My name is Yishay Shavit, and I’m a guide at heart. I’ve been leading groups since I was 15, in 1990. First, in the Hashomer Hatzair youth movement, next, in the course of a year of volunteer national service and during my IDF sevice, and since then in virtually every context imaginable: I’ve led single-hour activity sessions and tours of two weeks and more, from schools and soldiers, to American, or Nigerian tourists, for that matter; urban walks as well as wilderness treks for experienced hikers. In short, I’ve led a group or two… I believe anyone can be a tour guide, but only some can be good guides. A good guide is one who can relate the group to the site they are visiting. For this a guide ought to be deeply knowledgeable, and must sift this knowledge carefully and pass on only that which pertains to the group, in a way best suited to that group. One must be attentive to the group, their wishes, interests, how tired they are, their background and knowledge – leaving something for next time.
Nevertheless, it is customary to give something of a formal description of one’s background, by way of a resumé: I double-majored in history and…history, went on to receive a BA (cum laude) in history and history of the Jewish people from Hebrew University, I even started on my MA. I am an authorized tour guide by the Israeli ministry of tourism and I guide in Hebrew or English. In the past I was a member of the national leadership of the Hashomer Hatzair youth movement where I was responsible for all the different activities of this organization in five cities not far away from Tel-Aviv. I worked as manager in the youth movement of the society for the protection of nature in Jerusalem and I was the manager of the tourism department of Beit Shmuel – the cultural center of the world union for progressive Judaism. I guided as freelancer for several tour companies in Israel’ among them: Daat, Grand circle, kenes Israel, guy tours, Hamelits, The Tower of David Museum and many more. Naturally I have been guiding many privet people and organizations that came directly to me. I must admit that the Israeli society is dear to me and I am trying not only to tell about it to my guest but also to do something about it. For years I have been volunteering in different NGO’s including the Social-economic academy where I was a member of the board of directors.
To make a long story short – I believe that I combine several qualities that will turn your tour in Jerusalem to an unforgettable one: reach knowledge, long experience and love to the land of Israel and it’s people.