Israel's Good Name


circle-cropped (12)

My name is Shem Tov Sasson which, in English, means Good Name Happiness – hence the blog’s name. I was born in Seattle and grew up in both Detroit and Miami before moving to the Holy Land in 2009. I am newly married to my dear wife Bracha, and am currently working on an MA in Medieval Archaeology at Bar Ilan University, with part time employment in social media for various academic institutions. I engage in amateur birding and beer brewing, among other hobbies, in between my travels around the country. This blog serves as a journal of the voyages and interesting experiences that I have had in this great land. Enjoy!

Find me:

  1. Shem,

    I was wondering about the best day of the week to visit Safed to see the galleries. We went up one day, I think Sunday, and many of them were closed. Is there a particular day when they tend to be open?



  2. Shem,

    really liked your article on Safed. Is there a particular day of the week when most of the galleries are open? We went once and most were closed, and we would like to see the art.



  3. I really enjoyed reading through your blog. The pictures are beautiful.


  4. To tell u the truth, I am planning to go to Safed during the summer;… : thks for the information…very good

  5. Detroit! Represent. I know that city has a bad rap, but I really do love it. It and Nola are just two cities that are unlike any other in the states. P.S. Thanks for following my blog. Now since I know you are picky, it means more. = )

  6. Ma’alot, eh? Someone needs to get some sabich up there…!

    • Yeah, we’re pretty light on restaurants. One pasta place, two shwarma, one random grill, one falafel kiosk, four pizzerias and that’s about it for Ma’alot proper.

  7. Love your blog, you should study as tour guide. If you need info on it, write-call me. I live in Naharia. Behatzlaha

  8. Beth Lieberman, pioniers like Strauss, soglobek, mapelim boats and the new shore promenade an future tourism projects aound it.

    Also THE Hagaaton history and THE yearly flood of THE rivier with pictures can be Nice on your blog.

  10. Excellent Shem.. I love it

  11. Good morning Shem,

    I hope you don’t mind my messaging you here but I can’t find an email for you – I saw your “Montfort” conversation on LinkedIn and after following your link, thought I might offer a suggestion.

    You have a great blog Shem. The content is obviously well thought out and I enjoy reading what you have to say. That being said, have you thought about making your social media accounts visible on every page? I wanted to look at your other social accounts and had to go searching for them. Most people won’t bother – you might want to make yourself more accessible in that way.

    I’d also think about making your photos larger to really showcase your travel photography. Just a thought 🙂

    I see you’re from Seattle originally. I love Seattle! Up until 10 months ago, I resided in Victoria BC and tried to get to Seattle whenever I could. Israel must be different, no?

    Anyhow, again, I hope you don’t mind my messaging you. As I said, you have great content – I just think you should highlight that more. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

    Kristy Gardner

    • First off, thank you very much! I always appreciate those who like my work.

      I’m not so keen on self-advertising and I don’t have much going on with blog (aside from recent days – two more posts are going to be published within the next week). Also, I am a bit of a perfectionist and I don’t really want too many changes on my blog, I kind of like it simple and fuss-free. The same applies with the photos. In the very beginning of my blog – summer of 2011 – I was writing them on a 10″ netbook. With such a small screen, the photos took up more room on the page and looked perfect. Now, with bigger screens, you are right, they should be a tad bigger. But at this point it doesn’t bother me much, not enough to change all 66 (as of now) posts. But yeah, thanks for the input – I see you work with social media and strategic marketing, I hope you aren’t going to bill me 🙂

      As for Seattle, I was only there as a baby so I don’t know much about the place. Israel is definitely different and life here is really great, and incredibly interesting as well.

      If you’d like, you can “like” my blog’s Facebook page and thereby receive new posts as they are released – or subscribe to the blog itself.

      Thank you!

  12. Shalom Shem!

    I like the idea of your blog by showcasing the beautiful land of Israel. Finally glad to see something positive being shown on this great country.

    Wish you all the best and stay strong.

