1. Israeli wildlife is awesome! When taking in Israel’s beautiful outdoors, you can expect to see deer, ibex, hyrax, and jackals at any point!
2. The southern city of Eilat is a top destination for scuba divers—the tropical fish and colorful coral are breathtaking!
3. 510 species of birds have been spotted in the Holy Land. The migrations they form are incredible!
4. Israel’s landscape is super diverse. From skiing in the north to soaking up some rays at the beach, you would never guess that the Negev desert takes up more than half of the country!
5. The Dead Sea—where else in the world can you float effortlessly in water? Fun fact: The Dead Sea is the lowest water surface on Earth!
6. Israel’s population has increased almost tenfold since its establishment!
7. Jews from around the world live in Israel, creating a melting pot of different communities. While the country’s official languages are Hebrew and Arabic, you can hear English, Russian, Yiddish, and more.
8. 7 million Jews from 130 countries have immigrated to Israel!
9. Ancient artifacts that are thousands of years old are always being discovered—either on purpose, or by accident!
10. Thank you to everyone for sharing this one with us: Israelis are God’s chosen people!
11. Israel has had some of the best leaders in the world. We can still look to Israel’s founders for inspiration today!
12. Israel turned a desert into a blooming greenhouse.
13. Israel is the only nation in the Middle East where Christians are free to live without fear of persecution
14. Israel is the “Promised Land.”
15. No matter its hardships, Israel has a strong future. We can’t wait to see what lies ahead for Israel.
16. 67 is young!
17. Israelis value, respect, and celebrate life.
18. It is a home for Jews around the world, and is a sign of what people can do if they work together.
19. Israelis show kindness even in the face of hatred.
21. Israel has contributed so much to science and medicine.
22. “Because they are fighters. They are one of the littlest nations on earth and yet they have not only managed to survive so many wars, so many set backs, such impossible circumstances and still overcome them all and make great progress and accomplishments!” (Susan H.)
23. Falafel! It is Israel’s national food, extremely delicious, and cheap!
24. Eating hummus not just as a snack, but as an entire meal! Restaurants dedicated to just hummus serve the best and freshest ingredients!
25. Salad for breakfast! Israeli salad, the most well-known national dish of Israel, remains a standard at the breakfast table in hotels and homes.
26. The extremely popular and extremely delicious street food—shawarma! Watching the meat shaved off the spit is pretty cool,
27. The U.S. and Israel have always had an unbreakable bond. U.S. President Harry S. Truman was the first world leader to recognize the state of Israel the day it was created, May 14, 1948.
28. There are more museums per capita in Israel than in any other country.
29. What do Natalie Portman, Gene Simmons, Bar Refaeli, Itzhak Perlman have in common? They’re all Israeli!
30. The IDF defeated five armies in the Arab-Israeli war, or The War of Independence. That’s right, five armies!
31. No job is too small for the IDF if it is helping their country or people in need.
32. IDF soldiers are proud of their country, keeping a safe home for Israelis and all Jews around the world.
33. The IDF started off as an underground military organization, and is now one of the most powerful armies in the world. Thank you for keeping Israel safe!
34. The abundance of city parks makes it easy to relax in an urban oasis.
35. We say it loud and proud every time: Israel is the ONLY DEMOCRACY in the Middle East!
36. Although their country comes under attack from all borders, Israelis are resilient in mind and spirit.
37. People of all religions have equal rights.
38. Shabbat! A wonderful day every week set aside for family and rest.
39. For such a small country, Israel has a BIG global impact! Check out these Israeli innovations: http://bit.ly/1G8fLa7
40. Organizations like the Tikkun Olam Make-a-Thon are working to make the world a better place.
41. Israel might not get that much snow, but that doesn’t stop its dedicated athletes from competing in the Winter Olympics! Fun fact: In 2014, Evgeni Krasnopolski and Andrea Davidovich were Israel’s first ever Olympic pairs figure skating entry.
42. Israel is the only country to revive an unspoken language as its national tongue. Now that’s sababa (cool)!
43. Israel and America are united in the fight against terrorism. Israel even has its own 9/11 memorial.
44. The holy city of Jerusalem blends ancient biblical history with modern beauty. Just a short walk from the Old City, you can zip around town with the Jerusalem light rail.
45. The poppies in spring! Fields and fields of them!
46. From Tel Aviv to Haifa, you’re bound to get some views of the Mediterranean Sea that take your breath away.
47. The IDF has their own fighting style! It’s a form of martial arts called Krav Maga.
48. In Israel, you can always rely on your community and neighbors to lend a helping hand.
49. The state of Israel is a reminder that God will not allow the ultimate triumph of evil. (Janice P.)
50. The country feels like a big family. (קרמר)
51. “Israel is the beautiful vine that I am so preciously grafted into. Israel is truth and love we all hope for. And Israel is life seen from all around our world.” –Ricki L.R.
52. “The name Israel brings joy to my heart.” –Lucy N.
53. Simply put, Israel is HOME. (Sara B.)
54. “It is the only place in the world I will ever feel completely safe.” –Sonia C.P.
55. Israelis stand up for each other no matter what. (Judith C.)
56. Israel is a gorgeous oasis in the Middle East. (Evelyn B.)
57. “I love Israel because it opened its arms to my ancestors when they were freed from the concentration camps. Of all the places that I’ve ever lived, Israel is the place that I call home!” (Lynn S.)
58. The desert blooms! (Connie H.B.)
59. As a symbol and real example of survival against all odds. (Sherrin R.)
60. “They speak an ancient language, but have better technology than any place on earth! They fight for LIFE and TRUTH! The Land of Israel is a land that thrives and survives!” (Jan B.V.)
61. “It made me feel close to G-d.” (Lyn D.)
62. “I love the way the IDF is like a great big family!” (Roxanne M.)
63. “I love Israel for its charity to other nations in need, including its enemies.” (Ziporah B.)
64. Israel is the only country in the Middle East where women are treated with respect. (Carmelita M. C.)
65. “I love Israel because God put that love in my heart.” (Maria Christina R.)
66. “The people of Israel are always ready to protect their home! Always ready to lend a hand to people that need them. They are not afraid to do the impossible no matter who criticizes them. They Look to the future through the past. They are proud of their home land and the brave men and women, past AND present that God has used to make Israel what it is today!” (Sandra F. R.)
67. “No matter where you live in the world, as a Jew you are welcomed with open arms in Israel. It is a country built by survivors of the Holocaust, who despite the atrocities they faced, rose to the occasion to build a country unlike any other in this world. The people of Israel love, show compassion, are inventive, smart and they challenge themselves daily. They have integrity and they fight for the right to exist; something they should not have to do. It is safe to say they ARE the smartest people in the world.” (Carol V.)