Israel Travel and Tours was founded in 2008 by Hillel Mintz (pronounced HE + LEL), a proud Israeli who grew up and went to school, military service (mandatory 3 years), and college in Tel Aviv. Hillel literally means “to praise,” but it was also the name of a great Jewish religious leader some 2,000 years ago. A fitting name for someone who loves to write about and praise Israel.
Hillel is a "Sabra," a Hebrew word that indicates being born in Israel. After some major changes in his life, Hillel found himself living in the U.S.A (since 2001). He currently lives with his wife and two children in California. He still often goes to visit Israel, and most of his family (and all of his best friends) live there. Living away from Israel proved to him that he can maybe live outside of the country, but that it's a lot harder to get Israel to live outside of him.
Hillel's experience, knowledge and familiarity with the country, plus all of his Israeli “connections” – allowed him to provide the insider viewpoint on this great country and provide lots of awesome information and tips on touring the country. Living outside Israel also gave him the tourist viewpoint. So, he was able to write with both viewpoints in mind.
Israel Travel and Tours is currently owned and managed by Michael Celender. Like Hillel, Michael also has quite some worldly experience, having grown up in South Africa and having lived in the US for 6 years, before making Aliyah (meaning immigrating) to Israel in 2014.
Whereas Hillel is a "Sabra" (a born-and-raised Israeli), Michael is an "Oleh Chadash," which means a new immigrant - together they represent different segments of Israel's cosmopolitan people.
Michael currently lives in Tel Aviv and documents his various experiences and the various places, people and activities that this unique and colorful country provides.
With Hillel and Michael's connections and experience, one can be assured one is getting the authentic and personal touch when reading about touring Israel on this site.
Good question. We’ll give you the best answer we know:
From all the places you could travel to, Israel would probably have the biggest influence on you. We're talking about the culture, the history, the people and the state of mind.
Sure, being on a beautiful island somewhere is fun, and we have done that too.
But honestly, it is sooo boring compared to a visit in Israel. And by
the way if you really like to just relax in the sun – Israel has got
plenty of that too.
Is it dangerous? Our answer is: NO!
The fact that CNN and such are trying to present Israel and other places in the world as dangerous, doesn’t mean that it is actually that way. Never in Hillel's life was he afraid to go anywhere at ANY time in Israel. He can’t say the same thing about downtown Los Angeles…
Saying that Israel is dangerous is the same as saying New York, London, Madrid or Tokyo is dangerous. It is just not true.
Here is a cool quote Hillel found that applies to travel but also to life in general:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
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