Who is Fun Joel?

Standing in Nahal HaShofet on the Carmel Mountain

Welcome to Israel!

Hey there! I’m Joel Haber, more commonly known as “Fun Joel.”

I grew up in New Jersey, lived for many years in the great city of New York, moved from there to L.A., where I spent five wonderful years, and then moved to Israel in March 2009. My background through most of my adult life was in the film business, focused primarily on the screenwriting side of things. As a freelancer, I also did many other jobs, typically covering aspects of writing or teaching.

When I made “Aliyah” (the Hebrew term for when Jews immigrate to Israel) I largely left that side of my life behind and soon began focusing on developing my career as a licensed Israeli tour guide. Still, I like to bring elements of my past to my work as a tour guide. I bring my love of Story to the tours I give, entertaining my clients, surprising them, and giving them a sense of the drama and beauty that is my beloved land of Israel. And since they are on a tour with Fun Joel, I make sure they have lots of fun too!

One of the things I love about being a licensed tour guide here in Israel is that this country has so much packed in to such a small space. We are about the size of New Jersey, or South Africa’s Kruger National Park, and yet we have something for almost any interest. History, religion, archaeology, agriculture, nature, geology, birdwatching, food and drink, industry, sports, environmentalism – you name it, there is something in this country to see that relates. And as someone with truly diverse interests who loves to learn almost anything new, this job is a perfect fit for me. Thus, I hope you’ll give me the honor of sharing those diverse passions with you.

(By the way, for those who are wondering where the nickname comes from, I was given it by my friend “Funky Edina,” who began introducing me that way to her friends. It just stuck, and people started calling me it, so eventually I just adopted it and started using it for things. I like to think that it wouldn’t have stuck if people didn’t think it was true!)