Memphis Jewish Federation to Sponsor Evening with Memphis-born Israel Tour Guide, Alan Harkavy

Pictured from left to right are Steve, Risa and Jonah Baer, Molly Franklin, Karen Franklin, Alan Harkavy and Jody Franklin

In celebration of Israel’s 75th anniversary, Memphis Jewish Federation is pleased to invite the community to a special evening with Alan Harkavy in conversation with Karen and Jody Franklin.

Taking place on Thursday, March 23, at 7:00 PM, “Journey from the Bible Belt to the Land of the Bible” begins in the Shainberg Gallery of the Memphis Jewish Community Center with a tasting of Israeli wines. Those attending will select wines that will be served at the May 17th “Shuk, Rattle and Roll” community-wide celebration honoring Israel’s 75th Anniversary at the Memphis Botanic Garden. After wine and light refreshments, the evening continues in the Belz Theater at the Orgel Family Performing Arts Center for Alan’s presentation and conversation with the Franklins.

Born and raised in Memphis, Alan explains he was destined to live in Israel: “As an American born Jew, I have been fascinated with Israel for as long as I can remember. In 1980, at the age of 17, I had the privilege of attending ‘High School in Israel’. It was then that my love affair with the Land was sealed, and it was then that I knew one day I would live in Israel.”

While in college, Alan studied Middle Eastern history at Tel Aviv University. He and his wife, Diane, met at the University of Michigan and after law school he returned to Memphis where he practiced law for 30 years before making Aliyah in 2014.

Alan went back to “school” in Israel and became licensed as a tour guide by the Israel Ministry of Tourism in 2017. “Becoming a tour guide allows me to do what I love every single day; connecting people to Israel,” explains Alan. “I am so grateful for the privilege of guiding individuals, families and groups of all faiths through this historical and magnificently beautiful land.”

Alan made the move from the “Bible Belt” to the “Land of the Bible” with Diane, and their four daughters, Annie, Gabrielle, Charlotte and Lily. He added “Saba” (grandfather) to his resume with the birth of his grandchildren, Levana (2) and Shachar (5 months).

Jody and Karen reaped the benefits of Alan’s training and experience first-hand by touring with him when they visited Israel in 2017. “And just like in high school, Alan began our “Israel Education” at the Flam winery. He educated and walked, hiked, and exhausted us; from the water tunnels of Jerusalem to the early morning hike up Masada!” They are excited to interview Alan and plan to have some “fun” questions for him.

This program promises to be a highlight of Federation’s Israel at 75 celebrations and is free and open to the community with advance registration.  Please RSVP at:

Participants are invited to bring pictures of themselves in Israel to be included in the Israel at 75 video montage to be displayed at a later event. Photos will not be returned. Digital or scanned photos may be emailed to  Please include the names of everyone in the picture.

For more information about the evening with Alan Harkavy or the community photo montage, please contact Federation’s Israel at 75 Coordinator, Jeri Moskovitz at

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