Israel is a unique country. In its 70 years of independence, and from even before, Israel has welcomed millions of immigrants from all over the world. This immigration process created a very special society, a society that mixes several cultures and traditions, a society that can be loved by many, or hated by others.
But one thing is clear, this folkloric spicy society has a few typical characters that you’ll be sure to meet on your next visit to Israel. Don’t be ashamed of trying to recognize these stereotypes when you next walk near the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv.
Here are 5 of the most typical Israelis you’ll see or meet on your next visit to the one democracy in the Middle East
The Independent Business Person
It wouldn’t be that wrong to say that there are more laptops than people in the coffee shops of Tel Aviv. You’ll see tons of people working from coffee shops, restaurants, bars, parks, and even from the beach. Hundreds of business meetings are being held in these places every day, and the number of young and old entrepreneurs increases every day. Welcome to the Startup Nation!
You’ll recognize them by their open computers (some of them with more bumper stickers than gigabytes), by their smart look, and by their cell-phones that never stop ringing. But wait a second, do not expect to see too many button-up shirts, the Israeli business person can work and create extraordinary products and services even while wearing a bathing suit. The power is in the ideas, not in the way we dress to create them.
Many different types of orthodox people!
Yes. Not every orthodox person wears a black coat and big hat, or a long, dark colored dress. In Israel, you’ll see a huge variety of orthodox people. Hippies, soldiers, musicians, internationals, etc. A number of kipah colors, and an immeasurable variety of occupations and jobs enables us to open our minds to a much wider world of religious options and possibilities.
No need to dress in black and to wear a heavy coat in order to be an active member of the Orthodox community. Just sit for a few hours on Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem to be amazed by the many different kinds of people who pray the same prayers to the same God. It is time to leave the stereotypes back home and create some space for new kinds of approaches to religion that we weren’t aware of.
The Hipster: New York spirit in Tel Aviv
You know what a Hipster looks like, right? Well, imagine those long beards and very well organized haircuts, with some vintage clothing and either a fashionable old bicycle or a skateboard; but in Tel Aviv.
You’ll see tons of hipsters in the White Bauhaus City! A large percentage of them live in the cool area of Florentin, in southern Tel Aviv, an area that we recommend visiting and spending time in. Many cool restaurants and bars are located in that area, and a large number of vegan places are opening there, and all over the city, every day (even if there’s no evident connection between veganism and Hipsters, we had to let you know about these places somehow!). Walk around Rothschild Boulevard and you will most likely feel like you are in Brooklyn. Not because of the landscape, but because of the people.
The “Ars”: Bling Bling’in the Star of David
One of a kind. There are people like this all over the globe. People who, not only have a tiny bit of an aggressive tone of voice, but also forget to plug their earphones in when listening to music in a public place.
You can recognize the ars by their very typical haircut, by the huge and super gold Star of David (or Chai) hanging around their necks, by the number of brothers and sisters they seem to have all over the country (otherwise, why would they call every other person in the street “achi”, right?), and by the fact that their champion attitude goes right out the window as soon as you hear them trying to speak English.
These are the guys (and girls) that are going to push in front of you in line, shove you if you’re taking too much time when paying for the bus, or the ones who bring a spectacular sound system to the beach to listen to the latest hits of Eyal Golan. Be careful and learn to appreciate their good side.
The one you’re going to fall in love with!
Remember we mentioned several cultures coming to Israel and creating a mixed society? Well, this mixture also affects genes. This happens to everyone. Married, single, and divorced. You are going to see an Israeli that you are going to deeply fall for. Just imagine people with an optimistic, great personality, and with unique color combinations of skin and eyes. Already feeling it? This is the type of Israeli we all meet at least once in our lives. Someone talkative, charming, respectful, fun, talkative, pretty, friendly, and have we mentioned talkative already?
Of course, you could have a much better experience if you just learn Hebrew before coming to meet all of these kinds of people. If you want to prepare yourself for your next visit, start here, and guarantee yourself a better, more enjoyable time in Israel.