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 1994, 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 is right, and so we did. I went for an "early retirement" (at 42 years old…), made some 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.