BEFORE DEPARTURE

 

 

Whether this is your first or return visit, a few hints and tips can always make the time away just that bit easier. We have compiled an initial range of topics here but if you don’t find what you are looking for or need more detailed information please visit the Israel Tourism (link in here) web site.

What would you like to know

  1. What to Bring
  2. Passports and Visas
  3. Electrical Appliances
  4. Immigration & Customs
  5. Information Centres
  6. Holiday Dates and Jewish Customs
  7. Travel for the Disabled
  8. Languages
  9. Internet Hot Spots

THE WEATHER

Now, this being one of the most staple ingredients of conversation for British people, we couldn’t avoid providing you with a good overall perspective on the subject of weather!

Daily Weather for Tel Aviv
Today 1/11/2014 2/11/2014 3/11/2014 4/11/2014 5/11/2014
It is forcast to be Chance of Rain at 11:00 PM IST on October 31, 2014
Chance of Rain
23°/15°
It is forcast to be Chance of Rain at 11:00 PM IST on November 01, 2014
Chance of Rain
23°/16°
It is forcast to be Chance of Rain at 11:00 PM IST on November 02, 2014
Chance of Rain
24°/16°
It is forcast to be Clear at 11:00 PM IST on November 03, 2014
Clear
26°/15°
It is forcast to be Chance of a Thunderstorm at 11:00 PM IST on November 04, 2014
Chance of a Thunderstorm
25°/14°
It is forcast to be Partly Cloudy at 11:00 PM IST on November 05, 2014
Partly Cloudy
23°/14°
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Average temp

Temperatures vary greatly depending on the time of year. December and January are the coldest times of year, with snow falling in the north in places such as The Golan and the Galilee.

Skiers and snow boarders love to travel to Mount Hermon where they can, for a short time, enjoy their winter sports. Even Jerusalem sees snow, turning it into a beautiful picture postcard.

It hots up in the summer, between June and September. Some places are humid and some have a dry heat that is much more bearable. Tel Aviv, Haifa and Tiberias are very humid in the height of the summer season in the months of July and August.

However, Tel Avivs’ shopping centres are air-conditioned and the sea provides a refreshing cool down. Jerusalem, Eilat and the Dead Sea have a dry heat, but it’s not recommended that you travel to the Dead Sea area in the scorching heat of 100 degrees!

For moderate temperatures, the best seasons to travel to Israel are spring and autumn, in the months of March, April, October and November.

WHAT TO BRING

If you are visiting Israel during the summer you will need lightweight clothing – short-sleeved and sleeveless shirts, shorts, sandals, beach shoes and a bathing suit. It’s also a good idea to pack a sweater or jacket, since nights in the mountains and the desert can be cool.

If you are visiting in the winter, you will need warm clothing, a coat (preferably a raincoat as well), good shoes, an umbrella, gloves, a scarf and other warm clothing.

Weather in Israel is not cold as it is in Europe, but days can be rainy and cold. It’s a good idea to bring a small bag for day trips. If you are traveling to Eilat or the Dead Sea, it’s a good idea to bring a bathing suit, since it is warm enough to swim there even in the winter.

Sunscreen, a sun hat, and sunglasses are essential items throughout the year.

 

PASSPORT AND VISAS

Please consult the web information for full details by Clicking Here

Visas are not required for all UK and EU nationalities however all visitors to Israel must hold a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date they enter the country.

ELECTRICAL APPLIANCE

The Israeli power supply is single phase 220 volts at 50 Hertz. Most power sockets in Israel have three pin holes, but many of them will work with double-pin European plugs.

Visitors who want to use shavers, traveling irons and other small appliances may need both transformers and adaptor plugs.

IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS

Passport Control –  Upon arrival in Israel, visitors undergo a security check and are requested to present a passport that is valid for at least six months, as well as entry forms with their personal details. It is important to ascertain that the details are filled out accurately, and to keep a copy of the form in order to present it upon departure from Israel.

