Gil Travel has professional, multi-lingual staff located in offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Corporate Headquarters), New York, Florida and Israel. Among our staff we have employees who speak Hebrew, Yiddish, Spanish, French, Italian, Albanian, Creole, Urdu, Punjabi and Arabic.
What makes our team special are their years of experience and dedication to making each trip special. Our staff have traveled the world and learned to understand the different cultures with whom they interact. Moreover, they spend an infinite amount of time learning to understand your needs so that they can program a trip that will be unforgettable.
It takes years of experience to program special moments & our team knows just how to do it right.
Travel Agent Bio’s
Jerry Sorkin, Director of Marketing & Product Development
Jerry’s involvement with the Middle East and North Africa region dates back more than thirty years. He has been a pioneer in developing aspects of cultural tourism and academic programs in Iran, Cuba, Libya, Algeria, and Tunisia, where he has lived the past six years. This past December 2016 Conde Nast Traveler magazine named Jerry one of their “Top Travel Specialists”, for the seventh time. He returned to the US at the beginning of 2016 to join the Gil Travel Team as the Director of Marketing and Product Development.
Jerry earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Pennsylvania and is conversant in Arabic, French and Hebrew. He is a frequent contributor to the London based English language Arab Weekly, Aljazeera’s English language networks, as well as other media.
Moshe Margolin, Director of JEWISH EXPLORATIONS
Moshe Margolin, the Director of JEWISH EXPLORATIONS, has been in the field of Jewish education for 40 years.
He has devoted the last dozen years to programs for adult learners at Hebrew College and the Jewish Theological Seminary. He has served in senior management positions at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Fulbright Commission in Israel, the Academic Affairs office of Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University and Ben Gurion University in the US and was the founding VP/Education for Birthright Israel. Moshe joined the Gil Travel Group team in 2015.
Susan Blum, Israel Department Manager
Specializing in Israel travel since 1975, Susan started her career with a small Israeli firm that became known nationwide. Susan joined Gil Travel in 1981 and has successfully sent large and small movements, including family, bar/bat mitzvah, synagogue tours, organizational and incentive, specialty and private car tours to Israel. Susan’s knowledge of the country and hotels is vast and as a result gets many referrals from clients whose travel to Israel she arranged. Susan has also attended Temple University Real Estate School and graduated with honors.
Fredric Bomze, Executive Leisure Travel Consultant
Senior travel professional with over 24 years experience in the travel industry. As an individual travel specialist, Fred’s expertise is in the international market with a focus on Israel & Europe. Fred has created unique and enriching itineraries for many of the region’s top executives and their families. During his travel career Fred has consulted and prepared numerous ”round-the-world” itineraries. In addition to his many areas of expertise he is also well versed in coordinating travel for the student market. Most recently he has arranged various educational programs for students to Peru, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and Israel. Fred received an MBA from La Salle College in May, 1984 and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from The American University in Washington, D.C. in May, 1981.
Armanda Albert, Executive Leisure Travel Consultant
As a baby, Armanda and her family fled Fascist Italy for Israel. Armanda has never stopped travelling since. An Israeli Army Veteran; a University of Rome Graduate; fluent in English, Italian, and Hebrew, Armanda has visited every Continent except for Antarctica. She has been to over 50 countries, of which many Armanda has visited multiple times. This passion for travel prompted Armanda to join Gil Travel in 1980. For over 30 years, she has imparted this enthusiasm and real world travel experience in helping her clients plan trips that are unique and memorable. Armanda is very well versed in the upscale market and her attention to service and detail ensure a smooth and organized planning process that results in a problem-free trip. From villas in Tuscany to safaris in Kenya to cruises in China to Bar Mitzvahs in Israel, Armanda’s passion is to make sure her clients experience the pure joy that she herself feels when traveling throughout the world.
Debbe Mays, Ticketing Department Manager
Debbe’s travel agent career began in November of 1985. Over the years, Debbe has worked 2.5 years with Bartlett Travel, 6.5 years with Rosenbluth Travel and presently 11 years with Gil Travel. Debbe’s expertise is with Corporate, Leisure, Groups, Individual and Domestic and International Travel.
Donna Palmieri, Travel Consultant
Donna Palmieri has been a travel consultant at Gil Travel since May 2006. With family in Israel, she has been there numerous times and has extensive knowledge about the beautiful country. Donna has planned small family groups and large group trips with Jewish, Christian and Interfaith interest. She graduated from Penn State University in May 2006 with a Bachelors Degree in Accounting.
