Appropriate clothing for Israel; Religious communities, summer, winter and all year round. What clothes should I pack?
Hebrew: לבוש מתאים לישראל
Visiting Israel or Making Aliyah: you need to decide what kind of clothing to pack. If you are relocating or making Aliyah from a country with a very different climate, your existing clothing may not be suitable or appropriate for your new lifestyle. Before you decide what to pack, we'll discuss the different clothing traditions in different communities.
Within the Jewish community
The Jewish community is made up of the Ultra-Orthodox, Orthodox and Secular. Each community has a different dress-code, tandards and restrictions.
The Ultra-Orthdodox Community
In the Ultra-Orthodox community, women wear very modest clothing. Clothing does not accentuate their figures. Shirts, blouses and dresses come right up to the neck. Skirts are long, covering the knees and often even longer, above the ankle. Head coverings for married women are mandatory (hats or wigs). Pants, tight skirts, sleeveless and backless dresses, slits and minis are forbidden. Clothes are generally in basic subdued colors; black, dark blue, grey and brown and white for festivals and celebrations. You will not see an Ultra-Orthodox woman wearing bright colors or clothing that attracts attention. You will not see an ultra-religious woman wearing high or stiletto heels; mules, flats and sports shoes are more common. Women always wear stockings and young girls wear either stockings or long socks. Even in the summer, the Ultra-Orthodox stick to their dress codes and just replace heavier fabrics with lighter fabrics.
Ultra-Orthodox men mostly wear black coats, jackets and pants with white, button down, cotton shirts. Their heads to are covered either with a black hat or a kippah (skullcap or yarmulkah). Their shoes are black. At some festivals and celebrations that may wear a white or golden frock coat.
The Orthodox Community
The Orthodox Jewish Community's dress code is a little more relaxed. The women follow the same modest dress code but do not restrict themselves to subdued colors. They wear head coverings too; hats and wigs but some also cover their heads with colorful scarves. Orthodox men wear modest clothing too but do not necessarily restrict themselves to black and white. Their heads are covered with a kippah which could be basic black or crotcheted from a multitude of colored yarns.
The secular community
Pretty much anything goes. Take note - if you are a member of the secular community and are visiting a religious Jewish family or community, you should be respectful of their lifestyle and dress modestly.
Dress codes for other religious groups and communities in Israel
Traditional Moslem, Arab women are also modestly dressed. They may wear a long dress or a long-sleeved tunic over pants and a scarf to cover their heads. In parts of Jerusalem and some outlying villages, you may find the women dressed in black and some may even wear a burka. Modern Arab women wear modern clothing.
In the Druze community in Israel you will see men in black wearing traditional loose pants and clothing. Women wear black or dark clothing with white scarves covering their heads.
Israel's Christian community, and members of the Bahai community in Israel all wear modern clothing.
Now that you have a pretty good idea of who wears what and where, you can pack the appropriate clothing in your suitcase or container for your vacation, relocation or Aliyah shipment.
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