Whether you’re looking for a job or already working in Israel, here are the most important requests to make, as an international, from your Israeli employer (courtesy of our friends at FutureIL):
Working in a foreign country means there’s a whole new world of bureaucracy: taxes, paychecks, bituach leumi, healthcare, pensions … and the list goes on.
Understanding these topics is really important to ensuring a successful future in the Israeli workforce. Ask your employer if they hold workshops which explain it all in simple English (or another language of your choosing).
Keywords: סַדְנָה, מִסִּים
Translation: workshop, taxes
Transliteration: sahd-nah, mee-seem
Paving the road to success in an Israeli company means removing any barriers which might hold you back.
For starters, all paperwork from the company should be translated to English (or your native language), so you can fully understand what they’re trying to communicate. This includes: your work contract, paycheck, pension fund documents, benefits, and so on.
Keywords: חוֹזֶה, מַשְׂכֹּורֶת
Translation: contract, salary/wage
Transliteration: choh-zeh, mahs-koh-ret
Let’s face it: It’s going to be hard to move up your career ladder without tip-top Hebrew.
(Okay, maybe your job or even company is all in English, but think about how much more effective and connected you can be when you’re able to connect with your Israeli coworkers on a deeper level.)
The fact is: Hebrew is your best friend when working with Israelis. And by the way, many Israeli or Israel-based companies that hire internationals are willing to sponsor Hebrew courses for their employees. (We’re speaking from experience.)
Keywords: לְחַבֵּר, לְהִתְחַבֵּר
Translation: to connect, to be connected
Transliteration: leh-chah-ber, leh-heet-chah-ber
Fun Fact: The words חָבֵר (chah-ver – friend) and חֶבְרָה (chev-rah – company) come from the same root as לְחַבֵּר and לְהִתְחַבֵּר.
More Vacation Time
By law, you’re entitled to 12 paid vacation days, in addition to Israel’s national holidays (e.g. Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur, Passover, Independence Day, Memorial Day).
When requesting extra vacation time, stress the importance of seeing friends and family from back home — most Israelis have the luxury of seeing them every week. You can also offer to work remotely, or take unpaid vacation days, if it helps sweeten the deal for your employer.
As you probably know, an important part of feeling at home in a new country is participating in the local holidays and expanding your social circle.
Ask your employer if they can host you for a holiday meal or a Friday-night (Shabbat) dinner. Don’t be surprised when they jump for joy in agreement, since Israeli culture is all about hospitality.
Keywords: לְאָרֵחַ, חַג
Translation: to host, holiday
Transliteration: leh-ah-rey-ahch, chahg
Fun Fact: The word אֲרוּחָה (ah-roo-chah – meal) comes from the same root as לְאָרֵחַ.