In Israel it is a great compliment to be called a hevreman, an outgoing, sociable person. A gregarious people, Israelis form deep and lasting friendships, at school, in the neighbourhood, but most importantly in the army, where the quality of loyalty is ingrained.
On the macro level Israelis have a high regard for each other, and few things give an Israeli more pleasure than a fellow countryman’s success. As a nation they regard themselves as being flexible, resourceful, generous, direct, patriotic, courageous, warm, and easy to please. On the other hand, they acknowledge that they may be overconfident, bad listeners, a bit abrasive, risk takers, and even somewhat lawless, traits that they don’t regard as particularly important anyway.
The Israelis you will meet will be from all walks of life. They will be more or less sophisticated depending on their occupations, where they live, or where they were brought up. They will almost always be friendly, helpful, and direct—perhaps to a fault—and resourceful. Some will be well mannered; others won’t. A few may be Holocaust survivors; many will be the children of Holocaust survivors. They will all carry with them memories of Israel’s wars, in which relatives, comrades, and loved ones fell in defense of the country.
Culture Smart! Israel will help you navigate the daily life of this small and complicated country, in all it's facets: social, business and cultural. You will gain an insight into what to expect, how to behave in different social situations and how to communicate effectively. The values, customs and traditions of the people are all concisely explained, as are the historical events that formed them, bringing your visit to Israel into full color.
Talking with one’s hands, arm waving, handshaking, hugging, kissing, back patting, arm touching, triumphant and obscene gesticulating (you’ll know which is which), standing or sitting too close, squeezing, shrugging are all part of the wide lexicon of Israeli nonverbal communications. Paying attention to them will aid the fluency of your communication!