SOME FACTS & FIGURES
Israel shares its borders with Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. It lies at the junction between Europe, Asia and Africa
Israel\'s climate is normally warm and sunny, with a short rainy season from November to April. Regional climatic conditions vary in different areas of Israel: on the coastal rang – hot, humid summers and mild, wet winters; in the high hill regions – dry, warm summers and moderately cold winters, with rain and occasional light snow.
The temperature range: In the winter, around 10-25 ℅ and 0-15 ℅ in the Jerusalem and high hill regions. In the summer, 25-30 ℅ and more, and can rise higher than 40 ℅ in Eilat.
Jerusalem, Israel\'s capital (population 675,000), is a flourishing, vibrant city, and is Israel’s largest city.
Tel Aviv-Yafo (population 360,000), this city is the core of Israel\'s industrial, commercial, financial and a big influence on Israel\'s cultural life.
Haifa (population 272,000), located on the Mediterranean sea, it has a large port, as well as being the industrial and commercial center of the northern part of Israel.
Be’er Sheva (population 180,000), is the largest city in the south. It provides administrative, economic, health, education and cultural services for the entire southern region of Israel.
Israel is a parliamentary democracy with legislative, executive and judicial branches. The head of the state is the president, whose duties are mostly ceremonial and formal; The "Knesset", is Israel’s legislative authority, holds 120-member unicameral parliament which operates all year long. Its members are elected every four years in nationwide elections. The Government deals with managing internal and foreign affairs.
EDUCATION AND SCIENCE
School attendance starts at age five, and free through the age of 18. Most 3-4 year olds attend some kind of preschool. Israel has many institutions of higher level of education, universities, and colleges. Israel\'s high level of scientific research and development and the application of R&D compensate for the country’s lack of natural resources.
Israel's industry focuses on manufacturing products with a high added value that are primarily based on technological innovation. These products include medical electronics, agro-technology, telecommunications, computer hardware and software, solar energy, food processing and fine chemicals. Trade is conducted with an array of countries all over the globe. Most of Israel's imports and exports is done with Europe, the next large portion is with the USA, the rest spread out globally.
Israel holds within it thousands of years of history, the combination of immigrants from over 70 countries, a society of multi-ethnic communities living side by side, and an unending flow technology have guided and added to the development of the Israeli culture. Cultural expression through the arts is as varied as the people of Israel, with literature, theater, concerts, radio and television programming, entertainment, museums and galleries for every interest and taste flourish in the Israeli community. The official language of the country is Hebrew, but in the country’s streets many other languages can be heard, such as Arabic, English, Russian and many others.
CURRENCY, CREDIT CARDS, BANKS AND ATMS
The Israeli currency is NIS (New Israeli Shekel). There are 100 agorot (agora in singular) in each shekel. Bank notes are in denominations of 20, 50, 100, and 200 NIS; coins are in denominations of 10 NIS, 5 NIS, 1 NIS and 50, 10 and 5 agorot.
All major international credit cards are widely accepted at hotels, restaurants and stores. You will only need a little cash on hand for small expenditures, taxi cabs, tips etc. All ATMs accept credit cards for the purpose of cash withdrawals.