2015 Year in Review

BDHiMAs the year 2015 ends it is instructive to review what was accomplished this year. Not an easy year as we accompanied Bonna through chemotherapy, surgery, more chemo, good times, hard times, which ended when Bonna passed away in June. The light in my life, Bonna’s light is missed by many, so I have taken up photography with more passion, to capture and share the light that is so fleeting in this world.

This marks 8 years that I have been guiding and blogging. I only added 11 blog posts this year bringing the total to 309 which includes over 1200 photographs. I posted more to my Facebook page, Israel Tours.

There were 78,735 page views by 42,885 visitors this year, close to the number last year (I feel that the number of people who are interested in my blog about tours and sites in Israel has reached a limit, about 100 people viewing about 200 pages a day). Slowly I am inching my way up to a half a million page views. The total number of people who interact with my website/blog is increasing, there are currently 325 people who have subscribed to my blog directly and another 430 people on Facebook who are notified when I post a new article. I tweet when there’s something I want to share that doesn’t warrant a full post; the most recent tweets appear on the homepage.

I guided a writer for the New York Times travel section on a 3 day Herod the Great tour of archaeological sites connected to the great builder, you can read the article at NYTimes website. I again guided a group of University of Chicago students studying for a semester in Jerusalem, this time to the mystical city of Tzfat, Meron and Tiberias. The Bridges for Peace organization contacted me and used my photos in their annual pictorial calendar, this year about the Israel Trail. In July I walked Yam l’yam, a 3 day hike from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee, twice in consecutive weeks. In the last while I have been focusing on my photography and now offer a number of Photography Tours, here’s one example.

I’ve chosen 8 photographs from those I posted this year on my website. You can view them full size by clicking on them. This is your opportunity to vote for Photo of the year!

Here are the links to this year’s posts in case you missed some:

  1. Off the Beaten Track - Not every guide can take you “off the beaten track” and show you things that you couldn’t have any idea that you could find in Israel. But I can. Between Covid-19 lockdowns in Israel (and we had 3) I took the opportunity to travel the country, finding new sites, refreshing familiar sites and exploring off […]
  2. Coastline series - Just when we think maybe we’re beating Covid-19 and life and tourism may return to a new normal we get hit with an oil disaster along the whole length of Israel’s Mediterranean coastline. https://www.timesofisrael.com/tarred-and-shuttered…/ Here is a reminder of how things should be. Please share this post with your friends on social media. This is […]
  3. Snow Photos of the Day - The last time it snowed in Jerusalem was February 2015 and I wrote about it here. Headed out early this morning to take photographs of the snow that had fallen overnight. Idea was to check whether Herodion was covered with snow but it quickly became apparent that there hadn’t been enough snow. Across from Herodion […]
  4. Favorite Photographs of 2020 - If you’re reading this then you made it through 2020, a year that probably didn’t turn out quite the way you thought it would. With the Covid-19 pandemic I didn’t travel out of Israel so photographs in 2020 were all taken here and quite a variety, showing that Israel is truly a great place to […]
  5. Photographs For Sale - Since the lifting of Covid-19 lockdown I’ve been doing a lot of traveling around Israel, discovering new places and have taken a lot of amazing photographs. I’ve now printed more than 20 of these photos in LARGE size (70x46cm) and am offering them for sale as limited edition prints. Please contact me if you are […]
  6. Re-discovering Sussita - Today for my birthday we drove up to the Sea of Galilee, along the eastern shore until Ein Gev (highway <92>) and then turned off beside a field of banana plants on a road that winds its way onto the Golan. After a number of hairpin turns we reached a parking area and walked to […]
  7. Samaria-Sebaste - Today we drove north (from Jerusalem) along highway 60, up the spine of the Shomron to the remains of the ancient city of Samaria-Sebaste. Samaria was the site purchased by Omri for two talents of silver from Shemer and made the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel (Kings I 16:24-28). Omri’s son Ahab married […]
  8. Synagogues on the Golan - Um el-Kanatir (Arabic for Mother of the Arches) is an impressive set of standing ruins of a Jewish village from the Byzantine era (5-8th C) with a synagogue built of local basalt stone. The town was destroyed by the earthquake of 749 CE and never rebuilt. Because of its remote location, out in the field a kilometer past Natur, all […]
  9. Wildflowers on the shore of the Dead Sea - This winter there has been quite a lot of rain and so instead of the carmel colors of the mountains in the Judean desert above the Dead Sea, this year there is a lovely carpet of wildflowers in reds, yellows, purple and white along the shore of the Dead Sea. It’s definitely worth experiencing this […]
  10. Favorite Photographs of the Year - Because it’s January 2020, a new year, I’ve been reviewing the photographs I took last year and I’ve chosen a dozen favorites to display here. Besides photographing in Israel I spent 16 days in Iceland and 11 days trekking in Nepal.  Clicking on one of the images will display the thumbnail at full size, clicking […]
  11. Photography Exhibit - I would like to share with you that I am exhibiting nine of my photographs in a large group show צוהר לנסתר–A Window to Wonder at Jerusalem’s Cinematheque from April 16-May 28, 2019. Opening reception and opportunity to meet the 12 photographers and view over 100 photos Sunday, April 28th, 2019 from 7:00pm-9:00pm. I’d be […]

1 thought on “2015 Year in Review

  1. gary@garyfriedmann.com

    Great photos and blog summary Shmuel! I like your search for the light through photographs. As the light returns from the dark days of the winter solstice, we are wishing you a bright and joyful trip around the sun. Love, Gary & Glenon


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