How Did 'Arik Private Tours In Israel' Started?

Hi Guys! I want to use this opportunity to tell you my life trajectory. So at the end of 2008, I had every intention of becoming a high school teacher. It was just after finishing my B.A, majoring in General & Comparative Literature with a minor in Spanish & Latin American Studies given to me by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Back then when I just started my academic career, my aunt, a teacher herself for over 20 years (now retired) told me I should consider pursuing a teaching career as well, by joining the Israeli educational system. 

In 2009, While I was already working as a guide in the Holocaust Museum (Yad Vashem) in Jerusalem, I was looking for a local school where I could do my training as a starting teacher and officially get licensed by the Ministry of Education in Israel. 

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In one of those days, after I’ve just finished guiding a brilliant group of American students from Brown University my co-worker, that was teaching in an high school told me I should become a staff member as well and give it a try.

Honestly I felt a little like Michelle Pfeiffer in her role ‘Dangerous Minds’. In other words that I am going to make a real change in their worldview entirely and transform them to love Literature just as I do. 

I was working for hours and hours on end, perfecting my lesson plans at home; thinking about each and every word I am gonna tell them; showing them the conflicts the protagonists had experienced in the novels just like they do in their reality. 

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I knew at that moment that the formal educational system in Israel is not for me. I need something more suitable to my character and uplifting and rewarding, but still in the field of education and passing knowledge. So I went for it and did the official tour guide course by the Ministry of Tourism in 2010 and finished it at the end of 2011. Yeah!

And since then this is what I do! Being a guide for more than 10 years made me the happiest man ever. I get to know interesting people, I have the freedom to Passover information to people that are interested in listening, without the formalities of a classroom.

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The Services that I Offer

As someone that likes to travel as well, I know how stressful traveling could be! All those questions such as, did I pick the right hotel? Or if it’s your once in a lifetime b’nai mitzvot event for your kids, so did I pick the right rabbi or photographer? Are all those recommendations that I got online are they really good? So my friends! This is what I am for!

Apart from being your top notch Israel private tour guide that will unfold the beauties of this amazing country and bring all those amazing stories come to life. If needed I’ll be your chauffeur, concierge, photographer; tour coordinator and believe it or not sometimes I found myself even being my guests’ psychologist.

Either way, in the end we will all become great  friends. Actually with some I’m still in touch with till today. And even went to visit like a couple I’ve had from Japan!

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In the end, my ultimate goal is to make my guests’ trip to Israel, a once in a lifetime experience. I see it as my purpose to weave together all those joint moments we will have into an unforgettable memory. Hopefully after our time together you will leave Israel a little bit different than as you came. Hopefully, I’ll be able to show you a totally different country from what you imagined. Its diversity; Its complexity; the rich history; its fine cuisine and much more!

The Core Values That I Work & Live By

As a private tour guide in Israel but primarily as a human being I foremost show respect for the people I am with. Honor their wishes and treat them like family. “Love thy neighbor” is a rule that I try to live by every day. Transparency and honesty alongside good communication skills are key, as I see it for a happy life and a satisfied ‘Arik Private Tours’ participant.

I try to accommodate as much as I can. I consider myself highly attentive to the extent I will go out of my way to try and help my guests. My goal, in the end, is to leave them with a good impression of the country and memories that will last for a long time. But also not sugarcoat the complicated situation here in Israel and to surface the complexities and the tensions between the various religious/ethnic groups in the country.

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So What’s Next?

In 2018 When I turned 40 I needed a change. I’ve decided that I need something more. I’ve started to work with elderly people giving them what you can call `Couch Touring’. Those are old folks that simply can’t travel any more but still want to see the world. So I bring it to them! Rome, Venice, Louver, The British Museum I am taking them there without needing to get up from their seats. The idea eventually is perhaps taking groups abroad to all those locations I am talking about.

Also, I’ve started to work on a novel, I have no idea when I’ll ever get to actually finish it but that is giving me a great sense of meaning to my life. Lastly, just for fun, I am learning how to play the piano for a couple of years already, and hopefully, I could one day play my favorite piano piece ‘the Goldberg Variations’ by Bach.

Best,

Arik Haglili

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