Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What's Israel's size?

A: A first lesson--nothing is simple. Pre-1967 Israel is about 8,100 sq.mi. (20,770 sq.km.) Judea-Samaria (West Bank) another 2,270 sq.mi. (5,880 sq.km.), and Golan Heights 444 sq.mi. (1,150 sq.km). Put it all together--10,814 sq.mi. (27,800 sq.km). We're about the size and shape of New Jersey and Delaware combined. N-S=263 miles (424km); E-W (pre-1967) from 9miles (15km) to 71 miles (114km).

Q: What are Israel's unique elevations?

A: Most-unique of all--the Dead Sea--at 1,76 ft(417 m) below sea level--is the lowest spot on earth. The Sea of Galilee (a fresh-water lake) is 700 ft (212 m) below sea level. Our highest elevation is Mt. Hermon at 7,297 ft (2,224 m) above sea level. Jerusalem sits at 2,656 ft (805 m) above sea level.

Q: So, how's the weather?

A: Summers (April-Oct) are long, warm, and dry--totally without rain. Winters (Nov-March) are generally mild, with somewhat drier, cooler weather in hilly regions, such as Jerusalem and Safed. Winter rainfall is relatively heavy in the north and center of the country, lighter in the northern Negev and almost non-existant in the far south. Regional conditions vary considerably--humid summers and mild winters on the coast; dry summers and moderately cold winters in the hills; hot dry summers and pleasant winters in the Jordan Valley; and year-round semi-desert conditions in the Negev. We occasionally have winter snowfall in the mountain regions, and periodic hot dry winds in spring and autumn.

Indicative Temperatures by month: 
January: 53°F/12°C 
February: 55°F/13°C 
March: 59°F/15°C 
April: 70°F/21°C 
May: 77°F/25°C 
June: 82°F/28°C 
July: 86°F/30°C 
August: 86°F/30°C 
September: 86°F/30°C 
October: 79°F/26°C 
November: 62°F/17°C 
December: 59°F/15°C

Q: How many people live in Israel, and what's their religious breakdown?

A: Israel's total population as of December 2011 is about 7,800,000. We're 76% Jewish, 16% Muslim, 2% Christian, 2% Druze, 4% Others.

Q: What languages are spoken in Israel?

A: Our two official languages are Hebrew and Arabic. Virtually every language on earth is spoken here. English is the first foreign language taught in our schools, and virtually everyone here speaks it to some extent. An old joke goes: "What's Israel's second language?" Answer: Hebrew. This is because a large proportion of our population arrived in the last dozen years from the Former Soviet Union--so that Russian is widely spoken.

Q: What's Israel's currency?

A: Our 'coin-of-the-realm' is the Shekel, which is comprised of 100 Agurot. Smallest denomination is 10ag, then 50ag. Shekel coins begin at 1, then 2, 5, 10. Banknotes begin with 20 Shekels, then 50, 100, and 200--our largest denomination. The Shekel's value fluctuates freely--currently, it's valued at about 3.7) per US$, or about 28 USCents.

Q: As a tourist, how much foreign currency can I bring into Israel?

A: This is unlimited. You can also use most major credit cards, travelers' checks, sometimes even personal checks. Israel Bonds can be cashed-in prior to maturity too.

Q: Do I need a visa to enter Israel? If so, where do I get it?

A: In most cases, no. North/Central/South Americans, Europeans, S.Africans, Australians & New Zealanders, and many Asians receive their entry visas at Port of Entry. Citizens of most of Africa, some of Asia, India, Pakistan, and all Arab countries require advance visas, which can be obtained at nearest Israeli Embassy or Consulate. When you plan a tour with us, we'll discuss this subject on an individual basis well in advance.