Here are some examples for testimonials i got from people that participated in one of my tours in Jerusalem:
I wanted to thank you for leading us on a trip of a lifetime over the last two weeks. Your knowledge, personality, and attitude made you a pleasure to travel with. I know it is not easy to do what you do, but you make it look so easy, and I know our trip would have been diminished without you being there (plus I know my son R. must have been a challenge for you!) Your tour of the tower of David was the highlight of our trip, and when we return to Israel, I hope we can engage you again to make our trip more meaningful. I wish you all the best in finishing your thesis and in all your future plans.
I just wanted to thank you for being such an excellent tour guide for us on Bus 757. I’m realizing now that I wish I had thanked you in person at the airport, but I guess an email will have to do. One of the things I will always remember about my birthright trip is your enthusiasm. From the time you first addressed us as a guide (on the bus ride into Jerusalem) to your last “Wakey wakey,” you led us through this amazing country with a vigor that was contagious. I know for a fact that I speak for just about the entire bus when I say how we were with how excited you were for each and every sight we visited. It definitely increased our engagement with Israel. I hope that you continue to lead birthright groups – you’re excellent at it. If my brother has a guide with even half of your energy and professionalism, I’ll consider him lucky. So again, I just wanted to thank you for the huge part you played in my trip. Please, please don’t feel as though you need to respond to this email – I’m sure you’re busy. And yet, as much as I’ll remember your enthusiasm, what I most appreciated about you was how well you did your job. You are a true professional. Your breadth of knowledge and ability to keep us on track while remaining flexible and understanding added so much to my experience over those 10 days. Your patience in regards to my questions (and your informative answers) really made my time more worthwhile, enjoyable and educational.
Thank you so much for all you did to make this trip the most wonderful experience for my congregation and for me and my staff. Your energy and insight, creativity and kindness were a true blessing. I wish you well and most of all your family. I hope we can keep in touch and maybe you’ll make an exception and work with us again.
Rabbi D. M.
Our visit to your beautiful state of Israel was a dream come true for us! We loved every minute of every day and you were as much a big part of that experience. Your warmth and beautiful smile and your kindness was truly appreciated. If we needed assistance like getting directions or anything you were always happy to help us. You were a large part of making our trip a memorable one.
Stay well – Shalom
M. R. recommended a tour guide for Jerusalem. He could not have made a better recommendation. Yishay Shivet was awesome! His knowledge and enthusiasm for sharing the city of Jerusalem was enlightening, entertaining, and captivating. Other tour guides stopped us and told us how lucky we were to have Yishay as a guide. There must be many good guides in Jerusalem, but you can’t find anyone better than Yishay. As you can tell, I recommend him very highly!
Ken, St. Louis
Yishay, we want to thank you for being our guide. It was a real joy to be with you and we admired you for your deep knowledge of the events and history. We felt that we had a wonderful overview of so many different facets of Israel. We loved the fact that you had all of the scripture printed out to remind us of what the Bible said. It made it all come alive for us. We truly enjoyed the tours in Jerusalem, the conversations that we were able to have with you, and your willingness to extend yourself. We especially thank you for the extra things you did for the four Greeks. We felt so lucky and now that we are home and are able to think about all of the things which we saw it makes everything so much clearer.
With our best regards, George and Maita
March 7th 2011, Chicago
We are back in New York City, and life looks and feels very different. Trip home was fine, and we are still feeling our hearts are in Israel. The trip was beautiful, and life changing we all agreed…Now I would like to learn just how it was you move a group along so easily and well. Partly, it is that we just don’t want to miss a minute of what you are saying. While I know it is a gift, I also know that it is study, experience commitment, and a learned skill. I will model it as best I can in my own work. Thank you for being part of our lives, and know we would love to welcome you and your family in New York City, and Maine whenever it works best for you. Keep up the good work. Hopefully the world will evolve towards understanding and acceptance of differences and history, as you have modeled.
Happy Pesach, E. R. & A.
When Richard and I decided to join a group tour in Israel, I didn’t consider the positive impact our tour guide might have on our experience. Your depth of knowledge; love of history; ability to fuse discussion of place and time with Torah, poetry, apropos quotations, political insight, pluralism . . . I could go on and on . . . enriched our time in Israel immeasurably. We learned so much from you. You engage your listeners, informing without intruding; and you do it with honesty, integrity and authenticity. You provide security unobtrusively, impart knowledge with an engaging and lively spirit, remain open and fair despite boundless challenges regarding religious and political differences. Your love of Israel, and Jerusalem in particular, is evident in every word and gesture. I realize now that choosing a guide is as important as the trip itself; each guide has the potential to truly connect with tourists and to influence whether they have a life-changing journey and form a binding relationship with Israel, with all of its inherent contradictions. Your presence was essential to the connection I now feel to Israel—its history and its fate. I sense that, for you, being a guide is less a “day job” than avodah shebalev (service of the heart). Todah rabbah, Yishay, also from Richard, who has only recently begun to immerse himself in the study of Torah and Jewish history. He enjoyed every opportunity to discuss his questions with you.
Best wishes to you and your family,
Pamela Salomon Benner and Richard Benner