There is always more than one point of view
Experience Israel's rich spectrum your way. My goal is to provide you with not just a "trip to Israel" but with a dynamic journey that you will remember for a lifetime. Your tour starts at home, and I will work with you one-on-one to create the right itinerary to suit your interests.
I am Jonathan (Yonatan), an American-born licensed Israeli tour guide, with a Master's degree in Jewish Studies. I have multicultural experience guiding clients from a wide range of backgrounds - Jews, Christians, university students, couples, individuals, families with small children, LGBTQ, and more.
I am eager to share my experience, knowledge and passion for Israel with you - making your trip accessible and enjoyable. Working closely, we'll explore the full spectrum of Israel together.
SHALOM! I'm Yonatan (Jonathan) Kohn.
I was born and raised in the Baltimore / Washington DC area. My first visit to Israel was at age 17. After graduating from high school, I spent a gap year living and working on Kibbutz Ein Harod. In 1986, I studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and then returned to the US to complete my BA at the University of Maryland.
Soon after graduation, I immigrated to Israel and was drafted into the IDF where I served as a combat soldier. After completing my compulsory military service, I worked in hi-tech. Although I was successful at my job, I felt that I wanted to share my love and passion for Israel with others, and completed the two-year tour guide course the University of Haifa, Tel Aviv campus.
In 2001, it felt time to do something completely different. I moved abroad to teach English, first in Spain and later in Japan. During my years abroad, I completed my Master's in Jewish Studies with a focus on Christianity from Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
I returned permanently to Israel in 2011 to fulfill my dream by working as a guide and educator. Guiding is my passion, and I enjoy working with people from a wide variety of backgrounds.
Before your arrival, we’ll work together to build an itinerary that perfectly matches your needs. From one-day to two-week tours, we’ll experience all that Israel has to offer, at your pace and in line with your interests. Here are some sample one-day and multi-day tours:
Walking Tour Old City Jerusalem
Jaffa Gate - From here we will see both the new city and the old
Armenian Quarter to Zion Gate - Learn about the world's first Christian country
Mt Zion - Visit the Room of the Last Supper; King David’s Tomb; Dormition Abbey
Jewish Quarter - See the Roman Cardo; Hurva Synagogue; Broad Wall; and more
Western Wall - Focal point of Jewish worship built by King Herod 2,000 years ago
Muslim Quarter - Walk the Via Dolorosa (Stations of the Cross)
Church of the Holy Sepulchre - Where tradition says Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected
Christian Quarter - Walk through the colorful souk (market)
One Day from Jerusalem (Masada, Dead Sea and more)
Dead Sea - Descend to the lowest spot on earth
Masada - Amazing archaeology and also a window into the Jewish world of 2,000 years ago
Ein Gedi - Enjoy lush, greenery in the desert and amazing wildlife
Dead Sea - Experience the sensation of floating on water
Return to Jerusalem
Walking Tour Tel Aviv
Jaffa - One of the oldest port cities in the world and mentioned in the Bible
Neve Tsedek - The first Jewish neighborhood built outside the walls of Jaffa
Lilienblum St - Newly renovated area of Tel Aviv
Rothschild BLVD - Amazing Bauhaus architecture and Independence Hall (where the state was declared)
Ha’Bima Theater - Israel's national theater
Rabin Square - Learn about the events leading up the assassination of PM Rabin in November 1995
One Day from Tel Aviv (Caesarea, Akko and more)
Drive north on the coastal road
Caesarea - Remains of magnificent port city build by King Herod
Haifa - Stop for a quick visit to the stunning Bahai Gardens
Akko - Visit the fascinating underground crusader city, Templar Tunnel and more
Return to Tel Aviv
Day 1 - Arrival
Day 2 - Walking tour Tel Aviv
Day 3 - Leave Tel Aviv stopping in Caesarea and Akko
Day 4 - Leave Akko and head to Rosh Pina with a visit to Tsfat (kabbala - Jewish mysticism)
Day 5 - Rosh Pina and then visit Tel Dan and then Mt Bental in the Golan Heights for a look into Syria
Day 6 - Rosh Pina and visit Migdala then Be'it She'an and Beit Alfa on our way to Jerusalem
Day 7 - Tour Jerusalem
June 20, 2019
We enjoyed our time with Yonatan in Jerusalem. He led us around the complicated Old City while providing thoughtful commentary on both ancient history and the current situation. I am grateful to have found him as our guide. He kept our teenagers engaged.
