First and foremost, I want to be clear this article is not intended to generalize or brush all Israeli women with the same stroke.
Just as in any society around the world, Israeli women are as diverse as they come. My “insights” below are based only on my experiences and observations, so please take them with a grain of (Dead Sea) salt.
I decided to write this article because I frequently meet (primarily international) men in Israel who feel intimidated by Israeli women. My goal is to shed some light on why (at least some) Israeli women behave and think the way they do, again, based on my experiences and observations.
I had my first experience with a native Israeli in 2013 after moving to Tel Aviv in January of that year. Since then, I’ve dated almost exclusively Israeli women, ranging from relationships of a few weeks, to my longest ones of 12 and 18 months.
And, without insulting any other nationality, there’s a reason for this: Israeli women are worth every proverbial shekel (at least in my opinion).
Here’s what I’ve learned along the way:
1) Prepare to climb a hefty mountain.
If you’re looking for fun and games, this might not apply to you. But, if you’re interested in pursuing Israeli women for a committed, intimate relationship, the initial climb up the mountain is a hefty one.
Israeli women generally take awhile to open up, and as they do, it’s very incremental. They likely won’t come to your house or apartment until they’re ready to sleep with you, even if you explicitly tell them you just want to watch a movie or make them dinner, and that there won’t be any intercourse if they’re not ready.
On this note, they probably won’t sleep with you during the first three-to-six dates, so be prepared to propagate some creative dating ideas in the beginning.
The good news is, Israeli women tend to be straightforward, which means you can ask them what they want and expect from as early as the first date, or they might just tell you anyway. This is a long way of saying, you won’t have to invest a lot of time getting to know each other if it becomes clear both of you aren’t on the same page.
The other piece of good news is, if you decide to make this long and hard climb to the mountaintop, they’ll make you feel like you’re on top of the world once you get there. So, presuming you like each other and see some kind of a future together, it’s well worth the investment.
2) Show your “gever-ness.”
Growing up in Los Angeles, it was normal for guys to shave their chest, and many girls preferred it, so I kept shaving it even after I arrived in Israel.
The first Israeli woman I dated told me I should stop shaving my chest because it would make me more of a gever gever (Hebrew for “a manly man”). Needless to say, we broke up a few months later.
Two years later, I was pursuing a server at a restaurant I used to frequent. Then one day — don’t ask me why — I walked into the restaurant and started to jokingly yell at the other servers (who were my friends). Shortly afterward, this server agreed to go out with me on a date, and we dated for 18 months, one year of which we lived together.
During the relationship, she told me: That one day when you came into the restaurant and started yelling, it really did something to me.
As Tamar Pross, the cofounder of Citizen Café Tel Aviv, points out in her lecture How to Hack the Israeli Culture traditional Israeli culture resembles that of a jungle, so it makes sense why Israeli women tend to like manly men.
But please don’t get me wrong: I’m not encouraging you to be a “manly man” for the sake of being one. It simply means, express your manlihood in whichever way(s) feel right and natural to you. Israelis in general have a high BS radar, so faking it will only backfire in the end.
3) Fight spicy with spicy.
As I said (and you probably already know), Israeli women naturally speak their mind, and are sometimes rough around the edges, or what I call “spicy.”
Spicy can absolutely be a good thing: It means they’re warm, authentic, and passionate.
It also means they’ll give you a piece of their mind every now and again.
Like they say in the firefighting world, fight fire with fire — or, in this case, fight spicy with spicy. Stand up for yourself when you feel strongly about something, don’t be afraid to show a level of self-respect, and be honest and forthcoming with your Israeli counterpart as well.
Again, I’m not encouraging you to fight spicy with spicy as a matter of principle. Just like in any relationship, pick and choose your battles wisely.
4) Make an effort to learn their language.
This might be the most underrated piece of advice here, which is why I left it for last.
Language, especially Hebrew, isn’t just about knowing words and sentences to engage in basic communication between you and your partner. It’s about diving into the Israeli culture, understanding the psychology behind why Israelis think and act the way they do, and establishing a deeper connection with Israeli women.
The moment I started making a serious effort in improving my “street-smart” Hebrew, was the moment I started noticing Israeli women taking me more seriously, and ultimately being more interested in me.
When you make such an effort, I have no doubts you’ll see the fruits of your labor, not just with Israeli women, but across every aspect of your life in Israel.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Josh Hoffman was born and raised in Los Angeles, and moved to Tel Aviv in 2013 after accidentally falling in love with someone on his Birthright trip. (Her name is Tel Aviv.)