Culture & Arts

Israel's diverse culture stems from the diversity of the population: Jews from around the world have brought their cultural and religious traditions with them, creating a melting pot of Jewish customs and beliefs.
Israeli literature is primarily poetry and prose written in Hebrew, as part of the renaissance of Hebrew as a spoken language since the mid-19th century, although a small body of literature is published in other languages, such as English.
Israeli music is versatile and combines elements of both western and eastern music. It tends to be very eclectic and contains a wide variety of influences from the Diaspora and more modern cultural importation.
Israel is also home to several world-class classical music ensembles such as the Israel Philharmonic and the New Israeli Opera. Also popular are various forms of electronic music, including trance, hard-trance, and goa-trance.
Traditional folk dances of Israel include the Hora and Yemenite dancing. Israeli folk dancing today is choreographed for recreational and performance dance groups. Modern dance in Israel has won international acclaim.
Israeli choreographers are considered among the most versatile and original international creators working today.
The theater scene is very active, with many professional repertory and other theaters and dozens of regional and amateur companies performing throughout the country to large and devoted audiences.
While television and radio are the main outlets for popular entertainment, live performances by comedians, singers, musicians, bands, and groups take place regularly throughout the country.
Some 200 museums around the country receive millions of visitors annually. Large or small, in city, town, or kibbutz, they are treasure houses of archaeology, ethnography, and local history; of art, both ancient and modern; and of crafts, from primitive to sophisticated.
In the 60 years since the establishment of the State of Israel, sports have played an increasingly important role in the development of the country both at home and on the international stage. Outside of the professional arena, sports have always been a significant pastime for hundreds of thousands of Israelis. The many months of warm weather encourage Israelis to enjoy outdoor sports, and a competitive attitude ensures youngsters become involved in dozens of different sporting activities from a young age.