In Israel, the boundaries between professional and social spheres are blurry, as are those between clients and vendors, managers and subordinates, hosts and guests, strangers and friends. Loosely defined borders are easier to cross than those that are sharply delineated. Israelis find it hard to stay within clearly defined limits because, in Israel, they scarcely exist.

Our goal is to provide an understanding of Israeli culture and the way in which loosely defined borders affect Israeli behaviors and attitudes. We will focus on your professional counterparts—Israeli businesspeople, high tech professionals, government officials, diplomats and heads of philanthropic organizations. Their values, behaviors and attitudes provide the raw material for our case studies and the source of the examples we present.

Cultural Detective Israel contains the following stories and critical incidents:

  • Explosion?:

    A meeting is held between British and Israeli team members.

  • Honest Feedback or Humiliation?:

    Jewish and Arab Israelis work together in a Northern Israeli manufacturer.

  • Neglect?:

    A Filipino computer engineer works for an Israeli team leader in Israel.

  • Overwhelmed:

    A Swedish manager leads a consulting discussion with an Israeli team.

  • Shock:

    A Russian immigrant teaches in a high school in Jerusalem.

  • Surprises:

    A U.S. American project team leader in Israel for technical discussions.

  • Lending a Hand:

    An Israeli attends a business dinner in Argentina.

  • Big Change, The:

    A US American CEO reorganizes a newly purchased Israeli software company.

  • Shortcut, The:

    A German textile importer discusses maintenance procedures with the Israeli manufacturer.

Extra! Cultural Detective Israel includes extended debriefs and a slang dictionary.

Cultural Detective Israel is authored by Lucy Shahar, Anat Kedem and Dianne Hofner Saphiere.

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