When I was 21, I had the privilege to live in Israel for a year with my husband. We had only been married 6 months when we traveled to Israel with a group of young people from our church and several others from other parts of the US. We also had a married couple from Canada and one gal from Switzerland. We lived on Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim, which means Village of Grapes. Kiryat Anavim was the first kibbutz in the Judean Hills and is located just 11 miles from Jerusalem.
Part of our contract to work on the kibbutz for a year included several three-day trips, where we got to visit various places in the country, and a six-day trip to the Sinai, which was still part of Israel then. It was such a blessing to walk in places where Jesus and the disciples walked.
Israel is a country with such rich history. Here are some fun facts about Israel that I bet you didn’t know:
1. Israel is the only Jewish State in the World.
2. The State of Israel is the youngest on the planet.
3. Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.
4. Israel is about 290 mile (470 km) in length and 85 miles (135 km) in width.
5. Israel spends more money on security than any other country.
6. Israel is the only country with a net gain in trees upon entering the 21st century.
7. The Dead Sea in Israel is the lowest point on earth.
8. The Sea of Galilee is the lowest freshwater lake in the world.
9. Israel’s economy is larger than all of its immediate neighbors combined.
10. The first cell phone was developed in Israel.
11. Voicemail technology was invented in Israel.
12. Israel is ranked #2 in venture capital funds right behind the US.
13. Israel is the world’s largest wholesale diamond center in the world.
14. Israel’s banknotes have braille so the blind can identify them.
15. Israel is the largest immigrant-absorbing country in the world.
16. Hebrew is the only ancient language to ever have been revived.
17. One-third of Israelis are volunteers.
18. Israel has more orchestras per capita than any other country in the world.
19. Israel has more museums per capita than any other country in the world.
20. Israel has the highest number of scientists, technicians, and engineers per capita.
21. Cherry tomatoes were first created in Israel.
22. Israeli cows produce more milk per capita than any other country in the world.
23. Jerusalem is home to over 2,000 archaeological sites.
24. In 1984 and 1991 Israel airlifted a total of 22,000 Ethiopian Jews to the State of Israel.
25. Jericho is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.Mount of Olives
26. The Mount of Olives in Jerusalem is the world’s oldest continuously used cemetery.
27. The IDF is a leader in saving people from natural disasters.
28. Life expectancy in Israel is 84 years old.
29. An Israeli company invented the first swallowable camera.
30. Israel has the highest rate of university degrees and PHDs in the world.
31. Passengers on Israel’s national airline El Al clap for the pilots when their flights land.
32. Over a million pounds of hummus is eaten in Israel every year.
33. The smallest desert in the world, the Judean Desert is located in Israel.
34. Every year, half a billion migratory birds pass through Israel.
35. Israel consumes the most fruits and vegetables per capita in the world.
36. Israel has the highest number of kidney donations per capita.The Wailing Wall in Jerusalem
37. Over 1 million notes are left at the Western Wall every year.
38. Israel is bordered by snowy peaks in the north and desert beaches in the south.
39. Israel has 137 beaches - for now.
40. Israel recycles 90% of their wastewater.
41. Babies in Israel are 10 times less likely to be allergic to peanuts than in other countries.
42. Israelis eat some 24 million donuts during Chanukah.
43. An Israeli company developed an atmospheric water generator that pulls water from the air.
44. Israel has the largest underground hospital in the world.
45. The main compounds of cannabis were first isolated, analyzed, synthesized, and named in Israel.
46. The oldest-ever cave tool, dating back aprox 350,000 years, was found in Israel.
47. The oldest woven basket was found in Israel’s Judean Desert.
48. Tel Aviv has the largest concentration of Bauhaus buildings in the world.
49. Israel was the first country to ban underweight models from fashion shows.
50. 85 percent of Israeli households get hot water from rooftop solar heaters.Israeli Grape Field
51. Israel has more than 300 wineries.
52. Israel harvests aprox 60,000 tons of wine grapes every year.
53. All citizens in Israel, Jews and Arabs, enjoy full political rights.
54. There are 40 kosher McDonald’s fast food restaurants in Israel.
55. An Israeli company has developed the first jellyfish repellent.
56. In 1952 Albert Einstein was offered the position of presidency in Israel.
57. Over 1,000 letters arrive in Jerusalem every year, addressed to G-d.
58. Israel is the only country in the world that has the same name, location, and language as it did 3,000 years ago.
59. The Law of Return of 1950 states that “Every Jew has the right to come to this country” as an immigrant.
60. Jerusalem Syndrome is an actual psychological phenomenon caused by visiting Jerusalem.
61. All Jewish people between 18 and 26 years old are allowed a free trip to Israel.
62. In Israel you can find hummus flavored ice cream.
63. Israel is ⅙ of 1% of the landmass of the Middle East.
64. Israel has the highest rate of entrepreneurship in the world.
65. Israel has the fourth largest air force in the world with over 250 F-16s.
66. The glue on Israeli stamps is kosher.
67. The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers TV series was produced by an Israeli.
68. The World Centre of the Bahai faith is located in Israeli cities of Acre and Haifa.
69. Beersheva has the largest number of chess grandmasters per capita in the world.
70. Every year, an Israeli Arab hotel manager called Jaaber Hussein buys all of the country’s chametz for Passover.
71. The world’s largest green pepper was recently recorded in Israel.
72. There are about 273 kibbutzim in Israel.
73. The Dead Sea is 8.6 times saltier than the ocean.
74. People who keep Shabbat can get car insurance, which doesn’t cover Saturdays.
75. Israeli scientists have ruled that giraffe milk is kosher.
76. The word “Israel” in morse code would be:
.. ... .-. .- . .-..
77. The most common street name in Israel is Hazait, meaning Olive Street.
78. Israel is home to 9 World Heritage Sites
79. Mt. Hermon is the highest peak in Israel, reaching 7,336 feet.
80. There are over 40 National Parks in Israel.
81. The Hoopoe is the national animal of Israel.
82. The Menoreh is the national emblem of Israel.
83. Israel is located on the Asian continent.
84. The capital of the State of Israel is Jerusalem.
85. A native-born Jew in Israel is known as a Sabra.
86. Since its early history, Jerusalem has been a walled city.
87. The Judean date palm was brought back from extinction in Israel after 2,000 years.
88. After Tokyo and New York City, Tel Aviv has the most sushi restaurants per capita.
89. Israel publishes more books per capita than any other country in the world.
90. Israel is one of only three democracies in the world without a constitution.
91. Israel has more computers per capita than any other country.
92. Israel has its own day-long festival of love, called Tu B’Av.
93. Israel has won more Nobel Prizes than all other Middle East countries combined.
94. Golda Meir was the third woman in history to serve as prime minister.
95. Jerusalem has over 1,500 public parks and gardens.
96. Israel is a world leader in the invention of new technologies.
97. Hiking and camping are an integral part of Israel’s culture.
98. The Israel Postal service has a special Letters to God department.
99. More than half the landmass of Israel is desert.
100. 5 out of 7 natural craters in the world are located in Israel.