Interesting and Fun Facts about Israel

Did you know that Israel is associated with being the World’s Start-Up Nation? It is a country that has 40+ technology startups for every 1 of its citizens. Let’s now explore a selection of interesting facts about Israel, as well as its geographical location and population statistics.

1. Israel Claims to Have the Lowest Point on Earth

Israel Claims to Have the Lowest Point on Earth

At 400 meters below sea level, the Dead Sea is one of the lowest points on earth. The lake is exceptionally salty and thick enough to support human habitation. Tourists flock to the Dead Sea from around the world to float in its dense waters and cover their skin with mineral-rich mud. [1]

2. The Official Language is Hebrew

The Official Language is Hebrew

The official language in Israel is Hebrew, but many Israelis also speak Arabic or Russian as well as English because they’ve lived abroad or studied at foreign universities. [2]

3. Home of Many Tech Startups

Home of Many Tech Startups

Israel has the highest concentration of tech start-ups per capita in the world and is home to some of the most exciting start-up companies like Waze, Fiverr, SodaStream, Mobileye, Taboola, and IronSource. [3]

4. Concentration of Museums

Concentration of Museums

Israel has more museums than any other country in the world (per capita). However, the country’s most unique museum is the underwater Caesarea Maritima National Museum, located in the Mediterranean sea. What makes Caesarea Maritima so special is that it is the only underwater museum in the world where people can dive through the ruins of an ancient city. [4] [5]

5. Israel Has the Highest Rate of College Graduates in the World on a Per Capita Basis

Israel Has the Highest Rate of College Graduates in the World on a Per Capita Basis

Israel has one of the highest rates of university education in the world – almost 50% of Israelis aged 25–64 have at least an undergraduate degree, compared with 49% in the UK. Only Luxembourg and Canada have higher rates of university education among developed nations. [4]

6. Israel is Home to the World’s Oldest Winery: Assaf Winery

Israel is Home to the World’s Oldest Winery Assaf Winery

Assaf Winery has been producing wine since 1870, making it the world’s oldest winery still in operation today! The winery’s original location was on a hillside overlooking Zichron Yaakov, but it moved to its current location in 1985 to better serve its customers. Today, Assaf Winery produces over 40 different types of wines, including reds, whites, sweet wines, and rosés – all made from locally grown grapes with no additives or preservatives added!

7. Israel is Among the Few Countries in the World That Does Not Have a Codified Constitution

Israel is Among the Few Countries in the World That Does Not Have a Codified Constitution

Israel is the only country in the world whose laws are based on Jewish religious law. The country’s legal system is based on the Talmud, as interpreted by religious courts and scholars over centuries. This is because Israel has no single document that defines its government and laws. Instead, Israel has a collection of laws, regulations, and court rulings that make up “Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.” The name of this law was changed from Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation in 1992, but it still refers to the freedom of occupation as its main goal. [5]

8. Various Religions are practiced within Israel

Various Religions are practiced within Israel

Israel has many different religions represented within its borders. Jews make up 74.3 percent of the population, Muslims make up 17.8 percent, Christians make up 1.9 percent, and Druze make up 1.6 percent of the population. 4.4% population belongs to other religions. [6]

9. Ancient Hebrew Alphabets had No Vowels

Ancient Hebrew Alphabets had No Vowels

The ancient Hebrew alphabets had no vowels because they were not written at all times in ancient Israelite history; they were indicated by diacritical marks above or below consonants or with dots between two consonants (such as yod). However, it is unknown how these marks were used since there are no extant inscriptions on stone or clay. These marks were preserved before 1000 BC, when vowel signs developed into something like modern vowel signs today. [7]

10. The Mystery of White City in Tel Aviv

The Mystery of White City in Tel Aviv

The White City, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, is one of Israel’s most important tourist attractions. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an exceptional example of Bauhaus architecture. The White City was built by German Jewish architects and residents who wanted to create a new city in the Land of Israel. The Bauhaus school was founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius, who designed buildings that incorporated modern design and technology.

You can visit a collection of over 4,000 buildings built in the 1930s by the Bauhaus movement.

11. Winemaking Has Been Around Since Biblical Times in Israel

Winemaking Has Been Around Since Biblical Times in Israel

Because vines were cultivated in biblical times, winemaking is a thriving business in Israel. The country has 35 commercial wineries and around 250 boutique wineries. The Galilee region, the Judean Hills, the Samson region, the Negev desert region, and the Shomron region are notable wine-producing areas in Israel. Around 60,000 tons of wine grapes are harvested in Israel every year. [8]

12. Home to World’s Oldest Existing and Continuously Used Cemetery

Home to World’s Oldest Existing and Continuously Used Cemetery

Mount of Olives was first mentioned in the Old Testament as the site where King David buried his son, Solomon, and later where Jesus Christ prayed after his Crucifixion. It is also the place where we find the oldest continuously used cemetery in the world. The Mount of Olives is mentioned several times in the Bible and is one of the holiest sites for Jews and Christians alike. The name comes from a Greek word meaning olive grove, giving it a literal translation of “Mount of Olives.” [9]

13. Israel has 137 Beautiful Beaches

Israel has 137 Beautiful Beaches

Israel is a small but diverse country. From the mountains in the north to the deserts in the south and the Mediterranean coast, there’s a little bit of everything here.

