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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:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Start-up Nation Meets Land of the Rising Sun:

    A team from an Israeli company travels to Japan to introduce a new product with their Japanese representatives.

  • 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.

  • Lending a Hand:

    An Israeli attends a business dinner in Argentina.

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

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