6 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Moving to Israel from the U.S.

Moving from the U.S. to Israel is no doubt a culture shock, but I thought I knew what to expect before I boarded the plane to start my new life. As it turns out, there were a lot of things I didn’t know but wish I had known, such as:

1. There’s No Such Thing as a Lazy Sunday

I knew Sundays were a regular work day in Israel, but I had no idea it would take so long to get used to the fact that there would be no more lazy Sunday afternoons.

Sunday marks the start of the work week, which means most of my friends have to get back to the office grind with the rest of their colleagues. I work at home but usually have to make up some work on Sunday.

But in place of lazy Sundays, we have Shabbat dinners with loved ones.

2. The Idea of Community is Alive and Well

In the U.S., there’s a great sense of pride that comes from being independent and self-reliant. But in Israel, you must give up your need to be so ferociously independent. The idea of community is alive and well here.

Problems are shared among friends and family. There is always someone nearby to lend a helping hand. Friends would gladly drop what they’re doing to help you solve a problem.

3. Most of Your Electronics and Appliances Won’t Work

One thing that is often completely overlooked is the fact that many of  your US electronics and small appliances won’t work in Israel.

Even something as simple as setting up my Keurig was a bit of a hassle. I had to buy a converter. And I still have to buy the K-cups from the U.S. and have someone bring it in as Amazon will not ship food products to Israel.

4. Everything is Expensive, but Crime is Virtually Non-Existent

There’s no denying that Israel is an expensive country, especially when it comes to housing. I had to get used to the idea of living in an apartment. In the U.S., families strive to buy a single-family home with a big yard.

While the cost of living is high especially for people like myself that are paid in dollars, I never really have to worry about crime here. The country isn’t completely devoid of crime (crime is up 20% from last year), but I feel safe walking most places.

5. You Don’t Really Need a Car

Buses and trains can get you to most places in Israel. Tel Aviv and Haifa have excellent public transportation systems, too. In Israel, you don’t really need a car, although it’s a nice convenience.

In many parts of the U.S., you need a car to get anywhere, and you can expect to drive a long distance to get there. Most things are just a short drive or bus ride away in Israel. For dates and client meetings I rent a car for as low as 20 shekels per hour ($5.71) from City Car. They have one parked up the block from my house so I can just grab the car and let the meter run. You can drive across the entire Israel in 6 hours.

6. You’ll Need to Leave Your Need for Instant Gratification Behind

In the U.S., you can get just about anything you want or need at any time of day. Need to run to the drug store? They’re open 24/7. If you have a craving for a burrito, burger or even a cup of coffee at 3 am, there’s a 24-hour drive-thru open somewhere nearby.

In Israel, things are different – and in a good way. I learned to be okay with not giving in to those cravings, and to abide by the food rules.

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author
 Jacob Maslow is passionate about internet marketing and writing. For more than ten years, he's used that passion to transform the web presence of a number of legal and medical professionals in creative, innovative and effective ways that get them noticed in a crowded field. Always learning and reaching for the next wave in e-marketing, Jacob funnels his creativity and desire to help into writing on LinkedIn and for publications such as the Huffington Post.  Currently employed as a marketing consultant; Jacob is originally from Brooklyn. He packed up his five children and made Aliyah in 2014. Jacob's experience and varied interests lend themselves to a diverse palette of topics ranging from technology, marketing, politics, social media, ethics, current affairs, family matters and more. Jacob owns several sites including an affiliate site and Legal Scoops In his spare time, Jacob enjoys being an active member of social media including groups on Facebook and taking in the latest movies. 
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