International Gift Giving Etiquette - Israel

GIFT GIVING IN ISRAEL* - Gift Giving Etiquette


  • Israelis have the tendency of over doing with their gifts. It sometimes creates problematic situations in the business arena. Therefore, in many companies and organizations gift giving and accepting is not allowed. Acceptable gifts are business promotional items such as pens or desk items with company logos.

  • Wait until you are reasonably acquainted with a person before presenting a gift.

  • A book can be a good choice for a gift, assuming you are familiar with the recipient's interests and tastes.

  • If you are invited to an Israeli home, good gift choices include a simple arrangement of flowers or box of candy. If you know that children will be present, acknowledging them with a small gift will be appreciated.

  • When selecting a gift for an observant Orthodox Jew or Arab, ensure that it is compatible with their religious beliefs. For example, food gifts for observant Orthodox Jews must be kosher.

  • During holidays it is customary to give or send presents that fit the specific holyday. Remembering the holydays of other religions is a sign of consideration and respect.

  • Even a card with a personal note is a nice considerate gesture.

  • The Arabic people receive gifts with the right hand, not with the left. Using both hands, however, can be acceptable.










*Leibovitz, Tami Lancut.  Israel Business Etiquette - Gift Giving.  Executive Planet.  30 July 2004  <>.

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