About Essential Israel

Essential Israel is a division of Routes Travel and Tours Ltd. that is dedicated to providing top-quality, custom-designed tours for Evangelical Christian groups and individuals. At Essential Israel we are committed to making it as easy as possible for anyone who would like to organize a tour for his/her community or church to do so. We aim to ensure that every person who participates in an Essential Israel tour will have the Israel experience of a lifetime.


Ely and Edna Berzan 

Co-Founders & Directors: Essential Israel and Routes Travel and Tours Ltd.


Based in Jerusalem and staffed by passionate Israel travel professionals and educators, Essential Israel is a family business operating in a warm family atmosphere. A virtual microcosm of the "Ingathering of the Exiles," Essential Israel is proud to have on it's staff an outstanding group of idealistic young Jews who have made Aliyah -- literally "have come up" to live in Israel – and have followed their own personal "routes" from the four corners of the earth. You will find here a dynamic mix of people who have come to us from Montreal, Toronto, and Edmonton in Canada; from Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta in the US; from Istanbul in Turkey and from London in England, from Hamburg in Germany, from Moscow in Russia, and from Cape Town in South Africa! Of course, our rich mosaic would not be complete without the spicy and dynamic core of "Sabras," or homegrown native Israelis, heralding from across modern Israel -- with representatives from Israel's new urban centers as well as from its unique pioneering communities – such as the kibbutz, the community settlements and the moshav.

So, at Essential Israel, we may be seen as representing not only the paths through Israel which we are so excited to share with you, but also a manifestation of the words of the Prophets which we have fulfilled by virtue of having returned to the Land of Israel.

We all feel so privileged and thrilled to one day very soon welcome you to our beautiful country, in a celebration of our common roots.

Shalom from Jerusalem!
Ely and Edna