Israel, 2023

My friends Yoav and Daniela got married in June, and we got to travel to Israel to celebrate with them. It was Hannah’s first time there, so we squeezed as much as we could in the 10 day trip. We spent time in Jerusalem and in Tel Aviv, but also made some time to see my family in Petah Tikva, and to relax in nature. The timing, sadly and luckily, like that of many trips to Israel, was just a few months before the current bout of the conflict started. Things felt normal.

Regardless of your politics, there’s no denying that Israel is a special place. If it weren’t, there’d be no conflict. I wish I had posted this right after I came back from my trip, and avoided any controversy this post might bring. On the other hand I am glad that I get to post this today, and through my lens share a bit of the history and charm of this country.

I pride myself in knowing a lot about the history of Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict. I don’t believe in God, but I am deeply Jewish, and believe strongly in the value of a homeland for the Jewish people. I hope things calm down soon, though I know it’s not easy. If you want to learn more, I’d suggest you start here or if you’d like to hear my perspective in depth or have questions you think I could answer, reach out. In the meantime, here are some photos.

We started the trip in Jerusalem. The Old City is full of clichés and contradictions.

I generally don’t take photos of kids. Sometimes I make exceptions.

Being at the Kotel made me think a lot about my dad. I don’t know why.

The markets are mostly run by Arab Israelis, and while they are clearly tourist traps it’s still fun to walk through the ancient hallways.

We hiked up Masada at sunrise.

It’s super interesting how much this place and the story of its siege during the first Jewish/Roman War play into Israeli national identity today.

The tour we did also took us to Ein Gedi. An oasis in the middle of the desert.

Next up was the Dead Sea. Weird as ever. I hadn’t been there in over a decade, and the pace at which it is receding is visible, and sad.

The Shuk is lively at night.

There’s too many cats.

One of my favorite shots of the trip.

I told Hannah we had to go to the Muslim quarter, because we didn’t know if it’d be open again next time we could visit. In all my previous visits I had never been allowed in. Prescient.

We had an interesting conversation with these ladies. They seemed like a fun group. I asked if I could take their photo and they all started laughing and teasing each other in Arabic (the only word I could make out was “Facebook”). They said I could take the photo but I couldn’t post their faces online, because their husbands would kill them (literally) if they found out they had allowed me to photograph them. I decided to cover all Muslim women’s faces in this set unless they gave me explicit permission.

She asked her husband before I could take this shot. I don’t love that dynamic.

And then, there was Tel Aviv, with friends.

The nightlife is great.

And so is the day life.

We went to Tel Aviv University to visit the Museum of the Jewish People, which rebranded from the Jewish Diaspora museum last time I was there.



Somehow I talked Hannah into going all the way to Rosh Hanikra. I remembered this being a hike, but we had a pretty chill walk instead.

Then we went to Akko. I hadn’t spent any time there, since the main focus is the Christian/Crusader history.

Back in Tel Aviv.


We went to say bye to Yoav, and walk through Sderot Rothschild one more time before heading out.

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