On the Radio This Friday

Logo of the Nachum Segal Network

I’ll be in the Nachum Segal Network this Friday

I am pleased to announce that I will be interviewed as a call-in guest this coming Friday (January 9th, 2015) on the Nachum Segal Network. I will have the pleasure of “appearing” on the show “Table for Two with Naomi Nachman” to discuss culinary travel in Israel. The show starts at 9 AM, Eastern Time.

In particular I will be discussing my tours of Machane Yehuda Market, but we will obviously discuss many other things as well. So I hope you will all tune in to listen. And I am fairly certain the show will be archived later, so if you miss it live, look for it afterwards. I will be the first guest of the show.

“Table for Two with Naomi Nachman” is a weekly show hosted by Naomi, the Aussie Gourmet. Naomi interviews many personalities from the kosher food world, and I am excited to be one of her guests this week. As it turns out, though we’d lost touch, Naomi and I knew each other in our younger years, so it is nice to be able to reconnect with her via food!

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More From Me

Israel Tour Guide Joel Haber with a group

Follow me and I’ll take you there!

A brief post to let you know about a few new things I am doing that you might be interested in. Of course I have my blog here, but I am also starting to write in a few more places. The content will be different in each place, so if you like what I have to say, you might be interested in hearing more. I promise to try to keep things interesting!

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Welcome to My Updated Website

Fun Joel's Israel Tours logo

Meeting all of your Israel tourism needs!

I have been working for a long time now to upgrade this website. Before I received my Israel tour guide license, I mainly maintained this site as a blog, focused both on Israeli tourism and on the tour guide course I was taking. The plan all along was that once I began officially working, I would upgrade the site to my full home on the web, detailing my services, specialties and tour guiding philosophy.

For the first few months, I was just focused on building up my guiding business, so I wasn’t very focused on the website. Then I began to slowly build up the new website, step by step. Finally, I am now ready to proudly announce the launch of my new website!

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Jerusalem From The Inside

Under construction tunnel for Jerusalem Train

The currently under-construction tunnel for the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv high-speed train. (Photo from Batim MiBifnim site.)

Of all the annual cultural events, festivals and public spectacles in Jerusalem, Batim MiBifnim/Houses From Within stands alone. To those lovers of Jerusalem who have been before, it is one of the most anticipated events of the year, while to many others it remains one of the most overlooked treasures in the city’s cultural calendar.

Every year, over the course of a weekend, scores of Jerusalem public buildings, institutions and private homes open their doors to visitors. Many even offer guided tours. And best of all, the entire event is free of charge!

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This is Not a Political Post

Mughrabi Bridge, Jerusalem, Old City. Israel tour guide. Fun Joel Haber.

The Temporary Mughrabi Bridge in the Plaza of the Western Wall (photo courtesy of Flickr user Ariela R.)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I hate politics.

But living in Israel and working in the field of tourism, it is fairly difficult to completely avoid dealing with political issues. Nearly every visitor has heard things about the political situation and/or sees things that relate to the issue. So they will inevitably ask some questions.

And it would not be right for me to ignore these questions. So the way I handle them is to respond in as objective a manner as possible, all the while recognizing and admitting that it is actually impossible for anyone to be truly objective. I try to relate the facts as I see them, and try to keep my opinions out of things. When Israel does or has done something wrong, I admit them. But when I see lies or misrepresentations that damage Israel’s image, I will speak out against them as well.

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Fun Joel on the Radio

RadioKolAmerica.com

Radio Kol America is an Internet radio station aimed mainly at Israeli expats, and those interested in Israel.

Internet radio, that is!

A very brief post to let you know that my old friend from Los Angeles, Liami Lawrence, hosts a popular internet radio show on Radio Kol America (kol is Hebrew for “voice”). In a few hours, he will be interviewing me on his show, discussing my aliya process, and my new life here as a budding tourguide to be. If you’d like to hear the interview, and/or want to call in to talk to me live, tune in at the link above.

The show runs from 9-11 PM Los Angeles time, on Wednesday April 20th. That translates to 7-9 AM Israel time on Thursday the 21st. My segment will probably begin around 10 PM / 8 AM.

I look forward to sharing my thoughts, and to hopefully chatting with some of you on the air!

UPDATE: Here is a link to the interview. I come on at about 1:09:45

Jerusalem’s Archaeological Surprises

archaeology, Malha, Malcha, Jerusalem, Israel, Middle Bronze, village, foundations

Malha Mall archaeological site -- a village from about 1800 BCE

Construction in Israel is always a difficult endeavor. In a country with as long a history as ours is, every time a spade or backhoe touches earth, there is the chance (or even the likelihood) that you will come across finds of archaeological significance. And when you do, construction grinds to a halt until the archaeologists can come in and examine the finds, determining whether they are significant, and whether construction can even continue there at all.

In recent years, building expansions have uncovered an ancient church at the site of a modern prison and an ancient cemetery near a hospital. In both cases, the building plans were halted until solutions could be found. Sometimes the archaeological site will be preserved at the location so people can see the finds in situ — where they were found, and construction will be abandoned. Other times, they will be covered and preserved underground, with the construction proceeding above the site. And sometimes the material will simply be removed and catalogued for later research.

I’ve recently visited a few of these types of sites, all within the boundaries of modern Jerusalem. It is yet another reason why I love living here. I am constantly surprised by the history and archaeology that you practically trip over every time you walk around this magnificent city.

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Stas v. Turkey: Why All the Uproar?

Israel Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov (Photo taken from Wikimedia Commons, courtesy of Michael Feigin)

The news story that has most recently gotten all of the anti-Israel complainants in an uproar is this one, quoting Israel’s Minister of Tourism Stas Misezhnikov as calling for a boycott on Israeli tourism to Turkey. This came in response to Israeli news reports that said Turkey had classified Israel as a threat to regional security (though apparently various reports used different terminology for the same apparent move by Turkey). The web has plenty of blog posts and I’ve seen tons of tweets in my Twitter feed that have made this seem like a horrible thing for Misezhnikov to have said.

My question: why all the uproar?

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More Progress

A tour group at the theater in Caesarea, Mediterranean in the background.

Finding a bit more time now, so hope to post some tour updates and more news stories soon. But just a quick summary for now. Tours that I’ve taken but not yet written about: Ein Gedi, southern Dead Sea area (Mt. Sodom), Modiin vicinity (Tel Gezer and stuff related to the Maccabees) and Sharon/southern Carmel region (Apollonia, Dor and Atlit).

And some of the class subjects I may want to discuss here: Geography and Geology of Israel (and how they relate to each other) and fauna. But first…

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Just a Brief Check-In

Jerusalem rainbow, as seen from my apartment this past week.

This will just be a very brief post to check in on a few things. I owe you a few posts right now: two tiyul (trip) reports to write up (Ein Gedi and Modiin vicinity), and a few class updates as well. I also have a bit of catch-up to do on the tourism business in general, and a post or two about things I’ve seen/done in Jerusalem lately. I’ve just been very busy, trying to get everything done and also stay up to date with my reports for each tiyul.

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