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Michael Even-Esh was born and raised in Kansas City. He received a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism before moving to Israel in 1979. There he worked in a kibbutz date-palm grove, spent time as a shepherd in the Galilee, served in the IDF Paratroops, was a nature guide in the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, was an organic sweet potato farmer, and led Bar Kochba Tunnel exploration teams with the Israel Cave Research Center. During his work for the center, he and his team discovered a number of then-unknown ancient “Underground Hideout Tunnels” both in northern and central Israel. Today he is a nature guide, teacher and outdoor educator – specifically with unaffiliated American Jewish youth; he also teaches in a number of English and Hebrew Guides’ Courses run by the Ministry of Tourism. He guides regularly for certain groups, including Birthright Israel (since their first year in 2000), Livnot U’Lehibanot for over 20 years (he wrote a regular column, "Not Kansas", for their alumni newsletter), Christian groups from Northern Ireland, The Israel Center for Jewish-Christian Relations, and multi-faith student groups from American universities (with the David Project and iTrek). Michael is a licensed snake extractor for the Nature and Parks Authority and the Golan Regional Council. He also runs “The Jewish Snake Project” in which he uses live snakes to teach Jewish Values, and does "snake workshops" with groups of all faiths, teaching about tolerance and overcoming fears, while learning about snakes. He has also translated into English a book entitled “Ancient Synagogues in the Golan Heights” for Yad Ben-Zvi (and a second book will soon be published about the Bar Kochba Revolt). He’s still active in his reserve paratroop unit, serving in it during the First & Second Wars in Lebanon. Michael is married to Tzurit, and they live in Moshav Nov in the Golan Heights.
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