Temperatures in Israel vary widely, especially during the winter. The more
mountainous regions can be windy, cold, and sometimes snowy; Jerusalem
usually receives at least one snowfall each year.
Israel has two official
languages, Hebrew and Arabic. Hebrew is the primary language of the
state and is spoken by the majority of the population, and Arabic is
spoken by the Arab minority. Many Israelis communicate reasonably well
in English, as many television programs are broadcast in this language
and English is taught from the early grades in elementary school.
The name "shekel" was derived from an ancient unit of weight that
amounts to approximately one ounce or 12 grams. The New Israel shekel ,
issued by the Bank of Israel, was introduced on September 4, 1985. It
replaced the "old" shekel, at a rate of one new shekel per 1000 "old"
shekel. The "old" shekel replaced the Israeli pound on February 24,
1980, at a rate of one shekel per 10 pounds.
the end of 2010, the Israel's population stood at 7, 695, 000, according
to figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Some 5,
802, 000 of the population (75.4 percent) are Jewish Israelis, 1, 573,
000 (20.4%) are Israeli Arabs and those not identified as either make up
the remaining 4.2% of the population, or 320, 000 people.
Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel, its seat of government,
and the holiest city in Judaism. It is also Israel's largest and most