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"You can't be in the field of tourism if you don't really like it" - Voila! Of money


A personal conversation with Gilad Shaulof about the expansion of the Avraham chain abroad and why he may resign from the hotel association

"You can't be in the field of tourism if you don't like it very much"

He decided to join the patrol and invested in training until he was recruited to Sheldag, started by managing a cafe and developed into a hotelier with an agenda.

In a personal conversation, Gilad Shaulof talks about the expansion of the Avraham chain abroad and why he may resign from the hotel association

Liat Ron


Thursday, August 11, 2022, 12:57 p.m. Updated: 2:10 p.m.

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"Managing is a profession for me and I believe that the main goal is to be significant and empower my people" (Photo: Reuven Castro)


: Gilad Shaulof, 36 years old, CEO of the Avraham Network.

Who I am

: A young adult, I have never been a fool. I am happy, optimistic, total, with lots of ambitions and goals. From a young age I knew exactly what I wanted and my nickname was "Law Management is a profession for me and I believe that the main goal is to be significant and empower my people.


: Mother, daughter of the Ganzer family from Romania. Grandfather, a Holocaust survivor, was ten years old when the war broke out, was separated from his parents, survived Auschwitz, immigrated to Israel on an immigration ship and was deported to Cyprus. Only when he arrived here did he meet his father and they moved to Jerusalem. Grandmother, scion of an old Spanish family in the city, lived in Palmach.

Grandpa, who was a policeman, suffered from heart disease and died at a young age, she sang for him in the choir and was a seamstress.

Father's family are veterans of Jerusalem.

I am the eighth generation in Israel from my grandfather's side, who founded an independent business for trucks, later the company "Hamafal"

The parents went to high school together, but only became a couple when they met during military service in Trampiada, when dad served as an artillery officer, and they have been together ever since.

Father is the president of all "Hadasa" hospitals, responsible for all their administrative matters and serves as the chairman of the board of directors of "The Transformation". Mother is an educator at Ramah Iberia, was an educator, a Bible and history teacher, and a school principal.

"I used to have a childhood without phones, with games outside, calling friends to come downstairs and keeping quiet between two and four" (Photo: Reuven Castro)

My childhood

: in Jerusalem.

We are four boys.

I used to have a childhood without phones, with games outside, calling friends to come downstairs and keeping quiet between two and four.

In high school, I studied AI studies, because at home we were always told to study what interested us and that it was important to enjoy learning, but it was also important for me to excel. When the English teacher gave me an 89 B.I.B., I tried to convince her to raise the grade to a 90. It didn't work for me and the disappointment was huge.

From the 9th grade until the army I trained in martial arts and have a black belt.

The main thing was the methodology and not the beatings, learning to be in control, knowing how to use force, discipline.

Instead of hanging out with friends at four in the morning, I went to bed early to get up to train.

It's not that I knew from the age of three that I wanted to be a manager, but I knew that I wanted to do what I do as well as possible and advance and get more responsibility.

I wanted to be a fighter in one of the three elite units in the IDF and after I had a hard time on patrol day, I realized that if I wanted to get there, I had to train. For eight months I trained mentally and physically by myself. Today, the team that was with me from the recruitment is in excellent contact.


: My wife, an educational counselor at "Rena Kasan" high school, my partner, which is not easy because I am not at home much and she supports, backs up and is always there. We met on an army bus and she did something that did not suit her, And just before I got off it, a friend of hers gave me a note with her phone number. We were together for a year, we broke up when I traveled abroad and since I came back we've been together.

We live in Ein Hamad, amidst the greenery and the amazing landscape, and we have two daughters.

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"For eight months, I trained mentally and physically on my own. I was accepted to 'Sheldge'" (Photo: Reuven Castro)


: After a trip of almost a year in India, I returned to Israel and for two years I worked with at-risk youth in Kiryat Yearim, then I decided to try to make a dream come true and open a cafe, which I knew how it would look like and how it would be run, and I went looking for property.

I discovered that the industry is very challenging, I have neither the experience nor the money to do it alone and I had no intention of mortgaging my life.

My cousin found a place near the Shabbat Square, not in the neighborhood I wanted, but with a reasonable budget, we set up the cafe together, the best school you could ask for.

I learned how to deal with suppliers, manage a team, calculate a podcast, and at the same time I started studying management and health systems at the Hebrew University.

After a year we sold the business, I moved to work for a period in a consulting company and then I joined my uncle, who had "Lehem Erez" branches in Herzliya and Ra'anana - and I went on to get a master's degree in business administration.

Tourism management:

Six and a half years ago, Dror Tishler, one of the founders, who was my mentor in the mentoring program at the unit, told me that they were looking for a manager for a hotel in Jerusalem.

