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I want to dedicate a space to the amazing moments I have had with the women in my groups, especially in light of recent events. To give a voice to the women who have inspired me, taught me, and motivated me for the simple reason that they were part of my trip. When I guided a group of women, I am thrilled to learn something from them.

jfs The Time I Guided a Group of Women
One of my groups in the summer of 2017

So there was the time I guided a group of women

on a Birthright trip when we spoke to a Bedouin woman and a Muslim Israeli woman about their perspectives and what their lives are like. Those two moments were so empowering, so interesting. We were able to get insight of a part of society that we don’t always get to meet while in Israel. AND we got that insight from women, strong and independent women. It was a great opportunity to learn from these women who provided strong role models for the women in our group.

There was the time I guided a group of women

from India in Nazareth and Jaffa. These independent women taught me what it really meant to be independent. The women knew exactly what they wanted from life. They knew how to hold themselves with dignity. It was an opportunity to bring these strong, intelligent, and dignified women to similar women here in Israel. Therefore, it was an another opportunity to find some amazing female role models.

indian-group.1 The Time I Guided a Group of Women
Part of my group from India. (Photo by Samantha Israel Tours).

There was the time I guided a group of women

as part of a group from Haifa University.  We went on trips to Nazareth, Tzfat, and Tel Aviv. The program at Haifa University is a semester or year- long program where students come to learn at the University. Throughout the semester, the students joined me on trips throughout the country in order to better know the land. The women of the group taught me one thing that is so important—a sense of curiosity. They asked me the most curious questions. These womden didn’t hold back—every question, every topic was fair game. They reminded me that curiosity is so much of what makes the world go ‘round. Without it, our society would look VERY different. These women reminded me to always keep my curiosity to stay healthy!

And there was the time I guided a group of women

from the Hadassah organization at Independence Hall. They were smart, and interesting, and interestED. These women had a great understanding of the events that unfolded in the museum, and wanted to know MORE. They listened, and they asked intelligent questions. I LOVED the jokes they told. My favorite one went like this:

Theodor Herzl (founder of the political Zionist Movement) and Sigmund Frued were born in the same year. They never met despite both being very important people. That may have been a good thing because imagine the two meeting in a café. Herzl would sit down, and say “Sigmund, I have a dream.” And who knows what would happen next?!

They taught me how to live to the fullest—with a big heart, a sense of interest, and to always have a good joke in my back pocket.

And there was the time I guided a group of women

in another Birthright group and we went to the Western Wall Friday night for Shabbat. The men went to the men’s section, and I went with the women to the women’s section. We sang, we danced, and we prayed at the holiest site in Judaism. There was a feeling of together-ness that was amazing.

It was a moment where we could just be women, where we could be together, and where we could be at total sense of peace. AND where we could be proud, Jewish women! It is a moment that I will never forget, and a moment I will always hold dear and close to my heart.

birthright The Time I Guided a Group of Women
My Birthright group from May 2017. (Photo by Samantha Israel Tours).

There was the time I guided a group of women

who were part of a student group from the Ben Gurion University in Be’er Sheva.  Like the group from Haifa University, they were learning at the University, and joined me to explore Israel from the north to the south, and everything in between. The women in the group were simply fun people. They were looking for a good time, and made sure that every trip, every opportunity was indeed a good time. In conclusion, they reminded to make the best out of every trip, every day, and every opportunity.

Finally, there was the time I guided an all- girls group

in Ein Gedi. They came to Israel on their high school summer. When we arrived at Ein Gedi we changed into our water shoes and started walking along the Nahal David trail. There are several of different waterfalls along the trail. It was a hot day, so we went into the first one to cool off. After a few minutes, we continued further down the trail to one of my favorite waterfalls along the trail.

Everyone put down their bags, and got into the water. What happened next was AMAZING!! All of the girls, and their female staff, sat down in a circle in the water, and started singing. It was a simply beautiful moment.

all-girls-trip The Time I Guided a Group of Women
An all- girls group in Ein Gedi. (Photo by Samantha Israel Tours).

While there have been a lot of different women, and a lot of different groups, that I have guided, and each one is inspiring, these are just a few of these moments. However, it is these moments that I take with me when I continue my career. I remember how to continue to be a strong, independent woman, and due to that, I owe a huge thank you for each and every one of these women.

**Samantha Israel Tours wants to take this opportunity to make it very clear that we are a safe space. We are a space that does NOT discriminate against people regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion. We are a safe space to support those who need a support system in any event.**

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Samantha Ben Avraham
Follow Samantha Ben Avraham:

Private Tour Guide

Samantha is a private tour guide in Israel. Her passion is to bring Israel to you on a personal and interesting level. From guiding University groups to Birthright trips to private family tours, Samantha brings Israel to you!

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