My name is Ika (Itzhak) Schweitzer. I was born in 1951 in Tel-Aviv where I grew up and been living all my life. In 1969, after graduating high school, I enlisted to the IDF, served in the Paratroopers' brigade, made officers' school and ended my service term as a Captain. After army service and the obvious "after service tour abroad" (U.S., 6 months in Manhattan, 3 months touring from “coast to coast”) I studied and graduated (B.A) in Political Science and General History at Tel-Aviv University.
In 1979 I started a business in 2-WAY-Radio communication, with a friend of mine, in which I was the managing director, responsible for marketing and finance. In 1993, when cellular phones had changed the world of communication, we decided to sell to a much bigger company, make a nice exit, exactly when the time was right, and so we did. I went for an "early retirement" (at 42 years old…), made some minor investments and enjoyed my free time.
But something was missing. In 1996 I joined a tour-guides course in the School of Tourism of Haifa University. This course is known to be a unique opportunity and the best way to really learn about the land of Israel. I graduated in 1998 and started guiding immediately.
I was so excited with the subject, so I started my M.A. studies in History and Archaeology of the Land of Israel in Bar-Ilan University. In 2001 I graduated (with excellence!).
Guiding in Israel has been always an educational experience for me and my travelers. Israel is not just "sites to see" but has so many layers like a big onion, and what I try to do in my tours is to peal each one of the pieces to their core, in order to really understand it and us Israelis, not just sight-see and take pictures of it. My tours are not only a monologue (me…) but questions, answers and conversations.
In 2006 I was appointed a manager and teacher of the same tour-guides course I had taken as a student few years earlier. It was, for me, not only 'closing a circle' but an opportunity to shape a new tour-guides generation as well. I managed 2 courses in parallel until the end of 2009. However, that had required from me to give up many of my loyal travelers and I decided to quit, at least for the time being. So, now I am back, in full gear, ready to guide and educate my travelers in Israel.