Welcome to Israel, Welcome to Jerusalem

The conference conveners and sponsors are happy to welcome you to Israel, Jerusalem and the Hebrew University. There are very few places in the world that have such a long history, stimulating and galvanizing present -- and hopefully such as an exciting future ahead. Jerusalem with its old and new, multi-national and multicultural identities will help you to understand Israel, the Middle East and maybe also the challenges that are facing your own country and region as well. We hope you'll find your visit fruitful and that we will have the opportunity to host you here again in the near future.

Practical Tourist Information

  • Dialling code: 972

  • Time zone: GMT + 2

  • Electricity: 220 Volts AC, 50Hz; unique Israeli three-square-pin plugs (many sockets also accept older two-pronged plugs).

  • Average December temperatures: 8 to 14°C or 47-59 Fahrenheit

  • Currency value (Updated to Oct. 2014):

    The New Israeli Shekel is the currency unit of Israel (called Shekel, and marked as; NIS, ILS or ₪);

    • One US dollar is approximately 3.75₪
    • One Euro is approximately 4.75₪
    • One British Pound is approximately 6₪

  • Official language: Israel has two official languages Hebrew & Arabic. Street signs are all translated into the two languages and also into English.
      Most of the shops in Jerusalem signed also in English; Most of the restaurants have menus in English, you just need to ask for it; Also the citizens of Jerusalem (and Israel in general) are very warm people, that know basic English, so if you'll ever need any help, largely they'll be happy to, just start with a smile ☺ (and maybe also with "excuse me").

  • Safety & Security: Israel, and Jerusalem in paticular are very safe, despite occasional clashes.

    In Israel it is the norm to have a private security guard at the venues entrances. So if someone ask you for something at the entrance to some restaurant, know that it is the security guard. All of the private security guards know basic English.

  • Business Hours: The service sector in Jerusalem is open Sunday through Friday.

    Sunday to Thursday business hours tend to be as follows:

    • Shops/Restaurants/Attractions: Usually Opening around 09:00 and close around 19:00-20:00.
    • Shopping Malls or Grocery stores: Usually Opening around 09:00 and close around 22:00.
    • Banks: Usually 08:30-13:00 as well as reopening some days of the week from around 16:00-18:00.
    • ATM machines operate 24/7.

    In Jerusalem, on Fridays most of the service sector and shops clos early for Sabbath (Saturday), at around 14:00PM and open again only on Saturdays at around 18:00-19:00PM.

  • Nice Initiatives in Town:

    • Jerusalem Exchange; Jerusalem language exchange program in Abraham Hostels; talk or practice your language/s with local people.
    • Eat With; Dining with local people.
    • CouchSurfing; To stay as a guest at local people's house, at the price of a diner and the willingness to host back.
    • Airbnb; Renting a room or a house from a local.

  • Useful Apps for Visitors in Israel/Jerusalem:

    • Rent a cars, To Rent a car from every location, there's also the possibility to choose to drop off the car at a different location.
    • Skype, WhatsApp, WeChat; Free apps that helps you keep in touch with your family and friends.

    • Moovit; Free app that helps you navigate every step of a trip via public transportation.

      It shows you where to find your bus stop, gives walking directions from the closest stop to your destination and alerts real-time bus arrival.

    • Google Maps: Free app that helps you navigate every step of a trip.

    • GetTaxi; Free app, easy taxi cab ordering service.

    • Waze; Free app, traffic and navigation app.

    The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

    The dream of establishing a "University of the Jewish People" in the Land of Israel formed an integral part of the early Zionist vision. With the acquisition of the Gray Hill estate atop Mount Scopus, and the laying of the cornerstone for the university-to-be in 1918, the realization of the dream was on its way. Seven years later, on April 1, 1925, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was opened at a festive ceremony attended, among others, by leaders of world Jewry including the University's founding father, Dr. Chaim Weizmann.

    The First Board of Governors of the University, chaired by Dr. Weizmann, included such luminaries as Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Martin Buber, Harry Sacher and Felix M. Warburg.

    The War of Independence in 1948 left the University campus cut off from Israeli west Jerusalem, and alternative facilities were found throughout the city. In 1953, construction began on a new main campus at Givat Ram in the heart of Jerusalem. With the reunification of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War of June 1967, work began on restoring and expanding the Mount Scopus campus. In 1981, the historical Mount Scopus campus again became the main home of the University. The University has since continued to grow, with the addition of new buildings, establishment of new programs, and recruitment of outstanding scholars, researchers and students, in fulfillment of its commitment to excellence.

    Highlights

    More than 24,000 students are enrolled at the University, including 12,000 undergraduates, 7,600 master's degree students, 2,600 doctoral candidates, and 800 at the Rothberg School for Overseas Students, and in certification and other programs.

    HU researchers figure at the forefront of international science - from biotechnology and computer science to astrophysics and cancer research, from microbiology to solar energy and genetic engineering, as well as the humanities, including Jewish studies, social sciences and law.

    Nearly 40% of all civilian scientific research in Israel is conducted at the Hebrew University.

    About 3,800 research projects are in progress at the University, and 1,500 new projects are started each year.

    The University is home to 100 subject-related and interdisciplinary research centers.

    Almost thirty percent of all doctoral candidates in Israel are enrolled at the Hebrew University.

    Sixteen percent of all the research conducted at the University finds application in high-tech industry. The University sold $12 million of expertise to industry in 2001.

    Jerusalem Tourist Information

    Conveners Recommendations for Top Sites in Jerusalem and the Dead Sea



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