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“Recommending Zel Lederman as guide for Jerusalem” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Zel Lederman - Jerusalem Private Tours

Zel Lederman - Jerusalem Private Tours
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Jerusalem Private Guide Half Day Tour
Ranked #59 of 217 Tours in Jerusalem
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Jerusalem Private Guide offers private guide tours of Jerusalem and surrounding areas.These personalized tours are customized to each client's interests ,physical or health limitations & requirements ,touring pace & time available.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Recommending Zel Lederman as guide for Jerusalem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 20, 2013

Unless you have several days to tour Jerusalem, I highly recommend getting a licensed, experienced Jerusalem guide. My wife and I visited Jerusalem in April 2013 and thoroughly enjoyed Zel and the city. First, Zel tailors the tour to your wish list, paces the tour to match your preferences (speed up? need a break?), and will use his car if the tour takes you around the outskirts of the old city (it is bigger than it looks on a map and the car is a nice relief from all the walking). If you happen to tour on a Saturday, the city is blissfully traffic free. But important to us, Zel was fluent on the issues we wanted to hear about: the political, religious and archeological history of the city; the evolution of the city as a religious and regional political center; the twists and turns of the relationship of the many peoples who have lived and continue to live in the city; and a thorough discussion of the challenges of a city with a nominally separate east and west. Zel also arranged a quick tour of Bethlehem for us (Israelis are not allowed in Bethlehem, so he handed us to a West Bank guide, who then returned us to Zel). Zel does his touring in an easy-going, thoughtful, and memorable way. He is a well travelled Aussie, so what would you expect? Let him pick the lunch spot! I recommend Zel for travelers of any religious affiliation.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank Mike Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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53 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“An awesome two day trip in Jerusalem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 11, 2013

My wife and I hired Zel to be our guide in Israel for 2 days. It was a fantastic experience. Zel is friendly, knowledgeable and experienced. We were very privileged to have him accompany us for our short stay in Israel.

We kicked off our journey in Jordan. We arrived at the King Hussein's Crossing at 730am. It took 3 hours for us to get to the Israeli side. By the time we cleared customs, Zel had already been there waiting for hours. We had to call him to confirm our arrival before he was allowed inside the terminal to pick us up. We got into his car and planned out our activities for the next 2 days.

Our first stop was Masada, the ancient fort built by Herod the Great. Zel initially recommended that we do a "Sunrise at Masada" session in the morning on the 2nd day of our journey. But given our short stay in the country, the logistic didnt really work out, so we visited Masada first thing upon arrival. Zel took us around the ancient city. He explained the history, the technology and the Jewish rituals embedded in the architecture. Zel was both clear and detailed in his illustrations. I came as a traveler with very limited knowledge of the history and the way living 2000 years ago in this part of the world. But after a 2 hour visit in Masada guided by Zel, a pretty concrete picture was formed in my head. In retrospect, if I could plan my trip again, I would definitely take up Zel's suggestion to do a "Sunrise at Masada" session. It was very scenic at the top of the mountain overlooking the Dead Sea. This would be particularly interesting to visitors that like photography.

After Masada, we drove to the New City of Jerusalem. We told Zel that we like to try local food. He took us to a falafel place near the Mount of Olives. The falafel there was absolutely fantastic. After we got recharged, we went to the Mount of Olives and had a panoramic view of the whole city. Zel pointed out all the landmarks and key buildings in the Old City which we were facing. We then visited a few churches in the neighborhood like the Church of All Nations, Church of Dominus Flevit, Church of Mary Magdalene, among many others. After that, we drove around the city a bit and Zel pointed out all the significant landmarks to us to prep us for our activities that evening. Zel’s directions were clear. My wife and I had no problem navigating around the city that evening with his instructions. We even went to a local restaurant that Zel drove by and recommended earlier that day.

The second day of our journey was in the Old City. We checked out of our hotel at 830am and Zel was promptly there to pick us up. We walked to the Old City and toured around the different quarters inside the Old City. Key highlights were the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome on the Rock and, Western Wall as well as the market inside the Old City. Zel was very knowledgeable and detailed on the history of the city, its construction and the heritage of the different quarters. He also gave us very good insights on how things were and how they are now.

After the Old City, our final destination was Bethlehem. Zel told us ahead of time that he couldn’t guide us there because Bethlehem is in Palestine, so he connected us with one his Palestinian tour guide friends there. The arrangement was very smooth, and we spent around 2 hours in Bethlehem while Zel waited for us on the Israeli side. He then drove us back to the Jordan-Israel border where he picked us up. We took the bus back to Jordan there pretty much the same way we arrived. (Small pointer to travelers – be sure you have enough Shekels with you when you depart. The exit fee at the border is rather expensive (170 Shekels per person) and the exchange rate is ridiculously wide.

Overall, my wife and I had a lot of fun in Israel. We have to thank Zel for that because his knowledge and experience definitely made a difference. We felt like we were guided by a historian throughout our trip, with answers to almost all of the questions we raised. Thanks for the time and thanks for telling us about your culture and traditions among many other interesting things.

Visited March 2013
2 Thank Eugene Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“A wonderful and enlightening overview of Jerusalem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2013

On our first day in Jerusalem, Zel took us on a walking tour of the city. It was a great orientation that informed the rest of our trip. From our hotel we walked past the Montefiore Windmill and on to the Old City, entering at the Jaffe Gate. We walked though the Christian Quarter, the Muslim Quarter and the Arab Shuk, stoppping at and visiting the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Via Dolorosa and the Western Wall. We saw the Kidron Valley and the Mount of Olives. Zel gave us the right information to appreciate all of these and gave us much to think about. We were able to visit other places in Jerusalem armed with the knowledge we gained from him. You must engage him for your next trip to Jerusalem and also try his trip to Masada. Thank you Zel!

Visited May 2013
Thank Tondelaya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Walking tour of Jerusalem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2013

We have been to Jerusalem a few times and wanted to do something different. I had been recommended to Zel and discussed with him what we wanted. He made some suggestions and organized a great walking tour to places we hadnt seen. The walking tour was informative and entertaining and we all enjoyed the day. Although we had walked through the old city before Zel introduced us to different areas and one of our highlights was the lunch of different types of houmous. The tour also included walking through other districts outside the old city - his knowledge was very comprehensive and he ensured we all had a great time. We would definitely use Zel again.

Visited August 2012
Thank supermumMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
“Jerusalem Private Tours - terrific guide for Jerusalem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 2, 2013

Zel organised a great customised 1 day tour of Jerusalem for my husband and myself. Our brief was to experience Jerusalem through a timeline. He simplified the complicated history of the city by showing us the contribution of the various religions and ancient powers through the millennia. Although we've made several visits to Jerusalem , he managed to show us hidden treasures and " secret places" we had never known about.. Being a native English speaker, Zel was a thorougly knowledgable and engaging guide who provides a suggested itinerary for approval prior to the day. He also paces the day to suit the clients. Take a pair of walking shoes and camera of course.
Oze Traveller

Visited January 2013
Thank Oze2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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