By Justin Neil
The new hit film Tour Jerusalem: City of Gold has revolutionized how one can visit Israel. Now for the first time ever, one can tour Israel WITHOUT physically being there!
This video simulates an actual tour, where viewers will feel as though they are in Jerusalem with their licensed tour guide, walking the very same alleyways that Jesus, King David, and the Prophets once walked. The tour is from a Judeo-Christian, Biblical worldview perspective.
To see the free Trailer, click here!
This innovative video is the brainchild of Nosson Shulman, a Licensed Tour Guide and Orthodox Jew, specializing in Christian & Biblical tours of Israel. He realized that the current pandemic has changed the tourism industry, and needed to be adapted to the realities of 2020. His personal background gave him insight into the next step!
Originally from Canada, at 21 he got married and made Aliyah (Immigrated) to Israel, his ancestral homeland, where he has lived for the last 12 years. He and his new wife started married life with Nosson studying in Yeshiva (intensive Academy of Torah Studies). As his family grew, the new father wanted a profession where he could share his knowledge and passion for history and the Bible, while supporting his family. As Nosson possesses a great sense of humor and expertise in storytelling, becoming a Tour Guide was a natural fit and he enrolled in the grueling, 2 year Tour Guiding Course, known to be one of the hardest in all of Israel. He successfully completed it in early 2012.
Nosson has built up a thriving touring business with so many wonderful clients, including professional athletes, pop stars, media personalities, pastors, politicians, business people, and families.
Simultaneously as a young man of faith. and with a deep understanding of the unique needs of religious and spiritual tourists, Nosson made it his mission to become an expert in Christian family tours. He now gives families the full Christian Israel experience, fine-tuned to each family’s unique denominational needs. “My tourists include Protestant people, Catholics, Anglicans, Evangelicals, and everything in between,” said Nosson. “I keep in contact with the majority of my Christian clientele. Regardless of their religious background, they all agree that the trip was a special experience that has stayed with them!”
Being a Torah observant Jew has proven to be a strong asset in guiding Christians. “My tourists want to know more about the daily life of Jesus as a Jew. His daily routine in many ways would actually be similar to mine, and I use that as a teaching tool.”, said Nosson. As an example, “I like to take my tourists to the upper room of the Last Supper and read with them Luke 22 and Mark 14, where Jesus instructed John and Peter to prepare the Passover. How they were to prepare it or Why Jesus was so concerned that it be done properly is not discussed. This is because at the time it was written the authors of the New Testament, who were mostly of Jewish origin, assumed readers of the time automatically understood the context. Obviously 2000 years later, much has changed, so as a tour guide, I fill in that gap.”
In March 2020, COVID 19 changed everything! Israel’s borders were (and remain for now) closed to non-citizens. As physical tours are (for now) impossible and feeling a responsibility to provide Christians (and Jews) with an authentic, uplifting Israel experience which they now needed more than ever, he decided to bring Israel to them. “I wanted to do something which had never been done,” said Nosson. “Documentaries had been done, and guides were doing live zoom sessions, but an actual professional “Tour” video where viewers feel like they are in Jerusalem themselves with a tour guide didn’t exist and there was a demand”.
(Actual clip from the video where Nosson is quoting a Biblical verse, showing where that event happened)
To give viewers the best experience, Nosson hired one of Israel’s top videographers to professionally record his usual Jerusalem walking tour, including the Western Wall, Stations of the Cross, Gethsemane, City of David, Absalom’s Tomb, the Cardo, Gate of Mercy and much, much more. The tour video itself is 1 hour and 20 minutes and was made with the intention that it would appeal to both those who have been to Israel and those who have not. “I recently had a leading Methodist Pastor tell me that he has been to Israel twice before and felt he didn’t need to return,” said Nosson. He bought the video and now says he “Needs” to visit Israel for the third time”.
Nosson stresses this video is for both scholars and those without any background. One viewer said “This will resonate with people who are knowledgeable of the Bible stories and want to see where it happened” before adding “When I watched the video, I felt as if I was touring in person with a friend”. Another viewer who purchased the tour for his elderly mother who has never been and knows little about Israel wrote to Nosson saying “My mom loved your virtual tour. She thought that you were exceptionally knowledgeable and were able to provide information to everyone regardless of their familiarity with the history”.
In addition to those at home due to the Pandemic, this video fills a special need for the elderly folks who have never traveled to Israel. Another viewer who bought the video for his elderly father wrote “My father always wanted to come but he will probably never make it; this is his one chance to experience it”.
Recently, Christian Cinema started airing Tour Jerusalem: City of Gold on Demand for purchase and rent. As of Sunday, August 30th, it was their 8th best selling film (out of more than 4000 titles), enjoying a 5-star rating from their viewers.
To take the tour of Jerusalem, or to see the free trailer, click here.