Published on 25 Nov 2014

A Must-Know Guide to Moving To Israel

Israel's abundant cultural heritage, strong Jewish traditions, vibrant economy and rich diversity are only some of the reasons why expats and tourists flock to this part of the world.

Their reasons for moving might be different, but what awaits them is the same.

Bordered by Egypt and the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, Israel is mostly a Jewish country, with 80% Jewish people from all across the world. The other 20% is a mix of everything.

With this diverse citizenry, it is no wonder Israel has become a hub spot of various cultural traditions, languages and ethnicities from all over the world. And this diversity is what makes Israel more interesting.

moving to IsraelThere are several main cities in Israel you can choose from, and each one of them offers different opportunities to visitors.

  • Jerusalem- It is the capital city and is also the largest city in Israel. It is the religious homeland for all Jewish, Muslim and Christian religions.

  • Tel Aviv - The financial, commercial, industrial and cultural center of Israel can be found in the city of Tel Aviv. The city never sleeps and it is known as one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world.

  • Haifa - is home to Israel's major port as it is located in the northern coast of the country.

  • Beersheba - is the south's largest city and offers great employment, education and health opportunities for people in the south.

But before you book you the removalist or plan your stay in Israel, here's everything you need to know about the people and culture for a smooth and hassle-free transition.

  1. Hebrew and Arabic are considered the official languages of Israel but English is also widely used because of the diversity of people from around the world. but even though you could survive with just your English, it also helps to learn a few local words to lessen awkward situations. Besides, the best way to really learn a culture is to learn their language first.

Tip: Download a dictionary on your phone or if there's no wifi, carry around a pocket dictionary with you.

  1. If you love the sun, then Israel has the perfect climate for you! It has a Mediterranean climate characterized by long, hot, dry summers and relatively short, cool, wet winters.

Tip: Don't forget your sunscreen!

  1. People often describe Israelis as rude people. Impatient drivers will honk at you even at stoplights, rowdy children crossing the streets, employees yelling at you in the supermarket or at the bank and people seem to lack manners. If you didn't do your research first before visiting or moving to Israel, you might be offended and cause trouble because of this. This seemingly rude behavior of Israelis can be attributed to what they call sabra, slang for Jews born in Israel which alludes to a thorny desert cactus with a dense exterior and a sweet, soft interior - just like the people. They may be coarse and rude on the outside, but most Israelis are warm, kind, and generous on the inside.

Tip: Bring lots of patience and a thick skin.

  1. The normal working week runs from Sunday to Thursday in Israel. So if you believe Friday is a good day to process something at the embassy, at any government office or any other office for that matter, think again. From sunset of Friday through to sunset on Saturday is Shabbat - the Holy day for Jews, and most businesses and offices are closed during this period.

Tip: Adjust your calendar to avoid confusion.

  1. Rejoice in the Country's tax system. Whether you are moving back to Israel after many years abroad or planning to work in Israel, know that you are going to save money. Israel is now considered one of the most tax-efficient countries in the world. With the right planning, your move can be particularly attractive, not just for the Mediterranean sunshine but also for your finances.

Tip: Find a tax professional to help your understand your rights. You may find you come out better off.

  1. Get good help with your move. Moving to a new country can be daunting especially if you don't know enough about it. Choose a company that has moved many people and families from Australia to Israel. They will know exactly how to do it properly. Citymove have been doing this route for over 31 years. With experience like this they know how to save their clients the stress of a failed international move.

Tip: Choose a removalist that are experienced in this route. Just because they do international moves doesn't mean they understand the complexities of moving to Israel.

  1. One big family. Jews consider each other as part of a big family. So when you get there, you'll never feel alone.

Tip: Don't be a stranger.

Visiting or moving to another country can be a stressful and nerve-wrecking experience. Just imagine having to live in a foreign place surrounded by unfamiliar people with unfamiliar traditions who speak an unfamiliar language.

But with proper research, sufficient preparation and help from experts, you'll find that moving to Israel is an exciting and enlightening experience that you and your family will enjoy!

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