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About

Jerusalem

  • Israel is a small yet diverse Middle Eastern country with a long coastline on the eastern Mediterranean Sea
  • It is bordered by Egypt, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and Jordan.
  • It shares borders to the Jordan River and the Dead Sea with the West Bank and Jordan.
  • Hebrew and Arabic are the official languages of Israel. Hebrew is most commonly spoken. 10% of the population is Israeli-Arabs who speak Arabic as well.
  • Because Israel was a British colony, and also because the United States is now Israel’s closest ally, English is the most popular foreign language. Nearly anyone you meet on the street will be able to communicate with you in English. Plenty of signs, including street and road signs have English names, as well as the Hebrew and Arabic names.
  • Jerusalem is Israel’s most important city.
  • Haifa is Israel’s main port. Much of the south of Israel is desert. There is a fertile plain along the country’s Mediterranean coastline.
  • The River Jordan is Israel’s main river. Israel’s terrain consists of hills, mountains, valleys, desert and beaches; six percent of the country is covered with forests and woodlands.

HISTORY

  • Canaanites were early inhabitants of the land which was later known as Israel and Palestine.
  • Saul was chosen as the first King of Israel, followed by David and Solomon.
  • During the reign of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, the twelve tribes divided into the Kingdom of Israel
  • In the eighth century BC the Northern Kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Assyrians from Iraq. The Assyrians deported the Ten Tribes of Israel, scattering them, in groups, throughout the Middle East. They became known as the Lost Tribes.
  • In 70 AD the Romans began to expel the Judaeans. Jews dispersed to Africa, Asia and Europe (the Jewish Diaspora).
  • Struggles over Jerusalem continued for many years, followed by Ottoman rule from 1516 until the First World War.
  • After the War, Palestine became a League of Nations Mandate governed by Great Britain.
  • During the Second World War the Nazis killed millions of Jewish people in Europe during the Holocaust.
  • Following the War the momentum grew for a Jewish homeland and on May 14, 1948 Israel became a Jewish state.
  • Tension in the region was high, and the War of Independence broke out immediately following the proclamation of the State of Israel. The region remained volatile and a number of wars took place in the following decades: the Suez-Sinai War (1956), the Six Day War (1967), the War of Attrition (1967-1970) and the Yom Kippur War (1973).
  • In March 2002 the United Nations adopted a resolution calling for a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel: “a region where two states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognized borders.”


FACTS

    The Last Traffic Light In Eilat

    • Israel has the highest number of companies listed on the U.S. Stock exchange after the US and Canada
    • Israel has the highest percentage of home computers per capita
    • Israel leads the world in the numbers of scientists and technicians in the workforce, with 145 per 10,000
    • Israel is the only country in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in the number of trees
    • Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East
    • The most popular product in Israel is the soup nut
    • The Dead Sea in Israel is the lowest point on earth, at 1,315 feet below sea level at its lowest point
    • Israel has more museums per capita than any other country in the world
    • The two most common family names in Israel are Cohen and Levi
    • Israel has a higher life expectancy, lower average infant mortality rate and almost double the amount of doctors per patient ratio than the U.S.
    • Each of Israel’s holy sites is administered by its own religious authority, while protection against desecration and trespassing as well as free access are guaranteed by law.
    • The glue on the back of Israeli stamps is kosher.
    • Sesame Street in Israel has puppets that speak Hebrew, Arabic, and Russian. One character, Moshe Oofnik, is the cousin of Oscar the Grouch.
    • Israel receives more media coverage, per capita and per square foot, than any other nation on earth.
    • Since 1996, Palestinians have been asked in polls which democracy and governments they most admire, Israel came in top in every survey (at times receiving over 80% approval ratings)

Avg. Costs

Desert Landscape in Negev

  • Fast food wise, a shawarma in lafa should cost roughly 24-30 sheqalim
  • Regular meal at a burger chain (McDonald’s, Burger King and the local Burger Ranch) will set you back at least 35 sheqalim
  • Restaurants generally are in a high standard of taste and style, a first course averages 15-25 sheqalim, a main dish about 40-60 (good meat can go from 60-100) and the desserts are usually 25-35 sheqalim. Soft drinks are somewhat costly and usually go for 10-12 sheqalim for an average sized glass without refills.
  • Hummus Pita Lunch – cheap lunch for 10-15 sheqalim
  • Travelers Cheques are not normally accepted
  • Cappuccino 12 IRS
  • Meal per person 75-100 IRS
  • Slice of pizza 12 IRS
  • Shawarma 20-30 IRS
  • High end restaurant meal 300-500 IRS
  • Masada – mountaintop fortress overlooking Dead Sea – 23 IRS  61 for cable car
  • Church of The Holy Sepulchre – Free admission
  • Temple Mount Jerusalem 36 IRS for museum, free for temple
  • Israel Museum 42 IRS for adults, 21 IRS for children
  • Tower of David  30 IRS for adults, 20 IRS for students, 15 IRS for children

 

Click here to see The Economist’s Big Mac Index.  It is arguably the world’s most accurate financial indicator to be based on a fast-food item.

