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Work & Costs

There are better places in the world than Israel to look for a job. Israeli employers are as bad as they come and pay as little as they can. The hostels will sort you out with work washing dishes or construction but you’ll only make about 5 bucks an hour.

Most people who come to work in Israel do so on a kibbutz. Opportunities are thinner on the ground than they used to be as the whole culture of kibbutzim has died out. But if you do find a place the deal is you work about 6 days a week, 6 hours a day and you get a little pocket money and your food and shelter taken care of. Trust the Israelis to find a way to get people to work for nothing. Still, it can be a fun time for someone on their first trip abroad and it’s a good way to get to know Israel and learn some Hebrew.

You can volunteer at some of the festivals to help set them up, a process that take about 6 weeks. Shan Tipi in May and Be’er Rashit in October take volunteers to come and live on site. It’s a cool way to hook up and make connections.

You can’t work legally on a tourist visa so if you want to teach English you’ll have to give private lessons. Demand isn’t huge though.

You might make a living as an artisan hawking your wares on the beach and promenade in the summer. Fire dancers also say they do well when there’s people around.

Cooking for yourself and not going out much you could live modestly in Tel Aviv with around 1000 dollars a month. Less elsewhere in the country.

The minimum salary in Israel is around $800 and that’s all many teachers and social workers make. So it’s mystifying how there are so many brand new cars being driven around, especially when Israel has a 100% import tax on vehicles.

Israel is a country with a skewed economy that depends largely on American aid to keep it going, they could never afford the military budget otherwise. Israel used to be quite a socialist country where all jobs were respected. Then came the 1967 war and with the occupied territotires came cheap Arab labour and suddenly Israels didn’t want to do the manual work any more.

These days Israelis only want to work in jobs where they manage, organise and teach. They’re too scared to allow the Arabs in any more so they import Thai and Chinese labourers to do the hard work, just like in the Gulf Arab countries.

Israel is number one in the world for accountants per head and in the top three for lawyers. Probably they’re the only ones who can afford the nightlife which is as expensive as North Europe (a beer will cost you $4 in a bar) whilst the minimum wage is less than half.

Check out the Work for Travelers section

and the Jobs Abroad Guide