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Traditional Chinese

以色列 - 民族 Israel - People


Hello, friends, welcome to Window on the World! We have moved from the Asia Pacific region to the Middle East. We learned about Egypt and the interesting pyramids a few weeks ago and now we are discovering new things about Israel. Do you remember the name of the saltiest body of water that is located there and that you could float very easily in it? It is called the Dead Sea.

Today, we'll continue to find out about the people from Israel. The population is about 6 million . The official language spoken is Hebrew but English is used in many businesses. Arabic is also spoken there. About 85% of the people living in Israel are Jewish and the other 15% are Arab Muslims. Many of people who live in Israel today have come from more than 100 other countries.

The interesting mix of people living in Israel has affected its culture and religion. The city of Jerusalem has played an important role in the development of the Jewish, Christian and Islamic religions. Located in Jerusalem are very sacred sites to these three groups. For the Jewish people, the ¨Western Wall〃 is very important. It is all that remains of their 2nd temple that was built in Bible times. For the Christian people who live there, the ¨Church of the Holy Sepulchre〃 is important. For the Islamic people, the ¨Sacred Dome of the Rock〃 is also there. It is an eight-sided building with a golden dome. Jerusalem is considered a very holy city by all of these people groups.

In Jewish families, the father is considered the head of the family. Children have great respect for their parents. The parents have great love for their children. The parents feel a deep responsibility to always provide for their children's future. Children in Israel all must attend school for 11 years, from age 5 to 16. Parents may choose to send their children to either religious or public school. They may choose a school that teaches all classes in either Hebrew or Arabic.

Jewish families enjoy holidays and large family celebrations. A happy time for families is a wedding. A grand dinner party might be held with singing and dancing. A tradition that you could watch would be for the groom to break a glass at the end of the wedding ceremony. This is a tradition so that the newly married couple will be blessed.

Families also enjoy attending concerts and movies together. Favorite sports are soccer, basketball, and swimming. Many also enjoy camping, hiking and going to the beach to enjoy the ocean.

As you can see there are many kinds of people living in Israel today. Each group adds to the culture. Next week, we'll open our Window on the World to find out about some of the foods that are enjoyed there. Goodbye for now, friends,

- updated every Wednesday afternoon -




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