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Israel - Culture Smart! The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture Paperback – 26 Oct 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Kuperard; Reprinted edition edition (26 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857333446
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857333442
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 1.3 x 17 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 747,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description


"Culture Smart! has come to the rescue of hapless travellers, Sunday Times Travel -...the perfect introduction to the weird, wonderful and downright odd quirks and customs of various countries, Global Travel -...full of fascinating, as well as common sense, tips to help you avoid embarrassing faux pas, Observer useful as they are entertaining, Easy Jet Magazine -...offer glimpses into the psyche of a faraway world, New York Times." --various

About the Author

JEFFREY GERI is a South African-born writer living in Tel Aviv. After graduating with a B.Com LLb from the University of Witwatersrand, he practiced as a barrister before leaving Apartheid South Africa in the early 1960s to make his home in Israel. He has been involved in all aspects of Israeli life. He has brought up three Israeli sons and worked extensively in tourism and advertising. He has written several novels, two of which, Oh Henry and The Trouble With Francis, are based on the theme of immigration to Israel, and travel articles for the Israeli English-language press.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
Situated at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea, Israel is a narrow strip of land bordered to the north by Lebanon; to the east by Syria, the West Bank, and Jordan; to the south by the Red Sea; and to the southwest by Egypt. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr readalot on 30 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
I found Culture Smart Israel an easy to read and understand guide. A few more maps and photographs would have shown off the country of Israel better.

Another minor point is the basic phrases section could have contained a little more content.

A good basic guide for the layman.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Good introduction to basic Israeli culture 23 Dec. 2007
By Melissa Morris - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book gives a good brief introduction to the history, sights and people of Israel, though it is not extremely detailed or thorough. This is certainly sufficient if you are going for a business trip (the focus of the book) or a short vacation. As the book states, there are only a few good general rules since the population in Israel comes from very diverse backgrounds - in general you will have to watch and see!

The book starts with a brief history and then a discussion of the various major political and religious groups. A section of Jewish holidays is also provided, though there are some major customs that are left out (such as the bonfires on Lab b'Omer).

As a bonus, you get a mini-guide book in a few pages. It mentions the major cities and the prevalent attitudes of each. While some major festivals are given, approximate dates are not provided. If you are interested in sight-seeing, get a good travel guide book as well.

The book does discuss what to do if you are invited to dinner (or any other meal), what to generally expect in transportation, what to wear (for business), daily routines and family life, cultural values and how Israelis consider friendships. This book is certainly not exhaustive or all-inclusive, but will give you general ideas about how many people behave.

The section on security was rather small (one page) considering the importance in daily life in Israel. From an American perspective, some insight into how screening is done (i.e. you may have to open your car trunk before entering certain places) would have been a helpful addition for those who wouldn't expect it. The book suggests following all instructions given, which is a good general rule even if you have other expectations.

Though it is nice that the book is fairly small, it would have been better to add a few more pages to give just a bit more detail. I've mentioned a few missed points above, but in addition there are no instructions for dealing with police (not that this is a likely event), helpful tips such that you usually must flag down a bus from a stop, negotiation techniques in markets, e-mail etiquette or even how the banking system works (since there is a definite business focus in the book). There is also a small addition that needs to be made - on Page 11, it should be noted that you will typically find the two-round-pronged European-style plug, not a three-pronged angled plug.

For the price, this book is a good way to gain some ideas of the cultural and political attitudes in Israel in a short amount of time. If you are a procrastinator, you certainly can read the entire book on the plane!

I'm including the table of contents below, since as of this posting, it was not available and you can not see inside the book.


Map of Israel 7
Introduction 8
Key Facts 10
1: Land and People
Geography 12
Climate 13
A Brief History 14
Key Events Since 1948 36
Israelis Today 44
Government 49
The Israel Defense Force 55
Cities and Towns 57
The Kibbutz 61
The Moshav 63

2: Values and Attitudes
Wars and Occupation 64
Secularism and Religion 65
Family Life 70
Togetherness and Groups 72
Attitudes Toward Each Other 73
Attitudes Toward Minorities 75
Humor 77

3: Customs and Traditions
Jewish Festivals and Holidays 78
Muslim and Christian Festivals 86
Rites of Passage 86
Courtship and Marriage 88
Death and Mourning 90

4: Making Friends
Hospitality 93
Gift Giving 95
Manners 96
Immigrant Associations 98

5: Daily Life
Homes and Lifestyles 102
Weekday Routine 104
Education 106
Leisure and Sports 110

6: Time Out
Wining and Dining 112
Shopping 116
Fashion 118
The Performing Arts 120
Museums and Galleries 122
Nightlife 124
Beaches 125

7: Travel, Health and Security
Flying 128
Taxis 128
Buses 129
Trains 130
Driving 130
Seeing the Country 133
Health Care and Emergency Services 143
Safety and Security 145

8: Business Briefing
Business Culture 146
Protocol and Presentations 147
Personal Relations 149
Negotiating Styles 150
Contracts and Fulfillment 151
Women in Business 152

9: Communicating
Language 154
Body Language 157
The Media 157
Telephone 161
Mail 162
Conclusion 163

Further Reading 165
Business Web Sites 165
Index 166
Acknowledgements 168
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Just OK! 4 Jan. 2013
By Barbarina - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book certainly provided me with lots of information about Israel. I do wish however I had looked around a bit more as it was boring in presentation and this is a real shame considering the subject matter. In saying that I did find it helpful.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Cultural Israel 18 Jan. 2009
By Traveler - Published on
Format: Paperback
Though many travel to Israel and it is very Westernized, it is good to remember that there is a Religion and cultural base that is not taken lightly.
The source of good information to be followed.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Useful guide to avoid the clash of cultures 14 Mar. 2013
By Deacon Mike - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a nice companion to other travel guides because it tends to include the cultural nuances that others leave out. I found that some in my group had taken offense at times without knowing that no offense was intended. There were simply differences in cultural norms and expectations. When I explained what was really intended in the encounter, it immediately eased tensions. Frankly, it's impossible to travel and experience the diversity in different countries, without being willing to understand and accommodate and embrace the differences in cultures. This book provides a quick guide to understanding those differences and making travel more enjoyable.
How beautiful and graceful 30 Nov. 2015
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Presentation with us! (Professor Aron Hell)!
Presentation us.
Soon the film of his show.
As the "Exodus" took place?
Option it ours, it is new.
We worry today.
Film concept he hour.
After all, the history lesson.
What is new? Ready?
We wish success.
Who created it because it is important?
In the works are always the subject
As he sees his object?
Tova all of us admired.
Composer is power.
How beautiful and graceful.
10 Let her always.
As we danced together!
Choreography we knew.
Mother Teresa we have.
Heart is good for you.
All are capable of poets.
Humanists so in those with age.
Million children's books.
After dityu so tuzhen elephant.
Ariel we all met.
Micah also helped.
Gabrielle, what now?
What will read it for us?
Dressed about Pollard he said.
Hall understood, supported.
The film appeared before us here.
What music glow.
Haifa you always perspective.
There are responsible, happy.
After consensus entire country.
Eternity! The Promised Land.
Those who are devoted to the cause of fate.
He remains in the saddle.
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