Know the Land
Know the Land
5
About
I am a storyteller and a guide, and I love to lead and guide adult people using my private car in the Land of Israel. I am especially enthusiastic about guiding those interested in history and archeology, interfaith dialogue and comparison, the Bible, Israeli society, and, of course, Israeli food and markets. I guide in a deep and meaningful way, seasoned with a sense of humor, and I have a lot of experience with Jewish and Christian guests. In 2019 I published a one-of-a-kind Hebrew/English dictionary, ‘Know the Holy Land’, especially for those interested in the Land of Israel and related topics such as history, archaeology, architecture, religions, flora, fauna, tourism, etc. I recently finished writing the English manuscript for my second book. Using the Bible and Hebrew, my book connects the Evangelical Christian believers to the Land of Israel, where all the roots of their faith began, at the time of Jesus. Be well and come to tour Israel with me! Shai Shvalb
Jerusalem, Israel

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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5.0
113 reviews
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112
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jmsp2016
Denver, CO2 contributions
Jul 2022
We spent three very full and wonderful days with Shai visiting parts of Israel we waited a long time to see. We told Shai where we wanted to go and he responded with a custom itinerary which proved to be just what we'd hoped. We saw everything we wanted and more, as Shai didn't hesitate to divert to something interesting we passed along the way, when time permitted. He a gracious and very pleasant host who thought of everything we would need to be comfortable. From the Mt. Carmel, Mt. Arbel, the Golan Heights, Tel Dan, Herodium, Lakish, Tel Azeka and even a visit to tour a kibbutz, Shai provided all the information a person could want. He was able to answer all our questions. The accommodations he suggested in the Golan could not be improved upon and all the places he took us for lunch were clean with great food. We highly recommend Shai!
Written July 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Jan, The three-day tour was a spiritual tour for the four of us. I thoroughly enjoyed your company and look forward to the following Bucket Lists... Thank you for your kind feedback. 24 The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; 26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26) Shai
Written July 26, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Shana Sassen
1 contribution
Jul 2022 • Family
Shai was a wonderful tour guide from start to finish. We spent a full day with him touring first the old city and then new suburbs of Jerusalem. He is extremely knowledgeable and appealed to all ages in our group - both children and adults. He was warm, endearing and entertaining and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him to anyone looking for a similar experience. Thank you Shai!
Written July 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Shana, Thank you for your warm words. Our tour was a great experience for me as well. I look forward to your next visits here. Todah, Shai
Written July 30, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

MizMandy
Las Vegas, NV256 contributions
May 2022
We had a wonderful 3 days with Shai in Israel! Through his comprehensive questionnaire and our email communication, he crafted the perfect personalized itinerary for us. He is so flexible and accommodating, so please share with him about your faith and/or what you would like to see to guarantee that you will get exactly what you ask for. Shai is super educated, organized, and thorough, and we dove deep into the ancient & modern history and the differences between the major cultures & religions of the area. He had maps for us to keep, and binders full of images and visuals to accompany his presentations, (good for those of us who learn better visually). He's happy, openminded, personable, funny, fun, thoughtful and warm. His vehicle was clean and comfortable, and he provided water and some snacks! He was mindful of bathroom breaks, finding good parking and shady spots to talk, taking photos of us, and helping us find the perfect souvenirs. He picked great spots for lunch, and joined us for our meals, taking every opportunity to continue educating us and answering all of our questions. We spent day 1 in the The Old City of Jerusalem, visiting sites like the ancient market, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and the Western Wall. Such a meaningful day. Next, we enjoyed exploring Old Jaffa, the historic core of Tel Aviv and it's Carmel Market, tasting all sorts of regional treats. He specifically arranged our tour days so we could visit the Nachlat Binyamin artisan market there as well. Finally, we toured the Haifa region, visiting the Bahaii Gardens, Nazareth: The Church of the Annunciation, Capernaum: the village of Jesus, and Acre: a UNESCO underground Crusade city with an Ottoman city built above it. We left with a deep understanding of Israel, a respect for the challenges of this fascinating and complex area, and a new friend! Thanks for everything Shai! You are the best and we love you! <3
Written June 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Mandy and Bob, The meticulous description of everything we did together made me blush. We had wonderful days together, and I look forward to our next trip together. As you already know - there is a lot more to see here! Thank you! (Todah, in Hebrew) See you soon in Israel, (-: Shai
Written June 12, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Nabib E
1 contribution
Dec 2022 • Friends
Shai was an kind, accommodating and knowledgeable tour guide and teacher. He has a board understanding of religious theology for Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Specifically he arranged a separate guide for Masjid Al-Aqsa, since non-Muslims cannot go. I was a rewarding experience and I never imagined myself able to perform Friday prayer at Al-Aqsa.

Shai is the person you want to your journey in Jerusalem, since the historical sites require a polyglot understanding of religion.

He is also a kind and warm person and I certainly enjoyed his company. 10/10!
Written December 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Nabib, Thank you for your kind feedback. I hope to see you soon back here. Best, 🌷 Shai
Written December 12, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Brayden D
Bellevue, WA1 contribution
Jul 2022
In July I visited Israel for the first time and I couldn't be happier to have had Shai as my tour guide for Jerusalem. I was traveling with my girlfriend and her family who are originally from Israel, whereas I was not raised with Israeli or Jewish influence, nor do I speak Hebrew.

