Local Life in IsraelAt Pomegranate Travel we believe that an important part of any Israel tour is an opportunity to meet and interact with the locals. For such a small country, Israel has a remarkably diverse population and a tour in Israel allows you to get exposure to a wide range of cultures in a short space of time.

Ethnic groups

The majority (75%) of the population in Israel may be Jewish, but it is far from homogenous. Ultra-orthodox Jews make up around 10% of Israel’s population. They maintain ancient traditions and have limited interaction with modern society. As part of a trip to Jerusalem, perhaps you would like to join one of these families for a traditional Shabbat Friday night dinner? Beyond the religious – secular divide, it is important to remember that Jews have come to Israel from the four corners of the earth, bringing with them traditions from across the globe. As such, Jews you meet from e.g. Ethiopia, Yemen, Argentina and Russia will all look very different, and carry their own stories and rituals. Our food tours, which are led by local chefs and historical experts, also offer the opportunity to enjoy cuisine from different Jewish ethnic backgrounds. Many of the market stall holders have traded products from their home countries since arriving in Israel, and their stories are often fascinating- for example spice traders bringing products from India, borekas makers who serve the traditional Turkish recipes, Iranian Jews still bringing dried fruits from Persia.For those looking to explore Christian heritage, we can arrange hospitality with ancient Christian families who will tell you about their traditions and discuss how living in the Holy Land impacts their faith. Or if you are looking to connect with some unique traditions in Arab society, how about meeting with a Bedouin or Druze family (always accompanied by some delicious ethnic food)? We focus on truly authentic hospitality and not the commercial tourist locations.

Geopolitical issues

If your interests lie in the geopolitical situation, we can arrange trips to the West Bank to meet with Palestinians and Jewish settlers and understand better some of the tensions between them. There are also a vast amount of local peace initiatives and we can set up meetings with these activists to learn about an optimistic vision of Israel’s future. Or perhaps you would like to meet with senior officials and leading journalists to get an in depth understanding of the local issues?Maybe you would like to explore the local arts and culture? We can set up workshops and private tours with local artists, behind the scenes insights with local designers, lessons with local musicians and training sessions with local sport stars. Anything is possible – we just need to know where you interests lie.And of course, you will always be accompanied by one of our expert Israel tour guides, ever present to answer questions and facilitate your understanding of local culture.

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