Currency

Information is coming soon.

Safety

Monfort

  • Israel is a very safe place to visit.
  • Be careful where you go at night and travel in groups when possible.
  • Generally, it is safe in most places in Israel to walk alone at night. The territories are a different story. It is advisable only to go into Gaza or the West Bank in a group and with an Israeli guide.
  • One of the first things you’ll notice when you arrive in Israel is the number of people carrying guns. Soldiers carry them on the streets, in cars and on buses. Soldiers are required to keep their weapons with them, and since so many Israelis are on duty, it is common to stand next to someone on the bus with an Uzi hanging around their neck. You’ll quickly get used to it and realize it’s a fact of life in Israel and nothing to fear.

  • In case of emergency
  • Police (mish-ta-RA) — 100
  • First Aid (“Magen David Adom”-MADA) — 101
  • Fire department (me-kha-BEY ESH) — 102

 

Click here to see Canadian Government Travel Reports and Warnings on http://www.voyage.gc.ca/.  Travel Reports offer information on safety and security, local laws and customs, entry requirements, health conditions and other important travel issues.

Climate

Old Caesarea Bridge

  • Israel is characterized as a subtropical region, between the temperate zone and the tropical zone.
  • The northern and coastal regions of Israel show Mediterranean climate characterized by hot and dry summers and cool rainy winters.
  • The southern and eastern areas of Israel are described with an arid climate.
  • The rainy season occurs from October to early May, and rainfall peaks in December through February.
  • Highest rainfall is observed in the North and center parts of the country and decreases in the southern part of Israel.
  • Heavy snow falls only in the northernmost part of Golan Heights where the Mount Hermon summit remains generally snow covered from December to March. In other parts of the country snow is observed rarely.
  • The city of Eilat, located at the southernmost point of Israel and at the northern tip of Red Sea, has a good climate for beach holidays all year round.

Places to See

Roman Amphitheatre

Tel Aviv

  • Tel Aviv is Israel’s largest commercial center
  • It is stretched along the beautiful beach strip of the Mediterranean and is a busy metropolis offering to its visitors an atmosphere of excitement and fun
  • Second biggest city in Israel after Jerusalem and has a population of about 360,000 inhabitants

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Eilat

  • A resort town situated in the Southern District of Israel
  • Named after the Biblical Elath
  • Eilat is an active port which has an interesting mix of sea and desert
  • With a population of over 25,000 inhabitants, it is one of Israel’s most popular places owing to its marine species and beautiful landscape

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Old City of Acre

  • Acre is a historic walled port-city with continuous settlement from the Phoenician period
  • The present city has characteristics of a fortified town dating from the Ottoman Empire of the 18th and 19th centuries, along with typical urban components such as the citadel, mosques, khans and baths
  • The remains of the Crusader town, dating from 1104 to 1291, lie almost intact, both above and below today’s street level

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Masada

  • A rugged natural fortress, of majestic beauty, in the Judaean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea
  • It is a symbol of the ancient kingdom of Israel, its violent destruction and the last stand of Jewish patriots in the face of the Roman army, in 73 A.D
  • It was built as a palace complex, in the classic style of the early Roman Empire, by Herod the Great
  • The camps, fortifications and attack ramp that encircle the monument constitute the most complete Roman siege works surviving to the present day

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The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

  • Founded in 1965 as Israel’s national museum
  • It is situated on a hill in the Givat Ram neighborhood of Jerusalem
  • The museum covers nearly 50,000 sq. meters
  • It attracts 800,000 visitors a year including 100,000 children to its Youth Wing
  • It has the largest collection of artifacts from Israel in the world

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The Zoological Garden of Beersheba

  • A Zoo located near the west entrance of Beersheba, Israel
  • The zoo’s area is 10 dönüms (about 2.5 acres)
  • It has a collection of mammalians, birds and reptiles from which the ungulates, turtles, snakes and lizards are especially notable
  • The zoo was established in 1954 as a petting zoo of the near-by school

 

Shfaim Water Park

  • The first water park in Israel
  • Located in Kibbutz Shfaim
  • There are different kinds of water slides, such as the Kamikaza, the Slalom and the Sufa
  • In the children part of the park there is a whole playground with wet facilities
  • For the wave lovers there is a wave pool and for the sports lovers there are basketball and tennis courts

Etiquette

Communication Etiquette:
• During the first meeting a handshake with direct eye contact
– “Shalom” typical greeting
• Very blunt and direct
– Loud and very fast paced speakers
• They appreciate honesty
– Very open people

Business Etiquette:
• In many different companies business casual is accepted
– Men – dark colored suits is common
– Women – nice business suits or dresses and blouses
– Accessories are usually worn
• Arrive on time for meets and appointments
– Little small talk during meetings
– Agendas are carefully followed
– Don’t last very long
• Use titles when addressing your counterpart
• Exchange business cards upon first meeting

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