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Arrival by Air – Visitors arriving by air will receive forms to be filled in the course of their flight, in order to prevent delays at the passport controls. It is important to ascertain that the details of the passenger and the flight on which he/she arrived are filled out accurately. Travelers will be requested to present their passport, a boarding pass and an entry form at passport control. After their passport has been stamped , incoming travelers continue to the passenger luggage area, where carts are at their disposal. From there, they continue to customs control and to the airport exit.

Arrival by Land – Visitors arriving at the borderline passes on the Israel-Egypt or Israel-Jordan border will receive forms in which their personal details must be filled in. After doing so and undergoing a security check, they must present the completed forms together with their passport. Tourists continuing from Israel on to Arab countries (except Egypt and Jordan).

Please note: You can request that your passport not be stamped with an Israeli stamp. You must notify the clerk of your request before your documents are stamped. The granting of such requests is at the discretion of the authorities.

Customs – There is a two-lane customs transit system, one green and the other red, at Ben Gurion Airport and at the Rafah (Rafi’akh) Crossing Point. At the remaining airports and passes, travelers must submit a declaration to the customs officer as to whether they have items that do not appear in the list of duty free items or whether the quantities they have exceed the exempt quantities. Visitors who do not have goods to be declared may go through the green lane at the exit from the passenger arrival hall.

Articles that do not need to be declared:

  1. Personal clothing, shoes and cosmetics – in quantities that can usually be carried in the traveler’s hand baggage.
  2. Alcoholic beverages – up to one litre for hard liquor, and up to two litres for wine, per person aged 17 and over.
  3. Tobacco of all types – up to 250 grams per person aged 17 and over.
  4. Presents and other commodities – items other than alcoholic beverages, alcoholic perfumes, tobacco, and television sets, costing up to $200, as determined by the clerk at the entrance terminal, according to lists in his possession.
  5. Food – up to a total weight of three kilograms, on condition that the weight of each type of food does not exceed one kilogram.
  6. Additional items – typewriter, stills camera and movie camera (not including video camera), radio, tape recorder, pair of binoculars, personal jewelry, musical instruments, gramophone, pram, camping or sports equipment, bicycle and other like articles.

Visitors with goods for which a deposit must be paid that will be returned to them when they leave Israel must go through the red lane. Visitors with items not appearing in the list of duty free items or in the list of taxable items must also go through the red lane and declare them. In case of doubt, the tax authorities recommend going through the red lane. Failure to declare taxable items represents an offense, for which the traveler must pay an administrative fine, be prosecuted or have the goods confiscated.

It is forbidden to import the following items into Israel without a license issued in advance: plants, firearms, raw meat, raw materials, counterfeit currency or documents, knife or penknife not intended for professional use, etc.

 

 

INFORMATION CENTRES

Look up for information centres around the World and in IsraelChristian Information Centre.

For a full list of Information Centres please visit the following link: Thinisrael.com

Information Centres:

1

Ben Gurion Airport Entrance Hall                                                           Telephone: 03-9754260 Fax: 03-9754264

E-mail: doritk@tourism.gov.il Opening hours: (24/7)

2

Jerusalem

Address: Jaffa Gate, Omar Katab Square in the Old City Telephone: 02-6280403 ; 02-6271422 ; 02-6276429 Fax: 02-6271362 E-mail: orenm@tourism.gov.il                                                                                                                                                                                  Opening hours: Sun-Thu :8:30am-5:00pm; Fri: 8:00am-1:30pm

3

Nazareth

Address: Casanova st. Telephone: 04-6750555 Fax: 04-6753078                                                                                                                         E-mail:ronnye@tourism.gov.il                                                                                                                                                                                              Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 8:30am-5:00pm ; Sat. 9:00am-1:00pm

 

HOLIDAY DATES AND JEWISH CUSTOMS

Please click on this link to see all forthcoming holiday dates.

Shabbat – Even though this is the seventh day of every week (counting from Sunday), and there are over 50 such days each year, Shabbat is a holy day – and even one of the most important holy days in Judaism. In fact, apart from the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur,) Shabbat is the holiest day for Jews, and is the only one mentioned in the Ten Commandments. The observance of Shabbat has always been central to the Jewish people’s experience and existence, at least until recent generations. A well-known saying states that more than the Jewish people have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jewish people.

