About Marty Friedlander

I am an American-born Israeli, having moved to Israel at age 18. I have lived my entire adult life in Jerusalem. I am a a graduate of Hebrew University, where I majored in historical geography with minors in Jewish history and archaeology. Served in the IDF, first in the Paratroops and then, after recovering from an injury, in the Education Corps as a tour guide for soldiers(!) Following my complete recovery, I went on to serve as a combat medic in the reserves for the next 20+ years. I am married (to Rena Fredman) and we have four kids, the youngest of whom is 18  and still, thank God, living at home full-time, where he keeps us young. I consider myself a modern Orthodox Jew, and love to learn Tanach in the land where it happened. I am also one of the founders of the Alyn Ride, Israel’s largest sports charity event.

For many years I guided an average of 4-5 weeks a year. The real profession was writing, translating, and journalism – I’ve worked for the daily newspaper Haaretz for over 13 years. But as of about eight years ago, I became a full-time guide, and have been loving it ever since. In a conscious effort to stay fresh, I mix up the groups that I guide – families (both Jewish and Christian), youth (I go to Poland once a year to teach Holocaust studies for March of the Living), college kids (a couple of Birthright groups each year), churches and synagogues of all sorts, and Federation groups (the last one focused on high-tech in Israel).

I love to bring the Bible alive by helping to associate the verses and stories with the geographical and political context in which they took place. I do feel that the most exciting page of Jewish history is currently being written here in Israel, and I often juxtapose the past and present. I like controversy, and never sugar-coat reality. I love Israel, warts and all. Special passions include archaeology of the Second Temple period, development of the Land of Israel by the Zionist movement, arrival of the European presence in the late 19th century, and Holocaust studies.

I also love to have fun, hike whenever feasible, explore nature, make a pretty decent Turkish coffee out in the field when the time is right, swim in natural pools and streams. And sometimes the guide needs to just be quiet and allow the aura of our surroundings to take front and center.

What are people around the world saying about me?

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