Moving to Israel

Expats moving to Israel do so for various reasons. Many are attracted by the culture or faith, while others are drawn to the vibrant economy and thriving technology sector.

Uniting these disparate motivations is likely an intense and never-neutral part of the experience of living in Israel. This is a country that evokes passionate responses from people, and expats moving to Israel should expect far more than a typical posting in a foreign country might provide.

Bordered on the east by the Mediterranean Sea, Israel is neighbour to Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt. The landscape is quite varied, including deserts, hills, small mountains, valleys, rivers and lakes.

Even though its landmass is actually smaller than the US state of New Jersey, there are over 8.3 million people living in Israel. It is the world's only official Jewish state, and more than 70 percent of the population is Jewish. However, due to the continuous influx of immigrants over the years, Arab, American, European, Russian, Asian, and African nationalities diversify the population.

Expats in Israel generally tend to live in one of its main cities. Jerusalem is both the capital and largest city in Israel, and is the religious homeland for the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths. Tel Aviv is the financial, commercial, industrial and cultural epicentre of Israel. Haifa is located on the northern coast and is the most significant industrial and commercial centre in northern Israel, as well as its major port. Beersheba is the largest city in the south, providing resources such as employment, education and health services for all of the southern areas of Israel.

The official languages in Israel are Hebrew and Arabic. English is spoken widely and is a semi-official language. All road signs, government statements, emergency broadcastings, etc. are published in these three languages. Due to the enormous number of immigrants in Israel, many other languages are also frequently used. In urban centres and in the operations of most businesses, where a common language is required, English is normally used.

Expats moving to Israel will love the weather. Summers are hot and dry, with the hottest months being July and August. The rainy season is from November to April, with the heaviest rainfall occurring during December and January. The coast is hot and humid in the summer and mild in the winter. The higher elevations have hot and dry summers, and cold, wet winters. Jerusalem occasionally receives snow in December.

Israel’s modern and diverse market economy is built on several industries, including agriculture, biotechnology, construction, electronics, information technology, manufacturing, telecommunications and tourism. Israel’s export industry is successful due to its ability to manufacture and export innovative technological products to the USA, Europe and Asia. Israel’s technology industry has attracted massive foreign investment. With this influx of capital, ample opportunities for talented and qualified expats have subsequently arisen.