Interview with Richard Woolf, Tour Guide

Richard Woolf offers tailor made tours for individuals, couples and small families, usually in his own comfortable vehicle which is specially licensed and insured. I asked him about his work and about Rosh Pina, where he lives ...

Hi Richard, tell me a bit about yourself. How long have you been a tour guide and how did you get started?
I have been a guide for some fifteen years. I have always had an interest in the history of ancient sites and loved to explore the land of Israel. I often found myself accompanying friends and relatives on their visits to the Galilee, so at a certain point in my life when I was ready for a change of career I decided to study to become a guide.

If someone wants to become a tour guide in Israel, how do you go about it?
Israeli tour guides need to be certified by the Ministry of Tourism which requires one to pass exams at the end of a one or two year course. Such courses are offered by schools of tourism and several academic colleges around the country.

You live in Rosh Pina which is one of the most beautiful places in the Galilee. How long have you been living there?
I have been living in Rosh Pina for some four decades, after immigrating from the UK. I spent my first twenty years here raising beef cattle and horses in extensive pasture land - in other words I was a cowboy! In 1970 there were 700 people living in Rosh Pina and many of the adults were engaged in farming one way or another.

What changes have you seen there over the years? Although the population has grown fourfold, it is still quite an intimate place and a stroll to the supermarket is always accompanied by by greeting familiar faces along the way although I can't always put a name to every face these days. Its become a very popular place to visit for Israelis as it has still preserved a lot of its rural character in spite of the development of malls, gas stations and restaurants clustered at the entrance just off road 90.

I understand that you publish your own travel guide for the north of Israel. Can you tell me a bit about it?
Together with Maxine Levite, I have been helping to produce "The Galilee Guide" for the past twenty years. The new edition currently at the printers contains some twenty-eight touring suggestions which I have prepared. It is available for free at tourist information offices, hotels, nature reserves etc throughout the Galilee.

Thanks, Richard, for taking the time to answer my questions. Just one last thing - how can people get in touch with you?
I can be contacted at 050-5894647 or 04-6935377. My e-mail address is woolfr@netvision.net.il

Sounds good! Thanks for sharing!


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