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What to expect when corresponding by e-mail with Israelis

What to expect when corresponding by e-mail with Israelis

Perhaps you're new to the country. Perhaps you're coming from one of those high-intensity corporate jobs in Manhattan where you proofread an e-mail at least thrice before sending it. Or perhaps you're coming straight out of college, where you've spent four grueling years beginning every e-mail  with that ever-endearing summer camp snail mail "Dear _____," and sign off with a tasteful: "Sincerely," "Regards," or the passive aggressive fan favorite, "Thank you in advance." Whatever you're prior e-mail etiquette may be, it's time to drop everything you know and follow this guide to Israeli office e-mail correspondence.

1. Never, ever, ever address anyone by Mr., Mrs., Ms, Dr., or any proper form of address. Most common Israeli e-mail openers include: "Hi!," "Hi, Hi," "Greetings," or most commonly, nothing, since Israelis don't have time for that sh*t.

2. A subject line can be used for one of the following:

a) A placeholder for the entire content of the e-mail

b) A summary of the most important details inside the e-mail so that you never have to actually open the e-mail

c) An alternative, yet inaccurate form of Google translate

d) An empty box, not to be filled under any circumstance

3. If you have a very American name starting with an A, C, J, M, or S, do not get your hopes up about being addressed by the correct name. I, for one, have become a huge fan of Jessica.

4. Punctuation - it isn't where it should be, it is where it shouldn't, it's all very confusing.

5. Capitalization - see above.

6. Emojis are an Israeli's best friend. And not just the smiley face emoji either. Expect flowers, fireworks, hearts, stars, and occasional 100s.

7. On that note, informality is the key to professionalism. Make sure to use as much colloquial language as possible, dude.

8. Your personal life is their personal life. Israelis have no filter in what they do or don't share with colleges, customers, or prospective clients. Can't make an appointment? No need to make up an excuse. Tell them about your mildly unappetizing mole removal or that your child shat himself at school again.

9. Google Calendar on crack. Since Israelis are notorious for being late to everything, get used to at least four reschedules per original meeting. Don't bother asking why...they'll tell you (see rule #8).


Curious about other oddities? Check out 13 otherwise odd things that are totally normal in the Israeli workplace.