I would highly recommend him to anyone looking to for a guide in Israel.
San Francisco, US
May 26, 2019
We did an amazing 4 day tour with Yonatan Kohn. We did a day walking tour of Tel Aviv, a day walking tour of Jerusalem, a day driving tour of the Masada and the Dead Sea, and a day driving tour of the Caesaria, Haifa and BaHa'i Gardens. Yonatan knew the best places to go for special gifts in Jerusalem, restaurants and the best place to go for entering the Dead Sea (my favorite part). Be sure and get his restaurant recommendations for the rest of your trip - he's a great info source (and has great taste in food!)
Yonatan talks with you to gauge your interest and make suggestions, and totally caters the tour to your preferences. Yonatan is a wealth of information, not only regarding each site, but also with the history, contemporary attitudes, and little tidbits. He understands and appreciates all the religions of the area, and provides a balanced explanation of events, both past and present. By the end of the trip, we considered Yonatan a friend - so smart and entertaining. I would give him my highest recommendation!
April 08, 2019
Jonathan Kohn was great! He was organized, extremely knowledgeable, very accommodating and speaks perfect English as well as Hebrew. He was recommended to us and he did not disappoint. He worked with us months in advance preparing our itinerary. He was very interested in us and what we wanted. We even changed the itinerary during the trip and he took us impromptu on a 5 mile hike in the mountains near the Dead Sea. We spent 8 days touring with Jonathan and it was a delight. We highly recommend him.
Michael and Katrina
November 17, 2018
Jonathan Kohn, was an excellent guide, whose superb knowledge ranged from history, religion to current events. We spent two (2) days in Tel Aviv with him at the end of our three (3) week trip to Israel. He has everything planned out, not a wasted moment. He was prompt and organized but was very flexible in our days with him. We were tired and are minds started to wane, so he made the adjustments on the fly. One of the most memorable experiences we had with Jonathan was at Rabin Square, sitting on a planter wall and talking about the night of Rabin assassination, the mood of the country and where current political events are today. I would recommend Jonathan for either a brief visit or a longer stay in this incredible country. You won't be disappointed.
November 12, 2018
Yonatan Kohn was recommended to us as a private tour guide and we are so fortunate that he was available to take us touring though Tel-Aviv/Jaffa and then driving to the north of the country, visiting coastal cities, Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights. Yonatan is highly knowledgeable, with detailed experiences drawn from his various backgrounds. I highly recommend him to any small group travellers.
March 03, 2017
At the beginning of my visit to Israel, I spent a splendid day exploring Tel Aviv with Yonatan. He was truly the perfect choice of educator: with patience, a sense of humor and an appreciation for my non-Jewish, somewhat provincial American background, Yonatan fully and generously answered all of my questions–without bias–about the people of Israel, their politics, culture and more. He comfortably packed a lot into our day; more, Yonatan gave me a terrific foundation for the rest of my trip. I enthusiastically recommend Yonatan as a guide.
February 19, 2017
Our trip to Israel was a bucket lister for us. Having Yonatan as your guide ensures it to be memorable. We cannot say enough about Yonatan - he is everything you could ask for in a guide. His previsit planning and communications are flawless. He is incredibly knowledgeable, punctual and personable. His guided 3 day tour of Jerusalem and Masada/Dead Sea was amazing. He thought of the extra details to ensure our trip was perfect. His recommendations are top notch. You cannot go wrong hiring Yonatan. I have no doubt you will be as pleased as we were. Thanks Yonatan.
Kristy & Mark
Salt Lake City, UT
January 06, 2017
I was very fortunate to have Yonatan as a guide in Jerusalem recently. It was all done at the last minute, mainly for the benefit of a friend who was visiting and who had never been to Israel before. We had little time. I had no idea how Yonatan would pull off creating a meaningful experience - especially for a first-time visitor - that didn't feel rushed. I still don't know how he did it - but he did. We toured the old city, saw it all, but Yonatan kept it dynamic and his seemingly unending knowledge was easily absorbed thanks to his ability to immerse you in his storytelling. His mix of facts and humor was complemented by his ability to tailor the experience to what is meaningful for his clients, their interests and personalities. Yonatan stands out among other tour guides. You'll feel entirely relaxed with him and you'll never feel like he's taking you on a route he does routinely. Thanks to Yonatan, we both had an unforgettable, fun and meaningful experience.
