Israel is the only country to revive a dead language (Hebrew) and make it their national dialect.
JST CITY GUIDES:
Israel follows one time zone, IST (Israel Standard Time,) two hours ahead of UTC. Israel is 2 hours ahead of London, 7 hours ahead of New York, 8 hours ahead of Chicago, and 10 hours ahead of Los Angeles.
Jerusalem’s visa requirements for travelers are the same as Israel’s. Travelers must obtain a travel waiver from any of the countries associated with the Israel Diplomatic Missions. You can find a detailed list of, and appropriate forms for, those countries here.
Non-Israeli citizens who have been in China during the week prior to their departure must present a negative PCR test result (performed up to 72 hours before the flight) to the airline before boarding, whether the departure flight is from China or not.
According to the U.S. Embassy, “this requirement does not apply to a permanent or temporary resident of Israel (A5 visa holder); a spouse or minor child of an Israeli citizen or permanent resident; and a non-Israeli flying on a connecting flight through China, provided that they do not leave the terminal and that the connection lasted less than 12 hours.”
Source: U.S. Embassy in Israel
Ben Gurion airport is the busiest and largest international airport in Israel. Ben Gurion is located outside the city of Tel-Aviv.
Haifa Airport is a small international airport located in Haifa and is mainly used for commercial flights and military use.
Eilat-Ramon airport is located in southern Israel. It is the second-largest international airport in Israel. Used for domestic and international travel.
Israel is a car and bus culture. If you plan to be in Israel for a long time, renting a car is your best bet. Rav card is used for public buses and also comes with a convenient app. Rav-Kav allows you to input your destination, and it will provide you with a route and what bus stop to get off at.
GETT – Israel’s “UBER” works the same way uber does. You connect your credit card and order yourself a GETT!
Taxis – some GETT drivers are also taxi drivers. Most taxis take shekels only, which is why GETT is so convenient.
Limes/birds/winds- these are city scooters you can use in most Israeli cities. All three are separate apps; scan the barcode and scoot! Wherever you want to stop, hit end ride and leave the scooter right where you got off!
Israel is typically a safe place, but be cautious about pickpockets. Most people worry about themselves but be aware of your surroundings when walking in the city and markets. Those tend to be heavily crowded areas.
To reach the police station in Israel, dial #100 if you ever feel unsafe.
Pepper spray cans are legal for purchase and usage in Israel.
The weather in Israel is typically a warm, Mediterranean climate. The summers are long and hot, with temperatures ranging from 27°C(81℉) to 33°C(92℉) in the summer months. Typically during this time, it doesn’t rain.
During the fall and spring months, rain is more common but still a fairly rare occurrence due to the consistently warm climate. The temperatures range from 15°C (60℉) to 5°C (40℉) during these seasons.
The winter sees the coldest and rainiest weather all year. The temperature usually only goes as low as 10°C (50℉) and could reach as high as 18°C (65℉.)
Hebrew is the primary language spoken in Israel, but most locals often can speak English too. Other popular languages commonly spoken by Israeli natives include Russian and Arabic.
Some basic phrases in Hebrew that will help you during your stay are:
- Shalom: Could mean “hello,” “goodbye,” or “peace” depending on the context.
- Sababa: A slang term for “cool,” or “great.”
- Ken: “Yes”
- Lo: “No”
- Slicha: “Sorry,” or “excuse me”
- Ma-yim: “Water”
- Bevakasha: “Please”
- Ayfo Ha Shirootim: “Where is the bathroom?”
- Yalla: a slang term that could be used in a variety of different ways. Depending on the context, most popularly Yalla is used to mean “let’s go,” or “yeah, right.”
In certain parts of Israel, anything goes.
Israelis are always on time and to the point.
When shopping for tchotchke or presents to bring back home, bartering is as important as saying “hello” to the shop clerk.
The primary currency of Israel is the shekel.
1 US Dollar = 0.29 shekels.
Shekel coins: ½, 1, 2, 5, 10
To exchange money, currency exchanges are very common in the cities, mostly in the airports, post offices, and every other street corner! If, however, you find yourself out of shekels and only have foreign currency, many vendors are willing to accept dollars and euros.
Tipping is not expected of guests in Israel, however, if you are happy with the service, 10% is the customary amount. Usually, one tips after they have paid, though it never hurts to ask!
The standard voltage is 230 voltage, with 50 Hertz Frequency like most of the countries in Europe. If you’re coming from Europe, you probably won’t need a converter, but you will need one if you’re coming from the US. Although most newer hotels will have the European power sockets, but Israel’s traditional power socket uses plug type H, which is three round holes that looks like this:
Water supply in Israel has seen a recent shortage as the country’s weather contributes to chronic droughts and water shortages. The problem has gotten so severe that the government has warned that in the coming years there may not be enough water to supply households with constant water flow. Population growth and the demand for water for growing agriculture have contributed to the problem.
