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How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?
I had Hebrew and never used it, but I could have if I had tried harder. Many people take language lessons either at the Embassy or in ‘ulpan’ (local language classes) for work or personal use. The vast majority of the countrymen speak at least a little English. You can get away with no Hebrew, though it will be difficult to sort through the 500 yogurts at the supermarket without being able to decipher Hebrew characters (you earn your hardship differential here...). - Aug 19, 2017
Not completely necessary, but those that do know at least some Hebrew will have a much better experience. Tutors fall into the rare category of being affordable, so I'd recommend trying to get at least some basic Hebrew to improve the experience at post. Many options and many will come to your home or meet at a coffee shop. Those eligible for the Embassy post language program should take full advantage.
if you aren't going to take the language, my best advice is to learn a bit about the Jewish high holidays as you'll have a fuller appreciation of their significance while posted here. Those unfamiliar with Judaism are often surprised that the evening before the holiday (sundown) marks the beginning of the holiday, so often the day before any holiday many local shops and businesses will close as early as 1 p.m. to get ready for the holiday. - Oct 24, 2016
NONE!! Everyone speaks English and are very nice about it. But reading Hebrew is helpful, but you will be fine if you don't - Jul 25, 2016
English is widely spoken in Tel Aviv and most of Israel, but Hebrew is the lingua franca. You may run into problems reading signs, menu, instructions, etc. without some knowledge of Hebrew. - Apr 12, 2016
Most of the local people know sufficient English to get by without knowing any Hebrew. Many signs are Hebrew-only, so learning the Hebrew alphabet is useful. - Mar 23, 2016
Not much if I'm any example. Most people in Tel Aviv speak English. READING Hebrew would be more useful, in my opinion. - Nov 18, 2014
You should always try and learn a few phrases. Many people speak English in Tel Aviv. Farther south, not so much. - Apr 10, 2013
None - Aug 14, 2010
More than you would think. Every Israeli learns English in school, but many refuse to speak it or are shy about it. Street signs are legally required to be in English, Arabic and Hebrew, but pretty much every other sign is in Hebrew only. There are English newspapers, but the news they report is often quite different than the Hebrew version of the same paper. - Jul 26, 2010
In Tel Aviv, not much, most people speak some English. Outside of Tel Aviv Hebrew is very helpful to completely necessary. - Feb 27, 2009
It's useful to know some Hebrew though English is ubiquitous and people REALLY want to use it so you don't get much practice with Hebrew. But I can't imagine being in another country for years and not learning any of the native language. What's the point? - Sep 19, 2008
It always helps to know some. - Jul 2, 2008