MIKE ROGOFF was born, raised and educated in Cape Town, South Africa (B.A. in History and English). In 1970, Mike settled in Israel, seeking his ancestral roots. After a brief period studying Hebrew and milking cows on a kibbutz, he continued his studies at Tel Aviv University, from which he holds a High School Teaching Diploma.
Two summers as a counselor, guide and educator for Jewish teen groups persuaded him that the entire Land of the Bible was a more fascinating classroom than any four walls could ever be. In 1974, Mike graduated the Ministry of Tourism’s guide course, and has been exploring the country’s byways and sharing his passion with visitors ever since.
At an early stage in his career, Mike became involved in helping Christian pilgrims discover their spiritual roots. The special way in which Scripture and the landscape of the Land of Israel complement and illuminate each other makes a visit here a life-transforming experience for many believers. (“Once you’ve been to Israel”, Mike is fond of saying, “you will never read the Bible the same way again!”)
Over the years, Mike has been sent to the U.S.A. and the U.K. a dozen times by Israel’s Ministry of Tourism to lecture on and promote tourism and pilgrimage to Israel. In 1983 the Ministry honored Mike Rogoff with the ‘Guide of the Year’ Award.
Writing and radio have been exhilarating sidelines in Mike’s career. He wrote for Fodor’s “Israel” guide book for 33 years (and edited it in the 1980s); had a monthly column in the
Jerusalem Post on sites around the country (1980s); and was a permanent weekly guest on the “Voice of Israel” English-language touring program (1980s-early ‘90s). He has written magazine articles, educational programs, a small book on Israel for children, an information data-bank on Israel for the Ministry of Tourism, and only discontinued his personal monthly subscription ‘Letter from Israel’ in 2014 (after 23 years).
Translation (from Hebrew to English) has become a more serious part of Mike’s work in recent years, and he counts institutions like the Israel Museum, several smaller museums, the Haaretz daily newspaper, as well as several academics and professionals, among his regular clients.
For Mike, it is a source of great satisfaction that, after more than four decades in his calling, he still goes out to work most(!) mornings with a smile on his face. That is a gift that cannot be taken for granted.
Mike lives in Jerusalem with his New Zealand-born wife Jill, a professional singer (www.jillrogoff.com). They have two adult daughters and three young grandsons.