May 21, 2019

Eve Harow: Guiding Hearts and Minds Through the Holy Land

Eve Harow’s “insatiable curiosity,” mixed with her love of people and Israel, seems to be the perfect recipe for her chosen career as a tour guide, radio show host and speaker.

A former 10-year councilwoman in the settlement of Efrat just outside Jerusalem, Harow is the director of tourism for the One Israel Fund, on the board of governors of Ariel University, a member of the Judea and Samaria Speakers Bureau and the JNF Speakers Bureau, and on the board of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America’s Israel affiliate, Presspectiva.

After graduating with a master’s degree in psychology from Pepperdine University in 1988, she and her husband made aliyah and settled in Efrat, where they raised their seven children.

On a recent visit to Los Angeles, Harow told the Journal it was in Israel that she first became involved in Israel advocacy. “I was the very quiet person in the back of the classroom. [But] I found my voice in Israel. I feel that God gave me a voice.”

About 10 years ago, Harow found a way to amplify that voice by obtaining her  tour guide’s license. “In Israel, we’re not called tour guides” she explained. “It’s called moreh haderech, which literally means an ‘educator on the way.’ That’s what we’re doing. Our classroom is the country.”

“Context for me is the most important text, aside from the Bible.” — Eve Harow

She said being a tour guide is multifaceted and challenging. “Every place I go, there are 50 things I can tell them.” She said although tour guides know ridiculous amounts of information, there are maybe three things that will speak to the people on her tour, based on who they are. She has a very short amount of time to figure out what will resonate with them.

“Context for me is the most important text, aside from the Bible,” Harow said. “Context is everything and most of us don’t have it. … We learn Jewish stuff, world history and secular stuff, and we don’t usually see how they connect.”

Her job, she said, is to connect those dots. She explained that most tourists are Christians and see Israel in a certain way, but once they take a tour with her, they see things from the perspective of a woman who lives a traditional Jewish life.

“I can connect them to the Bible and to the Jews of today and the land,” Harow said. “They are already [connected to] the God thing, which is fabulous.”

Through her tours, Harow said she wants people to care about Israel, see its value and get them thinking. She also wants them to feel the culture and taste the country’s amazing food.

“There are 120 different countries that we came from and everybody brought their recipes and their spices,” she said. “So you have Moroccan cooks making gefilte fish. I feel like I’m a facilitator — bringing people to see the Israel that I see: the farmers, the blacksmiths, the people who together make up a beautiful mosaic.”

Harow also introduces these people and their stories through her weekly podcast, “Rejuvenation,” on The Land of Israel Network, which has several thousand listeners. Like her tours, her show is designed to encourage a better understanding of life in Israel.

The many hats she wears are all part of her mission to figure out how to bridge the gap between the past and the future, she said. “How do I lead the world to a better place for mankind, but specifically for the Jews coming after me? I think those two are very connected.”