Until last month, every tour that I had led in Israel was of a student group under the auspices of an educational institution. For that reason, I could never reply with personal experience to inquiries about which travel agent to use, which tour guide to hire, or similar questions. Several weeks ago I returned from a two-week tour with a group of 45 from my church in the Dallas area. The trip went very well and I thought I might share about some of those who made the trip successful.

For arranging our group flight, we used Shirley Fleig of Group Advantage. Shirley has arranged group travel for The Master’s College ever since I first traveled to Israel in 1990. She has always done an outstanding job and this time was no different. (Note: Group Advantage arranges travel for groups only.)

Several friends recommended I contact Yoni Gerrish of Jerusalem Cornerstone Foundation to be our land agent. Yoni is a licensed tour guide who has some similar educational background to me. I appreciated his flexibility and excellent prices. I could not ask for anything more than he provided.

I did all of the teaching but for legal purposes we had a licensed Israeli guide traveling with us. Since this was a new experience for me, I had some concerns, but Yehuda Zabari was a perfect partner for the trip and I would happily work with him again.

A friend had a great experience with Elie Mamann at TalknSave and while our group did not end up needing many cellphones, those who did had a smooth experience with Elie.

What would I consider to be the most important places for a two-week study tour of Israel for a physically fit and mentally prepared church group? My schedule answers that question.

I might close by noting that the above does not mean that there are not other excellent agents and guides. I know that there are! But I thought it might be helpful to share my experience for those interested in knowing some of the options.

Preparing to recite the blessings and curses between Mounts Gerizim and Ebal