A young society with ancient roots, Israel is home to a widely diverse population of over 8 million citizens from many ethnic, religious, cultural and social backgrounds – a mosaic of people living together and contributing to its vibrant democracy. Israelis embrace many lifestyles: from modern to traditional, from urban to rural and from communal to individual With an energetic can-do spirit and remarkable social mobility, the inclusiveness of Israeli society celebrates the right to be different and empowers this broad range of people to coexist in harmony. While the majority of Israelis adopt a secular lifestyle, both amongst Jews and Arabs, freedom of faith and worship is a cornerstone of Israeli democracy. The land of Israel has a special meaning for all three main monotheistic religions, and Israel is home to a variety of thriving religious communities. These include different streams of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as well as the Baha’i, Druze and Samaritan faiths. The fusion of different approaches and views within Israeli society, coupled with its economic resourcefulness and cultural creativity, drive the momentum of Israel’s dynamic growth
Hebrew and Arabic are the two official languages in Israel. Additionally, over 80% of the Israeli population is proficient in English, which is the common business language. Israel is essentially a melting-pot culture and many Israelis are also proficient in Russian, French, Spanish, Amharic and other languages. As a result, most visitors will find themselves able to communicate comfortably.
77.6% of Israelis are “Sabras”, the nickname given to persons born in Israel. The other 22.4% of Israelis immigrated from all regions of the world.
Diverse Communities: 75% Jews, 20.7% Arabs, 1.5% Druze, 2.8% Other
Personal liberty and equality are the basis of Israeli society, upheld in practice by both state and civil infrastructure. The Israeli Declaration of Independence emphasizes complete social and political equality for all citizens, irrespective of religion, race or gender.
Women’s rights, for example, have been at the forefront of Israeli culture since its founding: Israeli women stand out as leaders in politics, law, business, the arts and sciences, sports and more, comprising about half of Israel’s academic and judiciary bodies. An emphasis on children’s rights can be seen, inter alia, by the Pupil’s Rights Law. At the other end of the age spectrum, senior citizens enjoy not only legal protection but also government sponsored enrichment projects. Members of the LGBT community make the most of their rights as well; Tel Aviv is one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world.
Furthermore, Israel protects both the dignity and the freedom of persons with disabilities; they are integrated in all areas of society including education, private workplaces and government administration. Ultimately, all Israeli inhabitants enjoy both the theoretical ideal and practical application of equality and freedom.
In Israel, 60% of children with special needs are members of the mainstream public education system. Furthermore, companies with more than 100 employees are required to employ workers with disabilities totaling at least 3% of their workforce. Israel views people with both mental and physical disabilities as an important part of society and is committed to their full integration.
Via Ministry of Foreign Affairs