Samantha Sultzer, Group Travel Consultant
Samantha Sultzer has been with Gil Travel since May 2015. Though Samantha is new to Gil Travel, she is not new to the Travel and Hospitality industry. Samantha started her tourism career at FROSCH Travel in 2012 working in the Private Client Services department, specializing in VIP and unique travel itineraries around the world. She then moved on to work for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, as a Front Desk Manager at Hotel Palomar, Philadelphia. With Samantha’s experience on both sides of the ever-growing travel industry she is able to cater to client needs as well as build great relationships with vendors she works with. Samantha specializes in group domestic itineraries; including lodging, touring, dining, along with the Jewish history of each city.
Ariel Lipszyc, Product Development Administrator
Ariel Joined Gil Travel in November 2015. He was born and raised in Argentina, and also spent some time in Israel. He speaks Spanish, English and Hebrew. Ariel graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. Before joining Gil Travel, he worked for the prestigious International Baccalaureate Organization.
Francois Naggar, Group Travel Consultant
Having been in the travel business for over 35 years, Francois Naggar has vast experience in the French, Greek, Israeli and Oriental markets. Currently, he handles air arrangements for large group movements and missions, as well as meeting and assisting passengers at the airport. Along with English, he is fluent in French and Italian. Francois has been with Gil Travel since September of 2001.
Marilyn Bardo, VP Operations, Gil Travel NY
Marilyn Bardo is one of the esteemed members in our New York UJC office. Though she’s been with Gil Travel for 15 years, she adds over 30 years of experience to our team and exercises great skill in her job as Vice President of Operations. She’s responsible for contracting all group air rates and space, overseeing the office, and acting as a liaison between Gil and the UJC. Other than English, Marilyn is also fluent in Hebrew and French.
Anna Evanzahav, Bible Lands and Reformation Group Tours
Having lived in Israel, Greece and the United States Anna understands and knows the logistics of travel. Anna started her travel career in Greece. She was a key person in establishing a cultural exchange program between Israel and Greece in the early 1980s. She returned to the United States in late 1988 when she joined Oren travel International, specializing in Bible Land Tours. She works with Pastors of all denominations nationwide. Anna’s specialty is in designing and the wholesale pricing of special itineraries such as: “In the footsteps of Jesus,” “Journeys of Paul,” and “From Exodus to Fulfillment of Prophecy.” She also specializes in organizing Reformation tours to Europe.
Her Motto is “Meet all the needs and specifications that the TOUR Leader NEEDS.” Contact her for the “Trip of a lifetime.”
Barbara Nussbaum, Customized Educational Travel Consultant
Barbara Nussbaum brings to Gil Travel, 30 years of Professional Leadership experience within the Jewish Community. Most recently Barbara was the Executive Director of Hadassah of Greater Philadelphia and was the Director of Israel Missions and Director Human Resources and Leadership Development for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.
For the past five years, Barbara has been a Consultant to Jewish, Christian and secular organizations helping them to utilize travel as a means to help them reach their organization’s goals and needs. The uniqueness of her work is how she helps each group plan effectively, and builds leadership and relationships within their group as well as with others.
Having lived in Israel, Barbara’s knowledge and understanding of the culture and people has enabled her to transmit that enthusiasm and energy to others. Her positive relationship with synagogues, organizations, schools and their leaders has helped Barbara create a special niche in selling travel programs to Israel and to other countries.
Karen Allen, Expert Travel Consultant
Karen’s passion is conceptualizing, organizing and implementing travel to Israel. She has been doing this for families, community leadership, couples, women, Jewish and interfaith groups for more than 20 years. Each itinerary is tailored specifically for that clientele, and she works with clients throughout the United States.
The trip sizes may vary from a family of four to a group of 100. Her planning allows you to focus on what’s important for you, whether it is sightseeing at its finest, fundraising, outdoor adventures or relationship building with an agency, hospital or Israeli town of your choosing.
Karen’s knowledge extends beyond Israel. She has planned specialized Jewish focused trips and has led groups to the Former Soviet Union and Europe. Her expert knowledge provides the necessary skills in helping you plan “the trip of your dreams” to anywhere you’d like to go.
The association between Karen and Gil Travel first began in 1989, during her 22-year employment at the Birmingham Jewish Federation. Karen officially joined the Gil Travel Team in September 2006.