The country is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. From Tel Aviv to Eilat, Israel has 137 beaches that are perfect for swimming, sunbathing and relaxing.

14. Israel Has Two National Parks

Israel Has Two National Parks

There are two national parks in Israel – the Hula Valley and Nahal Me’arot Nature Reserve near the Dead Sea. The Hula Valley was declared a nature reserve in 1988, while Nahal Me’arot was established in 2015 as part of an effort to preserve underground caves that were discovered during excavations for construction projects. 

This area was previously used as an agricultural area by local farmers where they grew citrus fruits, olives, and vegetables during winter months when farming would have been impossible due to a lack of water supply from nearby wells.

15. There is no Starbucks in Israel

There is no Starbucks in Israel

Starbucks, the American-based global coffee chain, opened six stores in Tel Aviv, but after only two years, the company folded. Perhaps the political issues caused this decision; however, Israelis drink their coffee at local cafes more often because of the high-quality products. [10]

16. Israel is the Hub of New Inventions in Technologies

Israel is the Hub of New Inventions in Technologies

Israel, an affluent country with a large population of scientists and engineers, has been at the forefront when it comes to the invention of new technologies. Israel’s technologies include the cell phone, the USB flash drive, voice mail technology, the Pentium MMX chip technology, instant messaging, the first antivirus software, and the Windows NT operating system.

17. The First Jewish Colony was established in Jerusalem

The First Jewish Colony was established in Jerusalem

King David established the first Jewish colony in Jerusalem around 1000 BCE. He conquered it from the Jebusites during his reign as king over Israel. Nebuchadnezzar II later destroyed the city in 586 BCE after he captured Jerusalem and destroyed Solomon’s Temple and many other cities in Judah, including Hebron, Bethlehem, and Shiloh, among others, according to 2 Kings 24:10-14 & Jeremiah 52:12-21. [11]

18. World Leaders in Agriculture

World Leaders in Agriculture

Israel is one of the world leaders in agriculture, credited with introducing drip irrigation and giving the world thornless prickly pears and sweet cherry tomatoes. It also produces 95 percent of its food for domestic consumption.

19. Israel Has One of the Most Advanced Economies in the World

Israel Has One of the Most Advanced Economies in the World

Israel’s economy is ranked as one of the most advanced in the world, with high living standards among its citizens. This is especially true compared to other countries in the Middle East region. Israel also has a strong agricultural sector, with more than 250 different crops grown throughout the country each year.

20. Israel has Mandatory Military Service for All Citizens over the Age of 18

Israel has Mandatory Military Service for All Citizens over the Age of 18

Israel is one of those countries with compulsory military service for all Israeli men and women once they turn 18 years old (or 19 if they continue full-time religious studies). Most males serve for three years, while females serve for two years before entering into reserve status until age 47 (men) or 44 (women).

Conclusion

Israel is a small country with a distinct culture and identity. Some of their traditions are rooted in over three thousand years of history, such as welcoming and honoring guests or the special blessing for candle lighting on Hanukkah. However, other religious, cultural, and social practices transcend Judaism and blend with the greater Levantine/Middle Eastern culture.

The land of Israel is a really fascinating place, and hopefully, this blog has shown you just how interesting it is.

References

  1. https://www.britannica.com/place/Dead-Sea
  2. https://www.ccjk.com/languages-spoken-israel
  3. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/07/14/learning-from-israels-successful-innovation-ecosystem
  4. https://www.israel21c.org/fact/israel-has-more-museums-per-capita-than-any-other/
  5. https://www.touristisrael.com/caesarea-guide/33412/
  6. https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/israeli-colleges-101-598010
  7. https://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/docs/ELECTRONIC/39134/97918/F1548030279/ISR39134.pdf
  8. https://culturalatlas.sbs.com.au/israeli-culture/israeli-culture-religion
  9. https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Hebrew/Aleph-Bet/1
  10. https://daily.sevenfifty.com/regions/wines-of-israel/
  11. https://www.britannica.com/place/Mount-of-Olives
  12. https://tlv1.fm/business/2016/08/15/why-starbucks-failed-in-israel/
  13. https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-middle-east/history-of-jerusalem