YAFA (Linda)   KFIR – Israeli tour guide,

Dominicana_YafaKfir_07

Planning a trip to Israel?  Need a guide but hate those bus loads and rules?

Here I am to help you plan your visit

Interests – what, where, when, how long  i.e. personalized tour to fit your time table and  your financial possibilities.

You don’t have to fit yourself to  others – I’ll fit myself to your wishes

I know my home country and would love to share it either in Hebrew, English or Spanish.

I gladly guide one person, a couple, a family or a small group of friends – all options are open.

Yes, I am a certified Tour Guide with many years of experience.

To arrange it all, please contact me through this website or

E-mail:    yafakfir@gmail.com

Cellular:  +972-50-5462292


One afternoon in the old city of Jerusalem –
Una tarde en la ciudad vieja de Jerusalén

 – CLICK to join!

atika_35_resize


Our stay in Israel was more than I could ever have hoped for, and we have you to thB  P in Gondola (2)_aank for that:  between the excellent experiences you arranged, the comfort you provided for us, and the insights and information you gave us .

I do not see how it could have been any better (unless we were in better physical shape!).

I shall write more of my feelings and my thanks, I just wanted to quickly let you know that we were home safe and that I will look up our Spring plans so you can be sure to visit Sarasota and let us repay the hospitality you showed us".

todah robah!!

.

Paula

August 2009

ISRAEL – Comments derived from recent travels:

As a concerned citizen of the world, I am, of course, concerned about Israel. Here is the cradle of civilization, and the state of Israel is the only country that can preserve this cradle and keep it from rocking out of existence. I certainly gained a lot of information during my short visit – much thanks to our wonderful guide, Yafa. Also thanks to Yafa and a scholarly guide Eldad, I came to appreciate the plight of the Palestinians who live in Israel. With this in mind, and in spite of my limited knowledge, I have come to some conclusions on the current internal conflicts in Israel.

The Jews were characterized by the famous historian Arnold Toynbee, as a “fossilized civilization.” I think that a better term would be a “persistent civilization”, persisting and surviving in spite of all the attempts to wipe it out, for example: the Inquisition, the Holocaust, the Russian pogroms, and earlier “ethnic cleansings” and enslavements. If any group ever deserved a homeland, the Jews certainly did. They took over what was essentially a desert, misused and neglected by the former inhabitants, and transformed it into a giant of a country built on a sliver of real estate. I think that the resentment toward Israel by its neighbors and the Palestinians is based on a feeling of jealousy – “Why didn't we do all this?” It is essential to note that all the creations and advances in Israel were derived from hard work in the face of enormous environmental difficulties and the need to defend against surrounding and internal enemies. Amazingly, Israel has been benevolent toward its worst adversaries. Internally, Palestinians were accorded citizenship and permitted their own living areas. Externally, belligerent neighboring states were treated with respect, although there have been firm responses where deliberate attacks occurred.

Israel's treatment of the Palestinians has not always been exemplary, and our tour with Eldad clearly showed conditions which would justify the resentment, indeed, the anger toward Jews as “benevolent” masters. Mistakes were made, and, hopefully, will be corrected. However, it is apparent to me that were it not for the Jews of Israel, the economic and social conditions of the Palestinians would be miserable. Huge numbers of Palestinians are gainfully employed in Israel thanks to the economic affluence of the country.

Is the survival of Israel at stake? I don't think that there is real danger from surrounding neighbors. These are people who live by saber-rattling, and there is at least as much mutual hatred among the various sects and tribes as there was when T.E. Lawrence vainly tried to unite the Arabs. Israel is in danger internally and demographically. The burgeoning population of Muslims is an obvious threat, but the reactionary influence of the ultra-religious population is a greater threat, in my opinion. Throughout the history of civilization, organized religion has caused more conflicts than any other social factors, and the tighter the organization, the more trouble it causes.

Now, about the West Bank. It was not part of Israel until the 1967 war, when the Arab states attacked, and went down to defeat. Israel at that time could have annexed not only the West Bank but all of Sinai. Giving up Sinai (Camp David Accords that followed the Yom Kippur war of 1973) was clever, since it was useless territory to Israel anyway, and it led to a long standing peace with Egypt. The West Bank remains, effectively under Israeli control, and with a large Palestinian majority. It could be logically considered as the spoils of war, and I feel that Israel could legally annex the territory, in spite of the heavy Arab occupation. Consider what Israel has already done on its home grounds, and what expansion of Israeli settlements could do for the West Bank. The Arab inhabitants would actually gain economically and socially by letting themselves become integrated with Israel. The other side of such a move would mean that Israel would be governed by a population minority, and might lose the status of a theocracy. There could be a positive side to this.

There is the infamous Wall – not the revered Western Wall – but an ugly discontinuous piece of masonry snaking across the landscape. Esthetically, it is a disaster and a blight on the environment. What is worse is that it is quite useless. I have been through the “check points”, and the “checking” is perfunctory. If someone wanted to smuggle an elephant, they could probably do it easily. The argument is presented:”See. Since the wall was up, frequency of terrorist attacks is way down.” This is like the case of a gadget devised to keep elephants out of the New York City subway system. “See. Since we've used the anti-elephant device, we've no elephants in the subway.” What aggravates the situation even further is that this security wall has increased the tension between Jews and Arabs.

