Skip to content

By zamorse

Israelis love Americans, well, sort of.

Because of the large diaspora community of Jews living in America, there's a definite connection between American Jews and Israelis. At any given time, there are, I would wager, hundreds of thousands of Americans in Israel. And given that Israel is a country of only 8 million people, that's a sizable portion. All of the street signs are in English, restaurants often have menus in English, and the majority of Israelis, especially the younger generation, speak English. In fact, you don't really need to know Hebrew to be able to get around in this country, since everybody speaks English.

Israelis watch American t.v. shows, listen to American music on the radio, speak English, eat at American restaurants, and generally love Americans. American people, that is. How Israelis feel about the American government at any given time is another story, but generally, connections between the Israeli government and the American government are extremely strong.

Israelis assume that most Americans who come to Israel don't speak Hebrew. And in fact, that may be true. A large portion of the American population that does come to Israel comes on "Birthright programs", a free 10-day trip for Jews throughout Israel. And they, more often that not, don't speak Hebrew. Thus, when Israelis see an American, they often assume they don't know Hebrew. Or, Americans in Israel are seen as a way for Israelis to practice their English. Israelis are pretty impressed when an American can speak Hebrew then.

Tel Aviv, the second largest city in Israel, is seen as the "Miami of the Middle East", and there is so much American influence and culture here that I often feel like I'm still in America. For an American not wanting to study abroad in the most remote, un-American place, Israel is a comfortable study abroad destination.

Israelis definitely love Americans and I feel very welcome here.