Israelis have a reputation of being entrepreneurs, groundbreakers, and for being very driven. This is usually associated with their professional mannerisms and success. Many argue that this has to do with its unique middle east environment, their military training, and being from a small county with limited resources… necessity is the mother of invention.
However, aside from career-oriented characteristics, the Israeli culture is truly unique, sometimes a bit coy and hard to read but deep down warm and almost ‘fuzzy’.
No need to delve into the history of the Jewish people and their path to independence in the State of Israel, but such a long journey has created unique personalities of perseverance, warmth, strength, and curiosity.
Israelis are warm and affectionate. It is people that love people and that from a young age learn to live, work, and enjoy the company of one another. From a young age in preschool, kids learn to play and work in groups and during the mandatory military service, the focus is on teamwork, where this can save lives. The closeness of its people to one another and also newcomer is second to none.
Israelis are strong. Period. Strength and independence are traits that are ingrained from a young age across all walks of life. This may have to do with Israel’s middle east environment but not many things stir or rattle the Israeli lifestyle – living life to the fullest with a festive nightlife, bustling city streets, becoming pioneers in various fields, and never-ending local and global travel.
A Sabra is a prickly fruit with thorns on the outside and a very sweet and succulent inside. Israelis are stern and direct, just like the outside of the Sabra. Oftentimes this comes across as serious and maybe even rude. Blunt questions without too many explanations sometimes may catch you off guard but (!) This is not rude, this is Israelis wanting to get to the bottom line without too much ‘beating around the bush’. They intend to make it easy for you to get a quick and direct answer or really anything you want without delay. This is where the sweetness comes in, again just like the fruit. Maybe not with a Cinderella-like tone but gentle-giant mentality.
To summarize, Israelis are here for you. They may seem rough around the edges, a bit abrasive in a conversation, but being true to themselves and their strength allows them to be open, direct and very welcoming, as they welcome you to their home and take you under their wing.