Israel

Key Facts

Population: 7,590,758 (July 2012 est.)
Ethnic Groups: Jewish 76.4% (Israel-born 67.1%, Europe/America-born 22.6%, Africa-born 5.9%, Asia-born 4.2%), non-Jewish 23.6% (mostly Arab)
Religion: Jewish 75.6%, Muslim 16.9%, Christian 2%, Druze 1.7%, other 3.8%
Age Structure:0-14 years: 27.6%; 15-64 years: 62.2%; over 65 years: 10.1%
GDP/GDP Growth Rate: $245.3 billion/4.8%
Health Expenditure: 9.5% of GDP
Maternal Mortality: 7 deaths/100,000 live births
Education Expenditure: 5.9% of GDP
Unemployment: 14.7% (male: 15.7%/female: 13.9)
Military Expenditure: 7.3% of GDP
Mobile Phones: 9.875 million
Internet Users: 4.525 million

 

Who’s Reporting

Ran Bar-Yoshafat

Ran Bar-Yoshafat is a young Israeli from Ramat HaSharon – a coastal city just north of Tel Aviv. He is currently pursuing his MBA at Tel Aviv University.  Ran has a law degree from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he did his law residency in the legal department of the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, working with the Education, Culture and Sports Committee, the House Committee and the Childcare Committee. For the past four years he has worked freelance for MASA, an umbrella exchange organization in Israel for Jewish youth, for which he gives lectures about Israel’s political and security issues, and teaches leadership courses.  Ran has a passion for education and advocacy and is a member of groups including StandWithUs Israeli Fellowship program, the World Union of Jewish Students, the Word Jewish Diplomatic Corps, and is also on the board of the IMPACT! Alumni club – a branch of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces that gives scholarships to low-income ex-soldiers. As part of his community outreach work, Ran helps minority groups in Israel, such as Ethiopian Jews, those with learning disabilities, and the ultra-Orthodox to prepare and pass the Israeli university entrance exam, so that they can enroll in university, obtain a higher education, join the Israeli workforce and have a better future.  In 1999 and 2000, Ran was Israeli national champion for mixed martial arts, and served in an elite Special Forces unit in the Israeli defense forces.

Yovav Kalifon

I am a 29 year old Israeli who recently finished a M.Sc. program in theoretical physics, and is now trying to make up for it by traveling and seeing more of the actual world. I recently came back to Israel to attend my brother’s wedding. I crossed in to Israel from Jordan, after flying there from India, sailing there from Egypt, going there by bus, and hitchhiking to the border from where I am sitting right now.   I moved out of Kibbutz Tsubah to live in Jerusalem. I work formally very irregularly, giving private math/physics lessons, and translating academic articles whenever I’m lucky enough to find a client. The idea is to leave maximal free time to do my own thing, recently which has been getting into peace organization, and promoting my own initiatives as I see best.