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According to ancient Jewish tradition, Shabbat has a clear connection to the creation of the world: on the seventh day God rested (“Shabbat,” in Hebrew) from the work of creation, so this is a holy day for men, and they, too, are to rest from productive work.

The idea of Shabbat – one day sanctified for rest after six days of toil – is one of the important contributions of Judaism to world culture. It is also the basis for the concept of the week as a cyclical unit of time. The Jewish Shabbat served as a model for the setting of the holy day for Christians (Sunday) and for Muslims (Friday).

In the Jewish calendar, the days are counted from the sunset of one day until sunset the following day. Shabbat therefore begins on Friday evening, called Erev Shabbat, and ends on Saturday evening, called Motsa’ei Shabbat. The exact times of the beginning and end of Shabbat are determined in advance and change from week to week and from place to place.

The customs associated with Shabbat are many and varied. First and foremost, it is a day of rest, on which all productive work is forbidden. According to Jewish law, any activity connected with fire is forbidden, and religious Jews do not turn electricity on or off on Shabbat and do not travel. Many other Jews, who define themselves as traditional (and who are moderately religious), also partially avoid traveling, using electricity or performing other types of productive work. Many of them do not answer the telephone on Shabbat.

For religious Jews, Shabbat is a day filled with prayer, and they spend many hours in the synagogue. Part of the Shabbat prayer service in the synagogue is the reading of the Torah (the first five books of the Bible – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy). Throughout the year, a portion of the Torah is read each week. Incidentally, the division of the Torah into weekly portions is the original ancient division; the division into chapters came later. Over the course of an entire year, Shabbat after Shabbat, the entire Torah is read.

The completion of the reading of the Torah is on a day that may not necessarily be Shabbat: the eighth day of the Festival of Sukot (called Shmini Atseret), is also the Festival of Rejoicing in the Torah (Simkhat Torah). That day also marks the start of the reading of the Torah from the beginning again.

Important information: All public offices in Israel are closed on Shabbat, as are most private businesses. Public transportation (trains and buses in most cities) do not operate, and in many places it is not easy to find an open restaurant. On the other hand, radio and TV broadcasts operate as usual.

In areas where most of the population is secular, such as Tel Aviv and most of its surrounding towns, Shabbat is expressed mainly in minimal business activity and transportation. Many secular families leave the cities on Shabbat, for relaxation and recreation in natural surroundings.

In religious neighborhoods, on the other hand (including large sections of Jerusalem), the religious character of Shabbat as a holy day is observed to the fullest. Many streets are closed to traffic and alternative bypass routes must be found to travel from one place to another.

 

For more information regarding Jewish Customs Click Here.

FACILITIES FOR THE DISABLED

Israel places enormous importance on providing comfortable conditions for travelers with disabilities. Considerable efforts and resources have been invested to enable the handicapped visit destinations and attractions and to receive service comparable to that received by the general public.

For all Information regarding facilities for the disabled please Click Here

LANGUAGES

Hebrew, the language of the Bible, and Arabic are the official languages of the State of Israel. Hebrew (and Arabic too) is written from right to left.

All Israeli school children learn Hebrew, Arabic and English, and good English is spoken by virtually everyone in the country. Israel, a country peopled by many who have come from some 120 countries, is a multi-lingual country, with vast numbers of Israelis also speaking Russian, French, Spanish, Yiddish and tens of other tongues.

Almost every highway and street sign is in English as well as Hebrew (and Arabic), and English language newspapers, magazine and books are available everywhere.

INTERNET HOTSPOTS

Every year the number of hotspots in Israel doubles, with new spots added every day, offering visitors Internet surfing services either for a fee or free of charge.

Most of the hotspots are located in coffee shops and restaurants in central Israel, and usually do not charge a user fee.

Fast food and coffee bar chains have adapted themselves to their clientele’s needs and offer free WiFi services at their branches throughout the country. Hotels have made WiFi connections a standard feature for the benefit of tourists and businessmen from Israel and around the world, and many hotels and guest houses already provide this service.

Hotspots are located in convenience stores beside petrol stations, universities, colleges, museums, visitors’ centers, convention halls, marinas, tourism sites and shopping malls.

The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore, Psalm 121:8

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