From academics to secular tourists to religious Jewish and Christian families: whatever your interests, Jeff will help make your trip memorable. Here is what his tourists say.
Lori and I canít thank you enough. This trip was a highlight of our travels as a family and a memory we will always carry with us. I had been to Israel twice before, but this trip made me feel I was seeing your country for the first time. More than anything else, I think Lori and I appreciated your knowledge of every imagineable aspect of Israelís history, the care you took with planning the trip and the choice of so many interesting and unique visits.
Mar 2, 2011
Specials & Digital Media
Thank you so much for the best vacation of my life. I learned so much and enjoyed everything. You are the best!! ...All of us had such a fantastic time. Dean [Blumberg] also is saying it was the "trip of a lifetime".
Mary Beth Steinfeld, M.D.
UC Davis Department of Pediatrics M.I.N.D. Institute
Mary Beth Steinfeld
Jeff: the Willems family thanks you for a wonderful tour. To have a guide of your experience, knowledge,
historical perspective and intellectual capabilities contributed greatly to our enjoyment of this amazing
holiday. It is not often that the phrase "holiday of a lifetime" applies, but this is that time. I have worked in 30 countries and visited many more, but this topped them all.
Photographer and instructor at MVW Photo
Jeff's knowledge of Zionist history is just astonishing, and presented in a genial, fluid, digestible manner. My 2007 trip was partly pleasure, and partly business-research. Jeff was terrific on both parts. He was invaluable helping me contact people and schedule appointments and went out of his way to help me find what I needed, also serving as a translator; of course he is a friendly, organized, and wonderfully indulgent tourist guide as well.
Pamela Willson, Ph.D.
I have had 2 groups over there since [you guided us] and requested you both times to no avail. I have another one coming up in March of 2011 and I told Ray Masillo at Journeys Unlimited that if you were not our guide that I was not going. I don"t want to swell your head, but you are simply the best I have ever seen.
Pastor Ricky Anderson
Jeff Abel is one of the best guides I have ever used.
He is knowledgeable, flexible, and consistently filled with good humor. He treats each person as a unique
individual and he quickly sizes up a group and customizes his approach to fit the group. When you finish a
tour with Jeff you not only feel good about Israel and about what you learned but you feel like you made a
Peter S. Knobel
Beth Emet the Free Synagogue
I'm really looking forward to returning to Israel. Our first trip was wonderful. Much of the reason for that was having you as our guide .... it was more like being with a friend, and I'm happy that we will get to spend more time there and that at least some of it will be with you.
Donald Herzberg email@example.com
Extract from Pastor David Lander's sermon on their return to Toronto:
We had a simply awesome tour guide who claimed he was a pagan, I think to protect himself against some of
the Christian visitors, who'd like to make him Christian from Jew. But he knew his bible including the
Hebrew source, and history, like no one I've met. And he was full of stories, biblical and otherwise.
Dear Mr. Abel,
In April, my wife and I were guests of the Israel Academy of Sciences, and they contracted with you
to take us around the country. We were very impressed with your knowledge and professionalism and have been
looking forward to returning to Israel .
Paul H. L. Walter
American Chemical Society
After just a 2-day trip - the picture (and caption) is from Marci's online album of her trip:
How is our favorite guide from Israel? ... You are a wealth of knowledge, and it just wouldn't have been the same without you as our guide. We felt that we had learned more from you in those 2 days, then we would have in an entire semester at school ... You are very pleasant to be around, and funny, and you made our trip so wonderful! We will absolutely recommend you to anyone we know traveling to Israel.
Thank you for everything!
Carlee & Marci
We want to thank you for providing us with a most unforgettable trip. Your many accommodations to Renee’s physical limitations were most appreciated and she is very grateful. She will not forget your kindness and solicitude.
We appreciated you for being more than an informed guide, rather you are a true lifelong scholar and exemplify a scholar's searching, probing inquisitiveness. I know your in-depth knowledge of history, scripture and religion did not come from guide school. Thank you for sharing some of your knowledge with us. It is amazing how much we learned—now if we can only remember it all!
Please use us as reference for future clients. We are enthusiastic Jeff Abel supporters.
