The Jewish Eye
Israel for Beginners
Israel for Beginners
A Field Guide for Encountering the Israelis in Their Natural Habitat
By Angelo Colorni
Illustrated by Avi Katz
Gefen Publishing House, 2011
Reviewed by Herbert White - May 27, 2011
The intrepid researcher slowly enters the habitat area in which a remarkably diverse and complex group of beings reside. Yes, just over that rise, yes, you can see them - Israelis, in their native habitat! What an amazing sight! But what does it all mean. Never fear, you have on your side one, Angelo Colorni, who will escort you on an amazing adventure through the day to day life of your average, and not so average Israeli. This is a must-have guide for those contemplating living among these exotic peoples, who are just curious, or who are already living among them but still need a little guidance on all the nuances of day to day life in the Holy Land, then you'll want to read and study Colorni's handy guide, Israel for Beginners.
Witty and to the point, this book is technically a book of humor. However, Colorni's observations are spot on and this book will help you to understand the Israeli mind set, as well as to navigate though the complexities of Israeli life from dealing with the innumerable bureaucracy that seems to grow like weeds in Israel, to what to do if you encounter an Israeli outside of their native habitat, such as in New York, or Tibet.
While not perhaps a laugh-out-loud book, Israel for Beginners is a cute book that is sure to bring a smile to your face and a nod to your head as you find yourself agreeing with the author's observations. Most important, while technically making fun of the Israelis, Colorni, who has been an Israeli since 1973, never belittles his compatriots nor does he turn them into caricatures. Rather he ably shows them how they are, wrinkles and all, without ever crossing that ephemeral line into negativity. As Colorni points out, Israelis are quirky, vivacious, and energetic, and once you get to know them and their 'ways' you will be drawn into their milieu, and will soon find yourself thinking and acting like a truly native Israeli. But before you embark on this epic journey, be sure to pick up your travel guide...
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