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gov.il Welcome to the Israel Government Portal gov.il
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Everyday Life in Israel
  Israel mixes old and new and its population is an interesting blend of religions, origins and congregations. We invite you to read about the typical Israeli climate, the currency and to get acquainted with some basic daily aspects
 
Climate

The weather in Israel is a typical Mediterranean weather, with long, dry, relatively hot summers and short mild winters. The hottest months of the dry season are July and August. During September-November and April-June, temperatures are comfortable and rainfall is slight. Although the rainy season lasts from October through May, most of the rain falls between December and February.

 Climate information – Israel Tourism Portal
 Israel Meteorological Service
 Geography and Climate

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Shopping in Israel

There are shopping centers (malls), markets, street malls and shops in the large cities.

Most stores are open Sunday through Thursday between 9:00 in the morning and 7:00 in the evening.  Some stores close for a break between 2:00 and 4:00 in the afternoon. In some cities, stores are closed on Tuesday afternoons.  Stores close at midday on Friday and open again on Sunday morning. Stores close in mid afternoon on the eve of Jewish holidays and remain closed throughout the holiday. Some malls are open on Saturdays and they are usually open for longer hours.

 Israel Tourism Portal – Shopping in Israel

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Currency

The official currency in Israel is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS), or shekel for short. In the Bank of Israel website you can find up to date exchange rates.  An on-line currency converter is also available on gov.il  at the bottom right hand side of your screen.

Foreign currency of all kinds may be exchanged at the airport, banks, post offices, most hotels or licensed exchange agencies in large cities.

 Bank of Israel
 Israel Tourism Portal – Detailed information on money and currency

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The Jewish calendar and Jewish holidays

The Jewish calendar is based on the lunar cycle, and has 12 lunar months. The Jewish calendar starts with the Jewish New Year, in the Hebrew month of Tishrei, which usually falls around late September - early October.

The Jewish holidays are national holidays in Israel and vacation days are set in accordance with them.

The major Jewish Holidays are:
Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year
Yom Kippur -  the Day of Atonement
Sukkot  - the Feast of Booths
Chanukah – the festival of lights
Purim – the holiday of dress up and amusement
Pesach – Passover
Shavuot – the holiday of weeks

 Information about Jewish Holidays in the Israel Tourism Portal
 Jewish Festivals and Days of Remembrance in Israel
 Holiday Dates
 The Jewish Holidays website

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Using the telephone

Overseas calls can be placed through three different phone companies. In the Israel Tourism Portal you can find detailed information about making overseas calls. Overseas call rates vary according to the destination.

Public phones can be found on the main streets of all cities and towns. They are operated by magnetic cards (in Hebrew: Telecard) that are available at post offices, supermarkets, and kiosks. The cards are easy to use and are good for local, intercity, or international calls.

Cellular phones are in widespread use in Israel.

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Driving in Israel

To convert a foreign driving license to an Israeli one you should follow the below requirements (which apply to the following types of vehicles: motorcycles, private vehicles, and commercial vehicles up to 15 tons)

 Have a valid foreign driver’s license, issued at least six months before the date of entry into the country
 Pass medical and eye examinations
 Pass a control capability driving test

Additional information may be found on the Driving License Guide

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