Essential Info for Israel

Full name: State of Israel

Population: About 8.3 million

Capital city: Jerusalem (also largest city)

Neighbouring countries: Israel is bordered by Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula to the south, Jordan to the east, Lebanon to the north and Syria to the northeast. Israel’s west border is a coastline on the Mediterranean Sea.

Political system: Parliamentary democracy

Main languages: The official languages of Israel are Hebrew and Arabic; however, English is prominent in tourist and business centres.

Major religions: Israel is the world’s only officially Jewish state with Judaism being the dominant religion (more than 75 percent). The second largest religion in Israel is Islam (17 percent), largely a result of the country’s Arab population.

Time: GMT +2 (GMT +3 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October)

Electricity: 220 volts, 50Hz. Round three-pin plugs and European two-pin plugs are most common.

International dialling code: +972 and the relevant city code, e.g. (0)2 for Jerusalem.

Internet domain: .il

Money: The currency in Israel is the Israeli Shekel (ILS), which is divided into 100 agorot (singular is agora). It is fairly easy for expats working in Israel to open a bank account, and there are numerous ATMs in and around the country’s urban centres.

Emergency numbers: 101 (Ambulance), 102 (Fire), 100 (Police)

Transport and driving: Israel has a highly developed public transport system, so expats should not experience much difficulty getting around the country. Cars in Israel are required to drive on the right side of the road.

Education: There are a variety of high-quality educational options in Israel, including public, private and international schools. Israel has three types of public schools: secular, Jewish and Arabic.