Tourism management is a profession I did not know and since I am self-taught, I had many gaps that I had to complete.

This field is very service oriented, and you must always look at the guest, what you would like to give him, even when you go up the management ladder.

This field is very total, 24/7, a lot of time off, holidays, weekends, at the expense of the family, but it's a bug.

You can't be in tourism if you don't really like it.

I managed the hostel in Jerusalem for three years, I was appointed the VP of operations of the chain, when more hotels were opened and since the beginning of this year I am its CEO.

"Every security incident affects tourism and especially Jerusalem, and kills businesses" (Photo: Reuven Castro)

Avraham chain

: there are five hotels, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Nazareth and Eilat in Israel, and a hostel in Sinai in cooperation with locals.

We have a travel company that was the largest in its activity in the country until the corona virus, which takes out trips to Masada, Jerusalem, the north of the country and the south, and also to Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin and Petra.

Business certainty

: Every security incident affects tourism, especially Jerusalem, and kills business.

A safety net should be given to hoteliers and those involved in tourism.

I'm happy to pay taxes and don't want to profit during times of security tension, but also don't want to lose.

The lack of such a safety net drives the tourism business out.

It is easier to establish hotels and manage them abroad. Because when a security incident happens here in Gaza or in the north - we are completely alone.


: We are an impact company that wants to make money, but not to donate a large amount at the end of the year, but to give value, meaning, promote our values ​​and contribute to the country.

As a company our job is to do good.

We have an impact on the environment, which is why we also take trips to Jordan, Egypt, the West Bank and the Emirates, not because of political motivation, but out of meaning and connection to the country.

"We take tourists who stay with an ultra-Orthodox family and eat with them, and half an hour later they meet Palestinians" (Photo: Reuven Castro)

Political leaning

: We have no problem being told that we are left-wing, because it is simply not true.

One of our tours goes to Hebron.

We take tourists who stay with an ultra-Orthodox family and eat with them and half an hour later they meet Palestinians.

They may come out confused, but at least they understand the conflict much better.

Social activity

: We are very active.

When the foreign workers were deported from Tel Aviv, we thought they deserved to be here based on our worldview, which is based on the hospitality of Abraham, who hosted everyone and out of a sense of responsibility to live. As long as you are a good person, we will give you the most meaningful experience we can Give.

This year we conducted a survey among the employees, which social activity they would like to join, and they chose the fight against violence against women.

We issued a call to produce art related to the topic and promised to hang it on our building, which receives many applications for publication that we reject.

The selected work was hung there and in addition we opened an exhibition with the works of the other artists.

"Although the State of Israel is very expensive, we maintain a competitive price" (Photo: Reuven Castro)

Fair prices for everyone

: it is important to us that the guests receive significant added value for the money they pay.

Although the State of Israel is very expensive, we maintain a competitive and reasonable price, you don't have to go bankrupt to go on vacation.

We also have shared rooms at a price of NIS 80 - 100 per night in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, in a clean and tidy room, private rooms for couples and families between NIS 400 and 1,000 per night.

What is important are the shared spaces, the ability to interact with others in lounges and bars.


: There was a school and an opportunity for us.

Until then, 90% of our guests were from abroad, the employees only spoke English and one day the heavens closed, and we were left with the Israeli audience and the need to reconnect with them. We changed our strategic plan. We created events and performances, we did not close even for a single day. to the Israeli audience and we created the category of family rooms for four guests or more, so that families are not forced to take another room without a choice.

Recognizing the importance of our team, we kept the core of the employees and subsidized them even when it was very difficult and everyone fired or put employees out of work. Thanks to this, our ability to recover was better. .

"The association works for the big chains and less for the independent chains" (Photo: Reuven Castro)


: With Corona we realized that we need to expand abroad.

We opened in Beer Swire Village on the beach, with a fun experience different from the hostels.

Each site has its own atmosphere and style, which is connected to where it is located.

This will also be the case in the Philippines, in Manila and Bohol, where the collaboration is with the company "Play List" which connects to our values ​​and works hard in the Far East.

Withdrawal from the hotel association

: We have not yet practically withdrawn, but it is clear that the association works for the large chains and less for the independent chains, which are the growth engine of the industry.

Our goal is to make the independent hotels a significant voice and we are in contact with the chambers of commerce to understand where we can give value to what we believe in.


: There is not too much of it.

Being with childhood, reading management books and exercising or running every day, even if it's deep into the night.

Looking forward to the future

: In the coming years I will be on the "Abraham" network and there is no chance that I will be kicked out.

Looking ahead, I want to continue to manage an organization with meaning, that can motivate and make the world a better place.

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  • Avraham Hostel

  • Hotels

Source: walla

All business articles on 2022-08-11

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