Israel Gift Etiquette
  • The gifts are usually opened in front of the giver.
  • When you chose a gift for an observant Orthodox Jew or Arab, make sure that it is compatible with their religious beliefs. The gifts for observant Orthodox Jews must be kosher. The Arabic people receive gifts with the right hand, both hands are also acceptable.
  • If you are invited to an Israeli home, bringing flowers or chocolates will be appreciated. If you know that children will be present, it is polite to acknowledge them with a small gift.
  • Money is the best gift in Israel, especially for weddings and bar or bat mitzvahs. It is best to give money in multiples of 18 because 18 is the numeric value of ‘Chai” which means “life” or “living”.
  • Bar or Bat Mitzvahs, each child has to prepare for this service for many months or even years ahead of The ceremony takes place around the boy or girl’s 13th birthday. As of this day they must obey the jewish laws as an adult and behave accordingly. After the ceremony a reception is held. Gifts are given at the reception, not the service, and the most common gift is cash.
  • Rosh Hashanah:This season largely resembles Christmas-time as the whole country gets into the spirit, greeting each other with “Good and sweet new year”. Traditionally, gifts are expected at Rosh Hashanah. There seems to be a custom to give gifts to your parents or inlaws for Rosh Hashanah and Pesach.
  • *Passover (Pesach):The best gift for Passover is to bring a kosher wine that is specifically for Passover. Other possible gifts can be religious items or kitchen items that can be used for the food involved with Passover like matzo. It’s important to note that those who strictly follow Passover will not enjoy flowers unless they are already arranged in a vase as their are certain harvest rules during Passover that do not allow arranging and watering flowers at that time.


Gift aren’t usually expected at Hanukkah traditions. If any gifts are given in Israel, it’s usually gelt (chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil) or a dreidel (a small four-sided spinning top with a Hebrew letter on each side

Israel Gift Etiquette
Copyright: Julia Wimmerlin
Israel Gift Etiquette
Copyright: Julia Wimmerlin

Photography Credits

Julia Wimmerlin

Learn more about Etiquette

For information on Etiquette training and Luxury Training,
please visit the link below