I am far from being wise enough or adequately informed to even consider a solution. Clearly there is fault, ignorance, and stupidity on both sides. Perhaps there is no solution, and a physical wall may be the only way. It is pathetic that two cultures, ancient and with a common ancestry, cannot find a way to co-exist. Again I point to the divisive effects of organized religion. Is this the core of the conflict? More questions than answers.

This visit to the cradle of civilization and my introduction to a few of the inhabitants was an incredible lesson in history, and one that is indelibly etched in my memory.

William N. Tavolga

Sarasota, Florida

.

William

I know Yafa Kfir for more than 10 years now.

I am Israeli and I know my country quite well I should say, but

Some 10 years ago friends came over from Australia and wanted, specifically, to see Haifa – a city situated on the tip of the Carmel Mount overlooking a beautiful bay.  I know there is a lot to see in Haifa besides the Baha’i Temple but I knew that taking my friends to Haifa on my own we would lose lots of precious time getting from one place of interest to another as I am not that familiar with the city.

I realized I needed “a hand” to organizing this trip (I live in Tel-Aviv) and get the best of that day. A mutual friend recommended Yafa Kfir.

I called her and between us we organized a full day trip to the North Coast of Israel.

Early morning, as arranged, Yafa came with a car (a good car for long travels) to pick us up.

On the way to Haifa Yafa made sure we had a good hearty “farmers’ breakfast” in one of the very first villages in Israel. We visited the Druze villages on Carmel Mount; we visited the Baha’i Temple and gardens. Through beautiful rural roads we drove further north to the grottos of Rosh Hanikra, enjoying lunch in a cafe situated well above the grottos overlooking the blue blue sea and the white cliffs of the grottos below.

Driving south (back to Tel-Aviv) we stopped in Acre, one of the port cities mentioned in the Bible– we visited the old Mosque (built few centuries ago), we walked through the Crusaders Halls, walked the old street market  of Acre.

We ended the day in Acre with a dinner on the water line – in the ancient port of the town having a feast  of fresh fish fished out of the water in front of our eyes.

All through the day, throughout the drive, Yafa recounted the history of the places we passed through, from the time of the Bible, Crusades time, Napoleon’s  wars  in these parts (He was stopped in Acre coming all the way from Egypt), in between eras and up-to-date.  Local legends, local folkloristic tales and beliefs. Pointing out places of interest that deserve another trip (there is so much you can put in a day)

It all came naturally – not as lecture already repeated 10,100 times to other tourists – but rather as a conversation among friends, “the village daily gossips”. That was like fresh air – completely different from other tour-guides I knew in Israel. All in fluent clear English

It was a great day that I really enjoyed even as an Israeli who knows the place. My Australian friends never stopped talking about that day.

Since then I recommended Yafa to many friends who came to visit Israel. They all enjoyed their trip around the country with Yafa immensely.

If you are planning your first visit to Israel and wants to exploit your time to the fullest – not just sit on the beach having beer – seeing the most, Yafa is the person to call.

Even if you look at the map and say to yourself “it is small, I can do it alone” don’t get fooled. The country is indeed small but there is so much to see – archeological sites from Biblical times, Greek, Roman, Crusaders, and Ottomans.
Holy places: Jewish, Christians, Muslims, Baha’i, Druze. Places that are mentioned in the Bile and are active till this very date.

Yafa knows where to go, what to see, what is important, what is side-tracking (easy … easy…), she’ll get your day organized to the best, fullest, possibility taking care of every need and interest – even if you are handicapped. You’ll get the best of this country.

And the Jewel – Jerusalem!

Don’t be fooled, especially if this is your first visit to Israel – on the map it is small and seems well explained. BUT, oh G-D, so easy to get confused and get lost in all that maze of small allies and back allies of the Old City… Yafa lived in Jerusalem several years. She knows where to take you – whatever your interest is: Historical and religious Jewish sites, Roman (The Herodian Quarter that not many people know about as it is below the city, not even people who live in Jerusalem), Historical and religious Christian sites – just name your interest.

Jerusalem has many faces,  one must know the city, the old and the new, well in order to enjoy it to the fullest. Even in the “new” city there are places of great interest – The White Russian churches (The Russian Court), Ein-Karem, etc.

By the way, upon my request, Yafa is now arranging a 4-day trip into the desert for a group of Spanish speaking friends of mine. I am sure they’ll have a great experience!  Masada (“Metzada”), having an authentic meal in a Bedouin tent, the copper mines of King Solomon, the Nabatean ruins, the Dead-Sea and more.  The Ramon Crate ( a very special geological site, no other place like this in the whole world) Maybe even Eilat… if they have the time.

Call Yafa Kfir if you really want to get to know the country and its real people (not how the media make you think this place is).

Enjoy and tell your friends!

I am sure that after a well organized and explain tour with Yafa, you will be back to explore even further. Get the basics with Yafa so you know what you want to do and what to see next.

Hey, this is not a procured advertisement!  It’s the real thing!

Trust me!

If you want more information about Yafa- check this website. It will tell you all you want to know about Yafa Kfir the tour-guide turned friend after only 1 day together.

Orit Barshi

.

Orit