The story of Israel’s history can be found in Naftali’s heart and beneath his fingernails!
Naftali is one of our most popular tour guides. Our visitors recognize him as a real ‘Sabra’ Israeli who is not afraid to answer tough questions. “I love my country and I want to share that with people from all over the world. I love explaining all the different aspects of life in Israel, including the most difficult issues. I’m not afraid to discuss history and politics, and explain how we live alongside the Palestinian population. I take visitors to areas where they can see the diverse population of Israel living together side by side, so they can understand how it really works here.”
Naftali grew up in Nazaret Illit and studied at the prestigious Reali High School in Haifa. He served in the IDF as an officer in the Golani Brigade, and he continued to serve in the Reserves for a further 20 years. He studied archaeology and geography at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and worked for 15 years for the Israel Antiquities Authority. He continues to work as a freelance guide for the Antiquities Authority, showing groups of youth and adults around Israel’s various archaeological sites.
“It’s great to get your hands dirty, to dig beneath the surface of the holy land and find artefacts from its history. I recently helped with the excavation of a Byzantine Church near Beit Shemesh, and it was like magic!”
Naftali lives in Moshav Mata in the Judean Mountains with his partner and their four children, and he is very optimistic. “I wake up every morning with a smile on my face, looking forward to sharing the next adventure with the groups that I guide for Shatour.”
Before he meets a group he makes sure to prepare for their visit, reviewing all the material that he will share with them and making sure that the timetable is confirmed.
We asked Naftali what is his favorite place to take groups who are visiting Israel. “It’s Masada – still Masada!”, he says, referring to the desert mountain fortress that he has visited hundreds of times. “It is still the most impressive place in Israel. The story of the fate of the besieged Jews who faced down the Roman army never fails to move me.”