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Tips or Suggestions Please

Maryland
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Tips or Suggestions Please

I received an unexpected work-related invitation to go to Israel for 9 days in early June. Normally, I have more time to prepare for an international trip, so am reaching out to the forum. Any tips or suggestions for a business trip there (e.g., clothes, small gifts for new people will meet, should I take a laptop or use Internet cafes/hotel computers)?

Berlin, Germany
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1. Re: Tips or Suggestions Please

Business dress is very informal. I have a female friend that works for Israel's largest law firm, she only wears a suit if she is meeting clients. Other than that, most people in her office wear something approximate American business casual.

I would advise a laptop which will offer you more flexibity. There is a lot of free wireless about in cafes etc.

Jun is plenty of time to organise a trip and there are folks here that will take pleasure in helping you.

Graham

Maryland
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2. Re: Tips or Suggestions Please

Thanks so much for your reply. Pant suit OK? Or, nice pants and top, or skirt and top OK?

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3. Re: Tips or Suggestions Please

Just take into account it will be very hot. Most places are air conditioned but outside it will be very hot. So a pant suit is fine as long as you have something quite thin underneath. Pants and a nice top are also fine. For the evenings, take a light cotton sweater for Jerusalem. And pack a comfortable pair of shoes for sightseeing. Small gift for people you'll meet - if you're meeting religious Jews or Muslims, don't bring anything food related as it most probably won't be kosher and thus will have to be thrown away. Something small typical of Maryland will be nicely accepted. Just take into account that nowadays most Israelis are well travelled and most have been to the US. And yes, use a laptop.

Zichron Yaakov...
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4. Re: Tips or Suggestions Please

Before we can really help you, I believe we need some more details (or to be more accurate: are you going to work in an air conditioned office for meetings with a company's management? are you going to work outdoors, mainly with co-workers who are not a part of the management? are you coming to participate in any kind of training?)

In general I can tell you that June is a very hot month here in Israel, so be sure to bring addequate cloths. Usually you won't see people here wearing suits for work. A dressed shirt and a nice pair of pants would work perfectly. Depending on what kind of business it is and who are the people with whom you're going to work, a polo shirt and a nice jeans could also work. Same would also work for a dinner in a nice restaurant or if anybody invites you home for dinner. Be sure to also bring a swimming suit and maybe two sets of casual cloths, for you free time.

Bringing your laptop is mainly a question of whether you need it for you work, and whether you're going to have a safe in your hotel room.

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5. Re: Tips or Suggestions Please

If you are meeting lawyers, especially corporate ones, jeans would be a definite no-no.

Thousand Oaks...
Destination Expert
for Israel
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6. Re: Tips or Suggestions Please

regarding your computer question:

My trust factor with Internet cafes is low, very low. There are quite a few software programs that unscrupulous people may place on an internet cafe terminal. These programs can track your every move.

For that reason I take my laptop and make sure the proper Firewall settings are enacted.

By the way, Check Point Software Technologies is a leader in Firewall products and is an Israeli company, born & bred there.

Maryland
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7. Re: Tips or Suggestions Please

Thanks for the advice. We will likely be in both air conditioned places as well as outside. Don't have the itineary yet. The focus of the trip is public health.

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8. Re: Tips or Suggestions Please

So you should probably discard high heels. And I wouldn't wear jeans for business meetings.

Arizona
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9. Re: Tips or Suggestions Please

In 2006 and 2007 I met with various psychologists involved in public and military PTSD programs in clinics and offices, so that might be a similar population. They were very relaxed, chinos and casual buttoned sports shirt, and slacks or skirt and sweater or blouse for the few women I met. I wore dark cotton-blend twill slacks and a tailored blouse with loafers, and carried a casual but stylish jacket along, and was dressier than any of the professionals I met or saw. Unless you are meeting upper-level officials, I suspect a pants suit (or any kind of suit) may be overdoing it.

Always have layers, of course -- depending where you go in Israel, in June it could range from hot and muggy along the coast to pleasant and occasionally cool evenings inland and at elevation.

A very light-weight long skirt isn't a bad idea to stuff in your bag -- never know who might invite you to dinner -- and bring a light shawl or big scarf to cover bare shoulders and upper arms in case you are visiting religious sites or meeting someone very conservative.

Jerusalem, Israel
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10. Re: Tips or Suggestions Please

I have worked in Corporate Israel for more than 20 years, and all the answers you've received are spot on.