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Best Israeli souvenirs

Best Israeli souvenirs

Millions of tourists visit Israel every year. Some prefer traveling independently, while others would rather tour as part of a group.
Besides each group’s common denominator – for example, pilgrimage, a family celebrating a bar mitzvah or a group of friends spending time together in Tel Aviv – everyone wants to bring back home a souvenir that would remind them of their unique and meaningful trip to Israel.
Moreover, quite a few tourists like to buy gifts for their friends and family, and shopping is an integral part of their tourist experience.
In Israel, there are many markets, which feature a prominent combination of the Eastern and Western cultures – authentic markets with stalls and small, magical shops, alongside modern and boutique shopping centers.
We often notice the spark in the tourists’ eyes when shopping comes onto the agenda.
You know how it goes – women get excited and their spouses come to terms with their bitter fate and wait outside the store, and sometimes, it’s the other way around.
During the tours, we’re often asked what are the best and most original souvenirs to buy in Israel.
This article features some of the popular, yet original souvenirs that we think you’d love to bring back home with you.

Dead Sea Products – While products labeled as such are sold all over the world, and while cosmetics companies add certain ingredients to be able to state that their products contain Dead Sea minerals in order to attract customers, the source of these essential components is right here, in Israel.
Experiencing the freedom of floating in the Dead Sea and its healing power open up a new perspective on these products for many tourists.
It’s the best “spa” the nature can provide – your skin becomes smooth as on the day you were born.
The leading Israeli companies in this field are Ahava and Premier, with many branches across the country.
In addition, you can visit the factory store located at the Dead Sea and enjoy a variety of lucrative deals.

Judaica – Jewish ceremonial art and ritual objects can be purchased in many places in Israel.
Many of those who come to Israel want to bring back a piece of art to adorn their home, use on Shabbat or the holidays, and to remind them of the amazing experience of traveling Israel.
For example, a Menorah that would remind of the Hanukkah miracle, a kiddush cup for Shabbat and holidays, a charity box to teach our children about one of the most important values ​​in Judaism, a challah cover, jewelry with Jewish symbolic motifs such as the Star of David, chai, pomegranate menorah, Chai symbol, Shabbat candlestick holder, kippah, tallit and tefillin.
The most diverse variety of these items can be found in Jerusalem and Safed.

Jerusalem Cross – Consisting of a large cross surrounded by four smaller crosses, the Jerusalem Cross is without a doubt one of the most prominent religious symbols associated with this city.
The large cross symbolizes Jerusalem – the cradle of Christianity – and the four surrounding crosses symbolize the four quarters of the world to which Christianity was spread.
The cross was already used way back in the Byzantine Empire as a Christian seal, in the Crusader Period as a symbol of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, and nowadays, it is the symbol of the Franciscan Order that has a prominent presence in the Holy Land.
Many pilgrims who visit the Holy Land purchase the Jerusalem Cross as a piece of art or jewelry to commemorate their visit and their connection to the Holy City of Jerusalem as people of faith.

Items made of Olive Wood – The olive tree is prominently associated with the Holy Land from the biblical period, when the dove carrying an olive leaf signaled the end of the flood.
The olive tree, with its roots growing deep into the soil, is a strong tree with a very high survivability, and in Israel, it may come as a surprise, since our country’s rainfall average is quite low.
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit,” (Isiah 11:1).
This verse is validated in the Gospel, while Jesus is actually one of the shoots of the stump of Jesse, and similar to the roots of the olive tree penetrating deep into the soil, so is the genealogy of Jesus – deep and long-standing.
Bethlehem is the place that specializes in olive wood art and extensively features this special and impressive craft.
The olive wood industry is one of Bethlehem’s most important streams of income, and many tourists, as well as pastors and priests, purchase works of art made of olive wood for their churches.

Armenian Ceramics – A craft with a centuries-long history.
These uniquely beautiful ceramics are meticulously handcrafted by Armenian artisans, while tiles made by them adorn many buildings in Jerusalem, the most prominent of which are the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount and the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum situated near the Damascus Gate.
This unique craft is passed down from generation to generation within the families, and you can find a wide variety of workshops and studios in the Old City of Jerusalem, especially in the Armenian Quarter.

Antiquities – How much history there is in Israel! So many archeological sites have been discovered, while some remain unknown.
Israel features countless collections of antiques, and licensed dealers will be happy to present you with a wide assortment of items.
Among the most common an antiques in Israel are jars, vases, Roman glass items, oil candles, as well as coins from different periods.

Wine – Like the olive trees, grapevines are thriving here in Israel, and many local wineries produce an excellent selection of Israeli wines.
The variety and number of wineries in Israel is enormous, which has created a very healthy competition, in which the real winners are the consumers who benefit from the abundance of products available.
You can find excellent wineries in every region of Israel, even in the desert.
Some of them got international awards to boast about, which also helps attract tourist.
Almost every tourist visiting Israel would have at least one glass of local wine, while many guests take a tasting tour in one of the wineries and purchase Israeli wine to take back home.

Dates – This delight of a fruit that fills you with energy is one of the seven species with which the Land of Israel was blessed.
Dates that grown in the Jordan Valley and the Arava region are considered among the best in the world.
You can find a number of varieties, such as the yellow date (Barhi) or the moist date (Hayani), while Medjool is the most popular, as well as the largest and most delicious date variety.
Medjool dates have become the trademark of some of the settlements in the Jordan Valley, and are exported to many countries.
Another product that is considered a delicacy and has become an integral part of Israeli cuisine is “Silan” Date Honey – a sweet and delicious date syrup that is featured in many dishes.
You can buy “Silan”, as well as the dates, in supermarkets across Israel and in many stores in the Jordan Valley and at the Dead Sea.

Olive Oil – Like date, it is one of the seven species with which the Land of Israel was blessed.
Olive trees adorn many areas of Israel. The locally extracted olive oil is of a very high quality, and is an integral part of the Israeli and Middle Eastern cuisine. Whether it is olive oil from the Galilee, the Golan Heights or the Samaria Mountains, each has its unique taste.

Israeli Snacks and Food Products – There are a few Israeli snacks we’d be happy to recommend.
First and foremost – “Bamba” peanut butter snack.
Not only that it is without a doubt the favorite snack of the locals – “Bamba” is one of the first words that Israeli babies learn to say.
Also, quite amazing is the fact that almost all Israelis develop immunity to peanut allergy.

Another popular Israeli snack is “Bissli”.
Unlike “Bamba”, it’s crunchy and comes in a variety of flavors.
Many Israelis like to combine these two snacks, and there’s even a version featuring both in the same bag.

We also like “Tortit” – A chocolate waffle bar filled with hazelnut cream.
This snack is also very popular among Israelis, and it has some other versions as well, like cake and cookies.

Black Coffee – Most likely, during your trip to Israel you will drink at least one cup of black coffee.
Many people also call it Arabic coffee or Turkish coffee, and you can find it in any Israeli supermarket.
However, if you’re looking for an authentic coffee experience, we’d recommend you to visit one the local markets and purchase coffee ground on the spot.

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