Expat Exchange

Living in Israel

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By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 10, 2022

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Israel: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

What do I need to know about living in Israel?

Live in Israel? Answer this Question

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Israel, they said:

"If you want a quiet family centered lifestyle go to Haifa. If you're single and want night-life go to Tel Aviv. If you want musuems and history go to Jerusalem," mentioned another expat in Haifa.

"Get used to very poor shopping opportunities, rude people and places closing on Sabath," commented one expat who made the move to Jerusalem.

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How do I meet people in Israel?

Live in Israel? Answer this Question

When we asked people living in Israel about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"Haifa is a very laid back city with a population of about 300,000. There are about permanent English speaking families and many temps who are studying at the universities or working in hi-tech. The young English speakers (up to age 35), have lots of pub evenings and outrings an they are well organized. There is the Anglo-list on Facebook which has about 2000 members and a smaller grou p - Haifa Young English Speakers too. There is a weekly walk on the beach, there is an English speaking branch of the Freemasons, Rotary, BNI and other similar networks. There are lots of volunteer organization who want English speakers to participate in their activities. There is a large Russian community in Haifa as well. A large Bahai and Filippino community live here too," said another expat in Haifa.

"I highly recommend a small French restaurant in downtown Jerusalem called "Cavaliere". They offer a great selection of wines from all over the world as well as great food. It's a bit pricey but a special business lunch menu is available. Also I recommend "Sakura" restaurant for Japanese cousine lovers. It's a small place but offers a great selection of sushi, maki etc as well as salads and other lapanese dishes. In my opinion this is the most authentic japanese restaurant in Jerusalem," added another expat who made the move to Jerusalem.

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

What is life like in Israel?

Live in Israel? Answer this Question

When we asked people living in Israel what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Haifa is a family city. The beach, the forests and nature trails are big attractions. It takes less than an hour to get to Tel Aviv which is the main commercial center. There is a huge hi-tech center in Haifa which employs many expats and it is close to another major hi-tech center - Yokneam. THe city of Haifa is focussing on the younger generation, students etc., and are working hard to improve facilities and housing options for them," commented one expat who made the move to Haifa.

"60% of the population is very religious and places close on Sabath (on Friday around 3 pm till Saturday's sunset). You may not be able to find a grocery store that is open around this time, so buy food before Sabath," remarked another expat living in Jerusalem, Israel.

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AGS Worldwide Movers can move you to and from anywhere in the world. Presently the AGS Group has over 141 locations in more than 95 countries and has one of the largest networks in the international removals industry. We relocate 85,000 families every year. Free moving quote!

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Israel accepting of differences?

Live in Israel? Answer this Question

"Haifa is super-tolerant of religious and cultural diversities. In fact Jews, Christians, Moslems, Bahai, Druze all co-exist, live and work together in mutual respect and harmony," remarked another expat who made the move to Haifa.

"I wouldn't recommend wandering through religious neighborhoods of Jerusalem on Shabat since you may be spit on or even bitten. In the Old City of Jerusalem and all arab areas it's not advisable to walk around in a shirt that doesn't cover sholders," explained one expat living in Jerusalem, Israel.

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

What are the schools in Israel like?

Live in Israel? Answer this Question

"We love the fact that the Treehouse staff have always been very open and honest about our children. I can understand that there is a temptation at schools to simply tell the parents what they want to hear about their children and to sweep things under the carpet to maintain a facade. This is not the case here and we credit the school for helping us raise amazing children who are happy and behave beautifully outside of the home and out of our sight as well as when they are at home. The treehouse staff have exceptional core values and have been indispensible in helping us raise our children," remarked another expat living in Herzliya Pitoach with children attending Treehouse International School.

"GO for it! and just make sure your child has other afternoon classes in the neighborhood. There is great options in Herzliya Pituach: Tennis, music, dance, Hip-hop, surfing. This way you get it all. The academics, the calmness and the social responsibility of the children at that school are just remarkable features that I have not seen anywhere else," said another expat in Herzliya Pituach with children at Treehouse International School.

"our children have attended this school for many years. not only does it have an excellent staff and academic programme but the values which infuse the environment are fantastic. our children are happy, well rounded, socially outgoing and have a deep sense of responsibility to those around them due to the education at this school. They not only excel inacademics but they are curious about the world and driven to always learn more. we thank the school and its wonderful dedicated staff every day," remarked another parent with kids at Treehouse International School in Herzliya Pitoach.

"Go to the American School, that is where our son is now, and he is much happier and is getting the support that he needs," explained one expat living in Herzilya Petuach, Israel.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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Advice for people renting and buying real estate in Israel.

Pros Cons of Living in IsraelPros & Cons of Living in Israel

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what digital nomads & expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in Israel.

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

Israel GuideIsrael Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in Israel.

Israel Forum Israel Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Israel on our Israel forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Israel Index Israel Index
An index of all of our site's Israel information.

Contribute to Israel Network Contribute
Help others in Israel by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Israel.

Expat Healthcare Advice in IsraelHealthcare & Health Insurance in Israel

Expats in Israel offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Israel.

Real Estate in IsraelReal Estate in Israel

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Israel.

Guide to Real Estate in IsraelGuide to Real Estate in Israel

Advice for people renting and buying real estate in Israel.

Pros Cons of Living in IsraelPros & Cons of Living in Israel

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what digital nomads & expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in Israel.

Guides to Cities in Israel
Haifa Tel Aviv
Country Resources
Health Insurance Moving & Shipping More Resources

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