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Living in Israel Without Speaking Hebrew

My name is Claude Massey, I am a life coach and career consultant in Tel Aviv Israel, and I moved to Israel 10 years ago.  Are you thinking about moving to Israel from America or maybe another part of the world…but you don’t speak Hebrew?  Well, I have you covered.  In this article / video, I’m going to talk about what it is like living in Israel without speaking Hebrew.

Firstly, a few things to keep in mind about living in Israel without speaking Hebrew…

You are going to need to deal with government offices.  For example, Misrad Hapnim (The Ministry of Interior) to get you I.D. / passport, and the DMV (The Department of Motor Vehicles) to get your driver’s license.

I want you to know that many of the employees that work in these offices do not speak English.  You might get lucky if you stumble across a government employee that is able to speak English, but you have to be ready to use body language.  In addition, you will want to know just a small amount of Hebrew if you’re going into these offices.

Where else are you going to encounter challenges?

Not only in government offices will you find employees who are unable to speak English.  This also goes for:

  1. Public transportation (bus drivers)
  2. Hospitals (nurses, secretaries)
  3. Dentists (secretaries, dental assistants)
  4. Police (police officers)

In Tel Aviv, there is a higher percentage of government / public assistance employees able to speak English.  That’s great news, but if you plan to move outside of Tel Aviv then you have to be prepared.

A few more things to keep in mind about living in Israel without speaking Hebrew…

You will need to get your home internet connected if / when you move to Israel, and this happens over the telephone.  Maybe you want to order out, and stay home… this will require you to use the telephone.  This also goes for dealing with the cable company, the electric company, and the list goes on.

You WILL need to use the phone.

Before you even get the opportunity to speak with a person, you will probably have to deal with a voice messaging system.  This voice messaging system will always be completely in Hebrew. 

This can be a challenge, and will definitely be a pain in your ass.  Moreover, most of the time you’re going to encounter individuals who work in these companies that do not speak English. 

All the above said, what do I recommend?

I recommend for you to try learning a little bit of Hebrew before you move to Israel.  If you cannot learn Hebrew before you arrive, I highly suggest that you sign up for “Ulpan”.

“Ulpan” is a school for learning the Hebrew language.  If you can, go to Ulpan for anywhere between 1-3 semesters. 

* You may need to start working immediately once you arrive to Israel.  If this is the case, they do have Ulpan’s that operate outside of working hours.

Another Suggestion…

Dive right into the language whenever, and however you can.  Speak Hebrew as often as possible.  Try to surround yourself with as much Hebrew as you can.

This way, you will pick up the language faster than slower.

However, is it possible to get along fine living in Israel without speaking Hebrew?  YES!

English is a required language in Israeli schools.  Therefore, all Israelis under the age of 60 years old learned to speak some English during grade school.

Most Israelis do speak some English, and most Israelis are fluent in English.  This goes especially for Tel Aviv, and the surrounding areas.

Many times, I am speaking Hebrew with people and they switch over the conversation from Hebrew to English.  They do this to save me the effort of having to speak their language.  The fact was and still is that many Israelis speak better English than I do Hebrew.

In conclusion…

Yes, living in Israel without speaking Hebrew is very possible. 

Moreover, I would not let the fact that you don’t speak Hebrew hinder your decision on whether to move to Israel or not.  So come for a visit, and if you fall in love…go for it!

Lastly, if you are looking for a life coach or a career coach in Tel Aviv, Israel… you know whom to contact.

-Claude Massey Consulting, Always Be Growing…


About the Author of Living in Israel Without Speaking Hebrew – תל אביב קואצ’ינג
I remember the day I arrived in Israel after moving here from Los Angeles… I had NO money – NO friends – and NO job.

Hi, my name is Claude Lee Massey. I’ve been living in Tel Aviv for 13+ years and I know it can be a struggle living here as a foreigner.  Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time, about seven years ago (and after 15+ years of soul-searching), I had a powerful self-realization.

That the purpose of my life, was helping other people get what they want from life… by any means necessary.   Therefore, with my 15+ years of experience in the field of sales,  and customer service I decided to open a sales training company.

At this point, I had a full time job working for a high-tech company so on my day off, I found an accountant.  Then I hired him and had him file the proper paperwork to open a sales training company with the government.

I never thought that I would open my own business in Israel… but I did!  I decided to name my sales training company Sales Development Israel.  Then, I began to use all of my spare time before work and after work creating training materials, and trying to acquire clients.

In addition, I was sending emails and cold calling companies in Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Ramat Gan, Jerusalem, Bat Yam, and Holon.  Basically, I was reaching our across the whole country of Israel during my efforts.

I doing everything in my power to generate momentum. in my new business  Great news is that I was able to find my first few clients!  However, something I immediately noticed was at the conclusion of my sales training workshops, two things would happen consistently happen: 

Firstly, I would receive feedback that my sales training workshops were providing massive value for the sales team.  This meant that the companies were happy with the service I provided, which was nice to know.

Secondly, one or two of the students in the courses would privately approach me.  These students would speak with me about their struggles not only in sales, but also in their lives.

Then one time, a female student offered to pay me for a one-on-one session outside of the office.  As a struggling entrepreneur, I accepted. 

She asked me to help her learn how to communicate more effectively, and to help her figure out a better career path.  We developed a plan, strategized, and executed. 

Another student, at another company offered to pay me for my time to help prepare him for a job promotion interview.  We developed a plan, strategized, and executed. 

Similarly, another student from another workshop, at another company, asked me to help them build their inner-confidence.  We developed a plan, strategized, and executed.  This would happen again, and again…

Each of these wonderful people I began to work one-on-one with,  had their own unique challenge, and asked me for help.  Each time we developed a plan, strategized, and executed

They all knew that I was not certified or professionally trained, and still they would offer to pay me for my time.  These first clients would call me their “Life Coach” or “Career Counselor“, and I was able to help them!

At the conclusion of our 3 to 5 one-on-one sessions, they each had taken took massive steps forward towards the results they wanted.  Each time we developed a plan, strategized, and executed successfully! 

Eventually, enough people called me their Career Counselor or Life Coach that I began to call myself a “Career Counselor” and ”Life Coach”.

Most people set out to become a trained and certified life coach (קואצ’ר , אימון אישי) or career counselor before ever having a client.  I never did any of that kind of stuff, and that wasn’t the path I took to arrive where I am.

I never once said to myself that I wanted to be a life coach (אימון אישי לחיים) or a career counselor .  On the contrary, this beautiful, interesting, and fulfilling profession that I currently have came directly to me.

So that is the super-short story of how I began life coaching (תל אביב קואצ’ינג לחיים) and career counseling in Tel Aviv Israel.   In addition, after all these years I’m happy to say I have helped hundreds and hundreds of people just like you!

YouTube Playlist…

This article was titled: Living in Israel Without Speaking Hebrew – תל אביב קואצ’ינג