New York City
December 15, 2016
In December 2016 hebben wij met Yonatan Jaffa/TelAviv en Caesarea bezocht. Je merkt aan alles dat Yonatan een zeer ervaren gids is die veel plezier heeft in zijn werk. Naast zijn enorme kennis is hij zeer klantgericht. Een paar keer vroeg hij of hij moest stoppen met uitleg geven maar wij wilden alleen maar meer, meer. Zijn verhalen illustreert hij met oude foto's en citaten uit boeken die hij meedraagt tijdens de excursie. Een perfecte mix van een mooie wandeling, ontspanning, geschiedenis, religie en hedendaags Israël. Met een gids als deze zie, hoor, leer en beleef je veel meer dan als je zelf met een reisgids op stap gaat. Van harte aanbevolen!
In December 2016 we visited Jaffo/TelAviv and Caesarea with Yonatan. It is obvious that Yonatan is a guide with a lof of experience who has pleasure in his work. In addition to his vast knowledge, he is very customizable . A few times he asked if he should stop giving explanations but we just wanted more, more. He illustrates his stories with old photos and quotes from books he carries during the excursion. A perfect mix of a beautiful walk , entertainment, history, religion and contemporary Israel. With a guide like this, you see, hear, learn and experience so much more than if you walk yourself with a guidebook. Highly recommended!
Frank & Rémond
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
December 07, 2016
After my 14 year-old daughter and I saw the sites of Jerusalem, Yonatan Kohn guided us on a magical 5-day tour of central and northern Israel, from Masada to the Dead Sea, from Ein Gedi to Safed to the Golan Heights to the Galilee, from Rosh Ha'Nikrah to Akko to Haifa to Jaffa -- and much in between! Did I mention lunch in a Druze village? He handled developing itinerary ideas, accommodations, restaurant recommendations, translation, and explaining how what we were seeing related to the Bible as well as other classic texts such as the histories of Josephus. Always ready with an ancient map or a discussion of current affairs, he was flexible and extraordinarily friendly, honest, and informative.
Washington DC area
May 19, 2016
My 23 year old son and I just returned from Israel and I wanted to thank Yonatan Kohn for making our trip so memorable. We had been to Israel several times before and visited the must see tourist sites, so I told Yonatan I wanted to do some less touristy things. He put together a phenomenal itinerary, including a wine tour, cooking class, archeological dig, and hike and our days were completely filled with both active and educational activities. The 5 days flew by, and I couldn't have asked for a better tour guide. I would highly recommend Yonatan, and I look forward to returning to Israel and having him introduce us to more of this wonderful country.
West Hartford CT
April 14, 2016
Yonatan is the finest guide to introduce you to or expand your knowledge of Israel. He has the ability to access your interests and comfort level both physically and intellectually. He enthusiastically offers detailed information as if it were merely a simple conversation. We had the pleasure of exploring the north with Yonatan for 3 days. We visited sites that we had been to before but because of Yonatan were able to see them in a new light. He also has the key to finding new and exciting places in a country so steeped in Biblical history. He is flexible to the point of amplifying itinerary plans while touring. As an American born Israeli it is easy to converse with Yonatan; his nuance of the English language is a bonus. We laughed and learned and wish we had had more time to spend with him. I guess we will have to return to Israel again!
Arlene & Alan
January 30, 2015
My brother and I did a full day tour of Tel Aviv with Yonatan. What a great day! It seemed like we walked the entire city, beginning in Jaffa and ending in historic Rabin Square. Yonatan was a fount of knowledge, and was very happy to answer all of our questions about Israel's past and present. What I enjoyed most about our tour was that, while Yonatan planned the tour in chronological order, he was always eager to entertain our questions and comments and we honestly learned so much from him. I would highly recommend Yonatan as a tour guide for anyone looking to make the most out of their time in Israel.