In terms of water cleanliness, Israel is the world leader in water recycling, by reusing and cleaning almost 80% of sewage water (over 400 billion liters a year.) Tap water is safe to drink.
In major cities such as Tel Aviv, free Wi-fi is available at a plethora of locations across the city. The integration of fast and free Wi-Fi gained Israel notoriety as the first country in the world to do so in 2011.
Allowed to serve openly in the military. People refer to Tel Aviv as one of the most gay-friendly cities, the famous gay beach located within, as Israel itself has been one of the most progressive countries in the world in terms of LGBTQIA+ legislation. Gay pride is celebrated annually in Israel.
Israel’s motto is “reduce, reuse, recycle” when it comes to waste. Israel is one of the leading countries in eco-science and environmental sustainability; they are constantly creating new ways to help save our planet. All throughout cities are recycling bins to help collect all plastic bottles. There are plenty of eco-friendly tours and places to stay in Israel, as well as environmentally friendly modes of transport as mentioned in the transportation tab.
Considered to be the most important human fossils ever found, Tabon I was the oldest remains found in Israel’s Carmel mountain range. The skull is believed to be anywhere from 122,000 to 50,000 years old.
Battle of Megiddo
The infamous battle between Canaanite and Pharaoh Thutmose III took place at Megiddo. The battle is referred to as the earliest recorded battle.
Israel is referred to by name for the first time on the mantle on the statue of Pharaoh Merneptah, “Israel is laid waste and his seed is not.”
A version of Palio-Hebrew texts is found to have been written during this time. Monotheism begins growing in popularity and eventually becomes the basis for Judaism.
The Two Kingdoms
Following the death of King Solomon, Israel is split between two kingdoms, the southern Kingdom of Judah and the northern Kingdom of Israel. The two states acted as a separation point between the Jews and Philistines who both lived on the land.
Antiochus IV Epiphanes’s efforts to try and eradicate Judaism resulted in the Maccabean Revolt which was the direct reason for the Jewish holiday Hanukkah.
Herod the Great
During the Herodian dynasty, Herod the Great helped create the Masada fort to protect against the invading Roman military. Jews were also gifted the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans under the contract that they pay taxes for the land.
The Jewish-Roman war took place, in which the Jewish people of Judea claimed the land of “Israel” as their home for the first time.
The first Roman Catholic crusade saw the overtaking and renaming of Jerusalem to the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Jews caught in the crusades were given two options, conversion or death; most of them chose death.
Jews across Europe were blamed for the Black Death plague and mass-murdering began occurring as a result. In order to avoid extermination, Jews across Europe flocked to the safety of Israel or the New World.
Theodor Herzl publishes Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State) and introduced the concept of Zionism during a growing demand for Jewish nationalization.
The First Kibbutz!
The first Israeli Kibbutz was founded by nine Russian-Jewish socialists.
The Balfour Declaration of 1917
The British Government issued the Balfour Declaration of 1917, in which they stated that the Jewish people have equal claim to Palestine due to their shared religious affiliation with the land.
Late Sparks of Conflict
The 1929 Palestine riots began when Zionist Jews began demanding the British Government for proper access to the Wailing Wall for prayer. Initially, the land was Muslim-owned and the riots were a direct commentary on anti-zionism.
Mass migration continues as growing animosity towards Jews grew in response to Hitler’s anti-Semitic propaganda. Jews from across Europe flocked to Israel by the hundreds of thousands.
World War II
World War II and the Holocaust only furthered the Jewish migration to Israel. Tension among Muslim and British forces was growing with Zionist nationalists.
Palestinian Political Stature
After the creation of the United Nations, Palestine’s validity as a single-state country was questioned. Now, world leaders toyed with the idea of creating a shared land between the Palestinians and Israelis. Eventually, the land was split but with the intention of having the City of Jerusalem being its own independent land in which both Israeli’s and Palestinians can worship.
Israel's Global Recognition
After a year of civil war, the state of Israel was legitimately established on 14 May 1948 and was recognized by the United Nations.
Creation of Modern Currency
After decades of political strife and war with various countries, the Israeli economy was tanking. In July of 1985, they introduced a new currency, the “new shekel,” at a rate of 1,000 old shekalim = 1 new shekel.
Peace with Palestine was tried for and failed when Israeli elections had anti-Palestinian politicians elected and war with Lebanon was talked about.
State of Modern Affairs
The tension between Palestine and Israel only grew during the past two decades, with each group fighting for its right to claim the land.