His tour guide style is seamless from the moment he picks you up to the time he drops you off. He knew all of the best spots in the the Shuk to eat and drink and I even got to have one of the best kabobs of my life!

I am naturally very inquisitive and my interminable questioning would drive the average person to insanity... but Shai is no average person! I asked and asked and asked ad nauseum but Shai had an answer to every question and colored all responses with the small details that distinguish the greatest tour guides from the rest.

I'm happy to know I will always have such a fond memory of visiting Jerusalem with my girlfriend's family and with Shai as our tour guide. 10/10 recommend!
Written September 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Brayden, Thank you for your very warm words. I also cherish the time we had together, as people like you bring out of me the best I can. Hope to see you soon again here, Shau
Written September 10, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

SwissfamilyGrass
1 contribution
Jan 2023 • Family
Shai led us on an informative journey through some of the most interesting Holy Land sites. His enthusiasm for Israel and telling the story of its history and people is both insightful and educational. The colorful way he weaves the narrative parts of the tour leaves a real impression, and we left with more knowledge of the Israeli experience than we ever could have hoped to gain. Shai is the consummate professional. If our travels bring us to Israel in the future, he’d be our go to guide.
Written January 7, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Leah, Thank you for your warm feedback. I remember we had a "mobile seminar" in my car about past, present, and future Israel. I was happy to show you around my country and will happily do so whenever you come back. Thanks, Shai
Written January 7, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

travelling88
Toronto, Canada17 contributions
Sep 2022 • Couples
Had a wonderful day touring Masada, Ein Gedi & the Dead Sea with Shai. He was punctual, prepared, engaging and incredibly knowledgeable and proud of his country's history and culture. He provided detailed and pertinent historical information regarding the places we visited and he made it all very interesting. He mixed in current affairs with his commentary and was frank and candid and did not shy away from answering any questions. It was like spending the day with an old friend. Highly recommended Shai!
Written September 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Charlene and Theo, Thank you both for your kind words. I sometimes compare my guidance to a delicate dance I have with my guests. The mutual joy is based on all of us, and your intelligent questions made this day very special!
Written September 16, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Julio M
1 contribution
Dec 2022 • Family
I just can't express how fulfilling our experience in Israel was with Chai as our tour guide. He customized our tour to see some of the most meaningful locations to us by getting to know us and our interests. Amazingly, he knew dates, names, events and historical happenings from each location we went to, and was also able to give us both Hebraic and evangelical significance of the sites we were at. He was like a walking encyclopedia, in the best way possible. I would highly recommend him and Know the Land. Chai LOVES what he does! He is passionate about it and it doesn't appear to be "work" to him. He genuinely loves the land, the history, the people and those who come to visit as well! May Hashem continue to bless Chai, his family, and the land of Israel and all who pray for her peace. Shalom!!
Written December 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Julio, Thank you for your warmest words. I feel blessed by the fact that ALFC's journey was a very meaningful tour for all its participants. I was happy to meet your lovely family and guide you in the Land of Israel. God bless you all, Shai
Written December 16, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Merav D
Zurich, Switzerland13 contributions
Jul 2020 • Couples
I‘ve been going on multiple trips with Shai for the past year. Without any doubt, those were the most amazing tours i‘ve had in Israel (and i‘ve been going on tours in israel a lot).
Shai has deep knowledge in soooo many different fields. Sometimes I am so amazed by how rich his story-telling is, that i almost forget to listen. 😉
Whether it‘s (ancient-) history, culture, agriculture, geography, geology, religions or many more... you get excellent explanations and every question answered. He loves his country, with all the good and the bad that comes with it. And you will too. He really makes it feel like home.

Shai has a way to plan trips so that it is very well balanced between guiding, teaching, spreading his knowledge and relax time such as the most amazing swimming spots, amazing restaurants, wine tastings or else. Showering you in recommendations for after your tour or your next visit to Israel. You will get excellent insights to israeli lifestyle. Far more than what you get by just „being a tourist“

This guide has the amazing ability to catch anyones attention and share his enthusiasm. Even kids, who are harder to catch when it’s summer and hot outside. You can feel that his priority is, to make you happy. And he will go all the way to reach this goal, even if it means changing the whole tour plan spontaneously. He will do everything he can, so that your experience will be remembered for eternity.

Let Shai show you around in Israel and I promise you will go home with a very special spot reserved in your heart for Israel.

Thanks Shai, looking forward to our next great trip together...
Written July 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Merav, Thank you for the great feedback. I look forward to our next tour (-: LeHithra'ot, Shai
Written August 11, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Luke P
2 contributions
Sep 2022 • Couples
Shai gave my partner and I a private tour around the Old City of Jerusalem and we could not have asked for a better experience. Shai is extremely knowledgeable, thorough, and most importantly, fun to be around. He gave us the flexibility to customize our day how we saw fit, and made all of the planning very simple.

I would highly recommend Shai for any of your needs in Israel, 10/10 A+!
Written September 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Shira and Luke, Thank you for your warm words. I hope we meet again soon as plenty of great sites and photo ops are out there waiting for us...
Written September 22, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Know the Land (Jerusalem) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go