries and hired dozens of guides around the world and I would have to say Joseph was one of the best I've ever had. His email is tissawakyousef@yahoo.com.

Tel Aviv, Israel
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4. Re: Need to find a Christian guide in Jerusalem and Galilee

For Jerusalem, I highly recommend Hana Bendcowsky hanab@jcjcr.org

phone 972-2-676-4103 or cell 972-54-210-3314

She is Jewish and her area of expertise is the Christian communities (past and present) in Jerusalem. She has excellent relations with all the Christian communities - which gets her and her groups into places that are generally not open to the public. As noted above, a good Catholic guide knows the Catholic community, an Armenian knows the Armenian quarter. A Jewish guide will know all of them and be more objective.

Every time I am out with her I am amazed at the depth and breadth of her knowledge. While she's usually quoting from the New Testament (and often drawing parallels with the OT), the last tour I took with her focused on the Protestants and she was quoting Mark Twain.

I haven't been outside Jerusalem with her, so I don't know about the Galillee, ask her :-)

Monroe, North...
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5. Re: Need to find a Christian guide in Jerusalem and Galilee

I emailed Joseph Tissawak yesterday and really hope to hear back.

Edited: 09 August 2010, 14:23
Monroe, North...
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6. Re: Need to find a Christian guide in Jerusalem and Galilee

Thank you for all of your help everyone. I really appreciate it. I didn't see that the issue of Joseph's license was ever resolved, so as politely as possible, I asked him in my email. I will share on the other topic as well when he responds. Hana Bendcowsky sounds very interesting. Just out of curiosity, is she Jewish, or a Jewish Christian?

Tel Aviv, Israel
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7. Re: Need to find a Christian guide in Jerusalem and Galilee

Hana is Jewish. She is the program director for the Jerusalem Center for Jewish-Christian Relations. She also is a tour guide, both private and for several academic institutions.

Tel-Aviv
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8. Re: Need to find a Christian guide in Jerusalem and Galilee

"I didn't see that the issue of Joseph's license was ever resolved, so as politely as possible, I asked him in my email."

It was resolved: His name is in the list of tour guides on the Ministry of Tourism's web site:

http://www.tourism.gov.il/Tourism_Eng/Tourist+Information/Planning+your+trip/TourGuideSearch.htm

Monroe, North...
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9. Re: Need to find a Christian guide in Jerusalem and Galilee

Oh great! Thanks!

Paragon
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10. Re: Need to find a Christian guide in Jerusalem and Galilee

If you are insistent on a "Christian guide" I believe it quite possible to get one. May I share for just a moment, please, that I have been to Israel several times, all trips guided by Jewish tour guides.........I am a very conservative Christian. I found my trips (with the exception of one....the guide just was sub-par...hired by the tour company, obviously....)......to be amazingly wonderful. The guides were very, very, very well-versed in all aspects of the land and its culture and history and I could not have been more satisfied.

I shall return to Israel next year and plan to hire a Jewish guide/driver once again for at least part of the trip.

Kathy Walters

Paragon, Indiana, USA

cakywalters@iquest.net