    A supporter from New Zealand.

  13. G’day from down under Shem . It is refreshing to read through your posts and see the images and an inside view of a country we only get displayed in our media as a war torn and shattered nation. If only some peaceful solution could be found for all the areas around the world that are in conflict what a beautiful world it would be.
    We are known as the “lucky country” in Australia and, so far, have not had any major conflicts over here. The poor Aboriginals tried, many years ago, to save their land and culture but failed to do so.

  14. Nice blog! The bottle museum in Nachsholim is run by our friend. We live in Zichron Yaacov – another fascinating place.

  15. Hi there, may I suggest a technical consideration… The pictures in the articles are way too small, being barely visible on a computer screen. While they become larger after clicking on each individually, the process is slow and a major hassle which detracts from readability of the article. Consider posting larger format images like most blogs do within the article itself… Thank you and keep up the good work!

    • Thank you for your comment and kind words, R N! The truth is that I started my blog on a 10-inch laptop and the sizing looked great. Now that screens are becoming bigger, the photos appear smaller. It bothers me a bit too, but it’ll be such a pain resizing photos from 134 posts to date… Perhaps one day.

  16. good stuff thanks for posting. Love Israel and her people

  17. Great blog. Very informative, accurate and interesting. You have me hooked. I will have to start with your first entry and continue in chronological order. I was a kibbutz volunteer many years ago, 1972 until 1975. All of my time at Ma’ayan Baruch. Always outdoors and the finger of the Galilee and the northern portion Golan Heights was a wonderland. Always new things to discover and explore. Birds, plants, animals, old archaeological sites. A fascinating place to live. Hope you have a chance to visit and write about Mivtzar Nimrod. It is one of the gems of the Upper Galilee. And by the way, we had a crazy little beech marten that lived under one of our old tzrifim on the meshek. We would leave it food. Thanks again for the blog and look forward to your continued postings. Todah, Steve

    • Thank you Steve! Wonderful to hear such a positive review of my blog. I wholeheartedly agree that Israel is an incredible place packed with things to do and see. If you go back far enough, or use the region categories (under Golan), you will find the tale of my trip to Nimrod Fortress – a breathtaking place.
      I’m really happy to hear about the beech martens as I have a mental checklist of all of Israel’s wildlife species and I had the opportunity of spotting a beech marten in the spring of 2015 out in the Golan one night. I would love to see one in the light of day!
      Thank you for taking the time to comment!

  18. ~just discovered your blog… fabulous!!!

    ~thank you!:-)))

  19. Hi! I noticed your interesting posts about the variety of archaeological digs you have visited. I am going to be in Israel this summer, and I’ve been looking into dig sites where I might volunteer; however, the options I found are quite expensive. I was wondering if you happen to know of any sites where I might volunteer that aren’t so costly? Any guidance or advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    • Thank you for commenting Hanna! The reason why the digs you are finding are so expensive is due to the fact that they are geared towards tourists with room and board included. There are many digs around the country that seek volunteers with minimal or no fees asked. Where in the country would you be interested in participating in an archaeological dig?

      • Wonderful, that is exciting news! Anywhere near Ashkelon, Herzliya and perhaps even Jerusalem.

        Thanks again for your help!

      • So here are some options for you in the areas you mentioned:
        Tel Lachish – Jun 19th to July 28th
        Taluliot Batashi – Jul 31st to Aug 19th
        Khirbet Midras – Sep 4th to Sep 29th
        There are also digs in Jerusalem, I believe, I am just not aware of how they work.
        If you want further details or more information feel free to email me and I’ll be able to send you what you’d like:

  20. Hi! What is your photo permission policy?

  21. Hi Shem! I bet you never thought your blog would be seen and appreciated by a forty-something stay-at-home mom from Utah (USA). But, let me tell you, it is! I have long wanted to visit Israel and your blog gives me a little glimpse into your enchanted homeland. Thank you for sharing your photography, adventures and love of the land and wildlife.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: