Israel: Culture and Tradition

November 07, 2017

Israel is located along the Mediterranean Sea in the Middle East. The country is surrounded by Egypt, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank. The State of Israel was established in 1948.



Israeli Culture

Three of the most commonly spoken languages in Israel are Hebrew, Arabic and English. Hebrew is the official language of Israel, while Arabic is widely used by the Arab minority. English is the most commonly used foreign language in the country.



Israel's culture is deeply rooted in the Jewish religion. In Israel, there are many Jewish immigrants from several different countries. As a result, Israel has a dynamic, creative and diverse culture. The holidays and festivals are all based on the Hebrew calendar.



The majority of Israeli people practice Judaism, which accounts for 74.8% of the Israeli population. Islam is the second most prevalent religion at 17.6%. Christianity, Druze and other religions comprise 8.4% of the population.



There are three important Jewish holidays in Israel: The Feast of Pesach (Passover), the Feast of Shavu'ot (Weeks) and the Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles). These three festivals have historical and agricultural significance.


  • The Feast of Pesach. Pesach means to "pass through" or "pass over" in English. Passover is a celebration of God liberating Jews from slavery in ancient Egypt. The holiday begins on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Nissan.


  • The Feast of Shavu'ot. This holiday falls on the 50th day after the Feast of Pesach. There are 49 days or seven full weeks before the holiday starts, which is why people call the holiday "The Feast of Weeks." It is when the first batch of wheat is harvested and offered to God. Work is not permitted on this day.


  • The Feast of Sukkot. This is when people gather to celebrate the harvest festival and to remember the period of wandering when they had to live in temporary dwellings. Sukkot means "booths" in Hebrew.

Family Structure


Israelis are very family oriented. As a patriarchal society, fathers are always the head of the household. A family usually includes the husband and wife, sons and their wives, single sons and daughters, as well as their service assistants and the assistants' families. A typical Israeli family can include two to three core families and the total number of family members can range from 50 to 100 people. Extended, large families are quite common in Israel.



Israeli cuisine usually follows kosher protocols, due to the Jewish culture and religion. As a result, pork, shellfish, eggs and milk are prohibited. It is also prohibited to prepare or cook meats, dairy products and eggs in the same pot or container. Hummus, tahini, shawarma, pita bread, kebabs and falafel are some of the most commonly enjoyed foods in Israel.



Before settling in Israel, Israelis were spread out in many different countries. As a result, Israel has a very unique culture due to the influence its people received from the countries and cultures they previously resided in. Israel is an adventurous, creative and diverse country where you can explore a plethora of exciting cultures and people.

Further Cultural Resources from GPI

You may gain further insight into country specific cultural facts and related topics by reviewing some previous blogs written by GPI:



Please feel free to contact GPI at with any questions about our translation services.  Also let us know if you have any interesting blog topics you would like us to cover in future blogs.



Country Specific
Israel, Middle East

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Ahmed is a native Arabic speaker from Egypt, Cairo. He has over 12 years’ experience in the translation and localization field working as a Hebrew – Arabic translator and editor. He has also held positions for language Testing Engineer and Localization Project Manager. Ahmed has extensive experience in handling large volume translation projects for software and document localization. He has worked for a range of translation and localization groups and companies including Microsoft, Babylon, Saudisoft, as well as several governmental authorities. He holds a B.A. degree in Translation and Interpreting from Faculty of Alsun Ain Shams University and additionally is a certified Hebrew - Arabic translator with a High Translation professional diploma from the same faculty. He is a published author translating news articles and writing political analysis with contributions to an array of research centers and newspapers including AL Aharam, Beirut Political Centre, Aldiplomasy Magazine, and Lindro Italian News, to name a few. In his free time Ahmed likes swimming, shooting and reading about new ideas.