John and Renee Rynne
Hi Jeff! Barry and I just wanted to once again thank you for your expertise and kindness during our 2 week
trip of Israel and Jordan. I truly can say the trip was a fantasy vacation and even reluctant-to-travel
Barry had to admit he had a wonderful time!
Barry and Shelley Silver
San Bernardino, California
Weintraub family (Howard, Leah, Rachel, Hillel and Eli) on planning their next trip.
I don't know if I made it clear what a wonderful time we had the last time over, but we all did. you were
It's now a month since I returned home from my glorious first trip to Israel. I've had some time now to reflect upon the adventure and I want to share with you my deep appreciation for all that you did for us a tour group. It wasn't just your superb knowledge of the land, its biblical history, including New Testament history which would put most Christians' to shame, general history of Israel and the modern facts of Israel's survival and expansion since 1948. Added to this was the caring and sensitive way you looked after us as a group and did all that you could to enhance our experience. I was particularly grateful to you for the way you sought to look after the more frail people in the group, putting their physical needs in forefront of your thinking as you led us from place to place. Whilst I recognise that you are very experienced after years of tour leading, and have an obligation to look after tour groups, I sensed that your displays of kindness came from a genuine concern for each person as a person. For this I thank you and bless you.
Since I have been back I have described my trip to Israel as "The Time of My Life." You had a big part in making it this, so once again thank you. I will certainly recommended you as THE tour guide to seek when touring Israel. Many thanks to you again!
Manna International Tour Group, Israel March 07
The Siller-Kay family arrived home Tuesday, absolutely raving about our trip to Israel. . we noted as
contributing to a fabulous time:
We would be pleased to be a reference for you; if any potential tourists (clients?) would like to call or email us for a recommendation, please do not hesitate to let us know (or just give them our name and number) and we will, of course, tell them how terrific you are.
- Breadth of knowledge. You know about so many things...from the archaelogical issues and differences between Roman and Crusader ruins to the Stone Apple and whether the thread from it can be used on Shabbat (no conclusion yet)... From the Mayflower Compact to Montcalm and Wolfe to current political issues...Wow!
- Depth of knowledge. Geography, history, archaeology, language...
- Ability to communicate to both children and adults, and knowing how to involve all of us in a way in which we can absorb the most.
- Flexibility. Although we were the slowest group in your experience, we felt we had the ability to change plans and to revise destinations on a regular basis
Nancy, David, Michael and Joseph
Thanks for the experience of getting to know you. You imparted a huge amount of information, help and
insight. Lots of great memories, wonderful pictures, and more pounds from the good food. I have a much
greater understanding of the deep political complexities, the biblical stories, the history of cultures,
religion and of architecture. Feel free to forward my name & address if anyone considering a trip to Israel
would like a second opinion about the idea.
All the best,
Heacock & Associates Retirement Solutions, LLC
All is well here, boys are back in school and still are talking about our great trip...we all can't wait to
do it again!
All the best....Michelle
Tommy and Michelle Adler
From an Australian who regularly brings Christian groups:
I just wanted to thank you again for looking after the group so well while we were with you. Everyone loved
their time in Israel and felt they learnt a lot. They are all asking when we intend doing it again!
Jeff Abel is able--incredibly so--to leave a first time Christian visitor such as was myself in November
2000 with a deep knowledge and understanding of all the complexities that make up Israel and the Holy Land.
I'm a Christian, and Jeff Abel knew more about the historic facts of the New Testament and the footsteps of
Jesus than I did. He offered a clear historic picture of what places like Nazareth and Galilee and Capernaum
were really like when Jesus walked through those beautiful lands. His boundless insight into the vast layers
of the history of Jerusalem--the most holy city on earth--offered an education that cannot be found in books
or videotapes. Standing on the Mt. of Olives, overlooking that stunning vista of the Jerusalem of old and
new, Jeff Abel literally left no stone unturned, as, with just the point of finger in any direction, history
unfolded in his detailed descriptions of the ages and eras that make up what today is modern Jerusalem. No
matter what your ethnic or religious background, Jeff Abel is skilled to unveil the portions of study and
understanding desired of any group. I most heartedly recommend his service as a guide of the most incredible
place on earth--Israel.
I thank my guide Jeff Abel for making our November 2009 trip so enthralling and informative. His knowledge of every site we visited was encyclopaedic.