New York City
October 04, 2014
The plan was to tour Jaffa and from there move on into the main part of modern Tel Aviv. We met Yonatan at the Jaffa Clock Tower at 9:30 a.m., and off we went. Yonatan is originally American but has been an Israeli for several years now, with a brief stint as a teacher in Japan. We set off to explore Jaffa, with a focus on the Ottoman period, the changes in the city before and after 1948, the restored homes and artists' quarters established in the 1950s and '60s, and the spectacular vistas overlooking modern Tel Aviv. Most of this was familiar territory for me—wholly new for Madeleine—but I was already learning a lot from my new guide. We then headed into Neve Tzedek, the first Jewish neighborhood outside the walls of Jaffa well before the founding of Tel Aviv in 1909 (late 1800s). We also walked through Ha-Tachana, the old Ottoman railroad station that has become a trendy development of shops and galleries opened in recent years. We went through the Suzanne Dallal arts center, and headed up Rothschild Boulevard into the Bauhaus District. Madeleine kept commenting how European the area felt, with wide, tree-lined boulevards and the beautifully restored Bauhaus, or International, architecture. When the Nazis took power in Germany in 1933, they shut down the Bauhaus movement in that country, and the Jewish architects involved came to Eretz Yisrael/Palestine to help build the new city. The result was the most amazing collection of this architecture in the world, giving Tel Aviv its status as a UNESCO Heritage City and its nickname "The White City." When I first came in 1988, the buildings had badly decayed, because the construction has often been on the cheap, and the wood and stucco exteriors did not hold up in the intense sunlight and seaside climate—much like the Miami Beach Art Deco district (the buildings of which are very similar in many ways). It wasn't much called Bauhaus—just ugly—but like the Miami Beach district, when people recognized what they had and moved to restore it, the results are stunning! We stopped for lunch We then headed through the area of the famous Ha-Bima Theater, and the square that has been restored into great public space. It really is lovely—I would love to see it with crowds and an outdoor concert. Maybe when I return with Brett in May 2016? Our final stop of the day was far more evocative. Nineteen years ago tonight, Yitzhak Rabin was murdered after he spoke at a peace rally at the square which now bears his name. Yonatan ended our tour at Rabin Square (at my request), and he told the story of that terrible night and its effect on the country, and his own memories. We proceeded to the memorial at the actual site of the shooting, and the preserved part of the graffiti left by tens of thousands of grieving young people, soon called "the Children of the Candles." This place always moves me profoundly, and as he read Rabin's final speech aloud, I had tears streaming down my face. There will be a major commemoration this Saturday night, but we were grateful to have a chance to pay honor to his memory, and what the country lost. Madeleine and I had big hopes if not expectations for this day, and Yonatan leapt so far beyond them. It was simply an amazing and unforgettable day. I already have Yonatan working on some new things to show me when I return for a solo trip in March, and I am sure I will tour with him with Brett when he comes a little more than a year after that. Yes, he is that good. I highly recommend him, and he not only tours in Tel Aviv but all over the country, including being licensed to drive people he is touring. Such a wonderful find; I'm still pinching myself! Thank God for wonderful days in the Land of Israel—and wonderful people with whom I connect, old friends and new alike. I totally, utterly had my "click" today--and have a very full heart tonight.
July 31, 2013
My family went to Israel to see as much as possible, and that would not have been possible without Yonatan! We learned so much history in a fun and exciting way! We would not have been able to do even half of what we did with Jonathan if we had toured by ourselves. If you spend all the time and effort to get to Israel, why not make the most of your trip? Thank you so much for a great time!
July 22, 2013
Greetings to everyone who reads this! I took a tour with my family lead by Jonathan, because of him I got a much better understanding of Israel and it's history. I had a great time and enjoyed all the fun times we shared. I hope to come back to Israel in the future and when I do I'll make sure to hire him for a tour!
July 12, 2013
Thank you for the great tour in Jerusalem today!! You have so much knowledge.
June 04, 2013
First trip to Jerusalem and we got a referral via a foaf to Yonatan's tours. We did a 4 hour private tour for 4 people and it was absolutely fantastic! Yonatan has extensive knowledge of the the city, its history, its people, the sites that bring one to the old city, and pretty much anything else we asked him. The day was action packed with sites and humor. I highly recommend him!