What to wear
Most of Israel is Westernized, but in many areas especially in parts of Jerusalem you will find orthodox neighborhoods. Orthodox Judaism requires both men and women to substantially cover their bodies. Orthodox men wear a kippah (head cover) and orthodox women have their collar bones, elbows, legs and knees covered. When visiting synagogues or other religious sites, be conscious that entry will normally not be permitted to those with exposed legs (i.e. wearing shorts or short skirts) and to women with exposed upper arms. Carry a wrap or bring a change of clothes and keep in mind that men should cover their heads while inside the synagogue.
Kosher Jewish Dietary Laws
There is nothing in flavor or style that distinguishes kosher food from any other. Kosher food is simply any food which complies with Jewish dietary laws, which prohibit the consumption of foods such as pork, shellfish and mixtures of meat and dairy. These laws are observed by Israel's hotels and most restaurants. Hotel Yehudal holds a Certificate as a kosher hotel, issued and supervised by the Rabbinate of Jerusalem. What is certain is that our talented chefs serve up delicious meals and substitutes that are created for dairy products that assure nothing is lacking from any menu.
When traveling by taxi, always ask the driver to operate the meter and be sure to always ask for a receipt just in case you leave something behind in the taxi.
Travel During Shabbat in Israel
It’s actually quite easy to travel in Israel during Shabbat despite all public buses & trains closing down for the holy day. You can catch shared taxis which operate between major cities every day, but most importantly during Shabbat. In Tel Aviv, the sheruts depart and arrive from the New Central Bus Station. In Jerusalem the sheruts depart and arrive at Zion Square (in a side alley across the street from the Ben Yehuda pedestrian street). *Note: During the week, sheruts also arrive and depart from in front of the Central Jerusalem Bus Station.
In restaurants, it is recommended to tip around 10-20 percent of the bill (in cash only). No need to tip taxi drivers for local rides, only for long distance journeys that take you outside the city in which that case, you may tip the driver about 10 percent of the bill.
DID YOU KNOW ?
Although Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, all the foreign embassies are located in Tel Aviv.
Jerusalem has a Zoo.
Its official name is the Tisch Family Zoological Gardens in Jerusalem, but is widely known as the Biblical Zoo. Situated next to the hotel, the 65-acre park is home to many species of cool animals that are mentioned in the Bible and that are indigenous to the Holy Land. These include the griffon vulture, scimitar-horned oryx and my personal favorite, the sand cat.
Jerusalem has a world-class Cinematheque.
The Temple Mount, the Western Wall, the twisting alleys of the Old City: Was there ever a city as ready for its close-up as Jerusalem? Well, if you're in this place of legends and are looking for a window onto the world via cinema, check into the Jerusalem Cinematheque and Israel Film Archive. It's a contemporary complex that hosts the Jerusalem Film Festival each summer. And it's got a great cafe..
Jerusalem has underground secrets.
At the site of the Western Wall, or rather, under it, there are ancient tunnels that connect the wall's prayer area to the northwest side of the Temple Mount. These pass along the edge of the Temple Mount and beneath houses. You can visit these on a guided tour.
Jerusalem has a Time Elevator.
Cher cannot turn back time - but has she been to Jerusalem? Because if she had taken a ride in the Jerusalem Time Elevator, the high priestess of pop and wigs might just change her tune. The fancy "elevator" integrates light, film, sound, special effects and even Topol (ofFiddler on the Roof fame) to tell the story of Jerusalem from the time of King David to the Six-Day War in 1967. Passengers "journey" on moving seats on six conveyor belts. Three thousand years in just one hour? You're in Jerusalem: Done.
WHAT TO PACK
Make sure you keep the white immigration form that you are given on the airplane as it is needed for your hotel check-in and for when you depart Israel.
Make sure you change some money at the airport as the taxi drivers there don't accept foreign currency nor credit cards.
Israel is known for its warm and sunny climate, even during the European winter season. It is always recommended to check the climate prior to your arrival and to pack accordingly.
Sunscreen, a sun hat, and sunglasses are essential items throughout the year
The Israeli power supply is single phase 220 volts at 50 Hertz. Most power sockets in Israel have three pin holes, but many of them will work with double-pin European plugs. Visitors who want to use shavers, traveling irons and other small appliances may need both transformers and adaptor plugs