Odd & Interesting Facts about Israel
Every year, Inspiration Cruises & Tours takes thousands of passengers to Israel. These Christian tours are led by pastors and Christian leaders who bring biblical insight and understanding to your travel experience. Walking through the Holy Land, visiting the locations of well-loved Bible stories and seeking Jesus in the places He ministered will bring color to the black and white pages of Scripture.
While you may be familiar with the Israel of old, here are some lesser-known facts about the modern nation of Israel that will help prepare you to experience the land for yourself.
- There are at least 50 kosher McDonald’s in Israel. While not all McDonald’s in the country are kosher, these select locations don’t serve dairy products, are closed on Shabbat and Jewish holidays and serve specific foods on Passover.
- The Mount of Olives is the world’s oldest continuously used cemetery. Since the Second Temple era (nearly 3,000 years ago), around 150,000 have been laid to rest here. Many believe it will give the resurrected a front-row seat for the coming of Messiah.
- Israel is home to the most productive dairy cows in the world. The average cow in Israel produces 3,170 gallons of milk per year. This is 10% more than U.S. cows produce and almost 50% more than cows in Germany.
- Israel is comparable in size to New Jersey (the 5th smallest U.S. state). You could traverse the entire country—north to south—in less than 10 hours by car and cross its narrowest point on foot in under two hours.
- There are more than 100 sushi restaurants in Tel Aviv. The only cities to have more sushi-themed eateries are Tokyo and New York. In January 2017, Forbes magazine named Tel Aviv as a contender for the world’s best food scene.
- Israel has the highest number of museums per capita in the world. Truly a nation dedicated to the sharing of knowledge, there are museums ranging from art and design to history and the Holocaust.
- Israelis (per capita) are some of the world’s highest consumers of fruits and vegetables. But in addition to being avid produce consumers, they also love their kosher desserts, which are typically sweetened with honey.
- There’s a 9/11 Memorial in Israel partially constructed of steel from the remains of the World Trade Center. Located in the Arazim Valley of Ramot, Jerusalem, this 30 foot tall, flag shaped cenotaph sits on the 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza and is the first monument outside of the U.S. that lists all the names of the nearly 3,000 victims.
- Israel is one of only four democracies in the world without a codified constitution. The other three are New Zealand, Britain and Canada.
Free “bus stop libraries” have popped up around Jerusalem. A fiction writer had an idea for making her local commute more interesting: found a lending library that’s open to all. These fun, outdoor book-stands are a growing trend throughout the Holy City.
- Every Tuesday night there is a Rollerblade party in Tel Aviv. The skaters meet up at 9:30pm, then hit the streets at 10:00 for a skate procession like you’ve never seen. This tradition, started by a group of friends, has morphed into a well-known city-wide tradition.
- The Dead Sea is the lowest place on Earth. With a surface elevation of -1,410.8 ft. it is just short of equating to the negative height of the Empire State Building—antenna included.
- The hills outside Jerusalem are home to a quirky and unexpected landmark that has nothing to do with religious history. An enormous statue of Elvis Presley towers above a gas station/restaurant dedicated to ‘The King.’ Patrons gaze at memorabilia while eating at the 1950’s-themed diner.
- Each year, thousands of letters arrive in Jerusalem, addressed to God. The mail is opened and stuffed into cracks in the Western Wall—believed to be the closest place to God in the city. Every so often, workers clear space for new letters to take their place.
As you journey through the Holy Land, you will undoubtedly encounter moments of awe, fostered by the spiritual nature of the tour. But alongside this biblical history, there is much to discover. Israel as a nation is on the forefront of modern technology and innovation. Prepare to be filled with enriching experiences steeped in history as well as eye-opening moments that will surprise as well as delight you.