Testimonials

Here are a few endorsements from prior clients. If you enjoyed a tour with me and would like to share your experiences, please email me a quote to put on this page. I also love getting pictures from my tours. Thanks!

I’m also on TripAdvisor, so please feel free to read or leave reviews there:



Leah Jones, Chicago


“I have been to the Old City of Jerusalem so many times, I felt like I had seen it all. One morning tour of the Old City led by Joel exposed me to so many treasures and history – it made me feel like I had never been there before, and left me wanting more.”
Joe Magnas, Modiin, Israel
In the cablecar, about to descend to the Rosh HaNikrah grottoes

Visiting the grottoes at Rosh HaNikrah with the Magnas family


“Joel is the best guide I have had in the over 70 countries I have visited. He is knowledgeable, flexible and delightful to spend time with. Joel not only demonstrated a tremendous knowledge of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, he also helped me rent a car, explained Israeli coinage, drew lines on maps to help me navigate on my own, schlepped my (very heavy) bags and found a resort on the Dead Sea for my next stop. He is funny, friendly and interested in making every moment of my time with him positive. While I would have been happy to give him my positive comments had he asked, this testimonial was not requested. I felt he deserved the praise without having to ask for it.”
Felice Dunas, Los Angeles, CA

“We spent a great day with Fun Joel. Joel took a group of 3 families with a large group of young kids to Masada, Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea. The trip went smoothly, and Joel tailored the discussions to be age appropriate. Everyone had a great day.”
Caryn Borger


Ruby/Abella Family tour

“Joel took us on a tour of Jerusalem’s old city. I would whole-heartedly recommend Joel to be your guide the next time you are in Israel. It was obvious from the start that Joel loves giving tours. His love for Israel and his boundless energy kept us engaged while we learned the history of the city. Our day with Joel was the highlight of our trip.”
David Freiman, Gaithersburg, MD

“My husband and I traveled to Israel for 2 weeks in May of 2012. I’d been there before but my husband had never visited. Joel was the perfect guide to tour with us for our 3 days in Jerusalem. He really knows his stuff – mainstream and off-beat. He answered all of our questions, told us all kinds of bits about the Old City & the New, took us to places I didn’t know existed, and even took on a few tasks that were outside the realm of what I thought a tour guide would do normally – he helped a lot with our overall itinerary, hooked us up with hotels, found us a rental phone and even helped with finding my great grandfather’s grave on the Mt. of Olives. I’d definitely recommend him for anyone looking to travel in Jerusalem and around the country. Next time, we try him in another city! Thanks, Joel!”
Faye Rivkin, Baltimore, MD

At her great grandfather's grave on the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem

Faye and Marcos on the Mount of Olives


“It is with great pleasure that I recommend Fun Joel as your Israeli tour guide. Before my day tour, I sat with Joel for a beer and told him what my interests were. I wanted to see a side of Israel that I did not get on other tours. After a few weeks, Joel had organized a personalized day based on my interests that far exceeded my expectations. He got us special access to a solar power start-up, organized a meeting with a leading professor over delicious hummus, guided me through an ancient farm and led a Torah text study at the end of the day under a shady tree. I was impressed with his knowledge, engaged with his storytelling, and most of all, incredibly pleased at the day he organized ‘off the beaten path’ based on my interests. And, all the while, he made me laugh, kept me well fed, and always had me entertained! His tours are unlike others you can get in Israel and, above all, are educational and fun!”
Maital Guttman

“Joel is true to his moniker of ‘fun.’ The tour was a good experience that was educational and entertaining. There was plenty of variety about the history, and the tour provided plenty of information about all of the relevant religions.”
Eric M.


Shari and Doug Hartt, New York, NY

“Joel showed my fiance and I around Jerusalem for 2 days. We had a fantastic 2 days with him. He was very knowledgeable, interesting and fun to be with. What I especially liked is his ability to make what life was like 3000 years ago come alive for us by creating a vivid picture of the peoples’ concerns and habits in those days. He brought in politics, the world ecosystem, geology and how that impacted the goings on in Jerusalem. He was diligent in presenting a balanced view of today’s politics, presenting the opinions of both sides on many current issues without emphasizing his own views. I highly recommend Joel, especially if you love history and archaeology.”
Ellen Cohen, Palo Alto, CA

“I visited Israel in the summer of 2011, and Fun Joel was an essential part of my trip. He gave me the most amazing tour of Jerusalem – one that was invaluable in helping me to fully appreciate this holy city. I was traveling with my friend and her 2 children, and Fun Joel was as wonderful with the kids as he was with us adults; he was incredibly patient and entertaining, and happy to answer the zillion questions that we launched at him. At one point, we crossed paths with another tour guide, and Fun Joel gave him additional insight to share with his group! Clearly, Fun Joel is at the top of his game. In addition to Jerusalem, Fun Joel took us on a tour of other notable sites in Israel, and each one was just as compelling.”
Stacie Keslinger

Guiding at Tel Es-Safi

Guiding Stacie at Tel es-Safi / Gath, an ancient Philistine city.


“Our Old City tour was such a highlight of the trip to Israel — it provided a frame of context for many of the other things we saw and literally filled my head with new knowledge. We loved that you took us to the private portion of the Western Wall, the souk gate view of the Dome of the Rock, and lots of other places that we never would have stumbled on by ourselves. And we appreciated all the tips you gave us that influenced other parts of our trip — the Lion’s Den bar, the camel ride, and probably others I’m not even aware of. We will send all our Protestant/Atheist friends your way when they travel to Israel, too. :)”
Teri D., Washington, D.C.