On a momentous and perhaps once-in-a-lifetime trip such as one to Israel, it’s common to want to take home souvenirs from Israel to remember your time and share with others about your visit to Israel.
Many participants ask if there will be time for shopping and yes, all of our guides and drivers make sure to allow for ample time to get your souvenirs from Israel. Another question is about what to buy and where. Here’s some ideas for souvenirs from Israel:
Food Souvenirs from Israel
The food in Israel is often one of the things that people talk about when they’ve visited. Fresh fruits and vegetables are always on the menu at your hotels’ buffets. The food can also make wonderful souvenirs from Israel. Some examples are olive oil from the Galilee, dates or date honey, known as silan, from the Judean Desert or spices from the Old City. Za’atar is also a popular spice mixture that will immediately bring the smells and tastes of Israel back to your memory.
Olive Oil and Wood Souvenirs from Israel
Olive wood is a very important symbolic wood when it comes to the Bible. The trees of course bear the olive fruit that is so needed for its oil for a variety of purposes, especially in ancient Israel. It was used for not only cooking but also for worship with anointing oil, and oil for lamps including the menorah in the Temple. The celebration of Chanukah is regarding the olive oil for the menorah lasting longer in miraculous fashion when the Maccabees took over the Temple again and restored it to the worship of God. It makes for great souvenirs from Israel as well.
You can get olive oil raised in the Galilee region at a variety of locations, including even in the airport if you start to head home and realize you forgot to pick some up!
Olive wood carvings are very popular souvenirs from Israel. Craftsmen carve simple crosses to elaborate nativity scenes. Many people buy these scenes when in Bethlehem, where many of the carvers live. You should take care in what you are purchasing and look for “Made in China” so you know what you are buying. Your guide will be able to help you make sure you are buying an authentic carving.
Jewelry Souvenirs from Israel
Jewelry will are wonderful souvenirs from Israel. You can get a variety of beautiful and meaningful pieces throughout Israel. A cross from Israel is very meaningful and can be made from olive wood, Eilat stone, or gold.
Did you diamonds are a major export from Israel? Tiberias is a diamond center of the world!
The City of David has very unique pieces that are designed after items found in the archeological digs that are ongoing there. You can get a pair of earring found that was over two-thousand years old. You can also get a necklace of the priestly blessing found on the silver scroll there with Numbers 6:24-25 written on it from the First Temple period.
‘“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;”
Lotion Souvenirs from Israel
Another popular gift from Israel are cosmetic lotions from the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is very well known for it’s mineral rich waters and the effects it has on the health of those who float in it, including their skin. Many people take home lotions from various sites in the region to continue the skin benefits. Ahava (which means “love” in Hebrew), and Premiere are two well known brands of the products.
Antiquity Souvenirs from Israel
Yes, you can buy a piece of history and take it home with you! While many places in the world ban the sale of items of historical value, Israel is actually very lenient. You can buy coins, seals, pottery and oil lamps to name a few. However, buyer beware of possible forgeries! It is very important to buy from a reputable seller to assure authenticity. Your guide will be able to share with you a good place to buy such items from and how to spot possible forgeries. In general, the Christian quarter is known to have more authentic offerings.
While it is legal to purchase these items, it is only legal to do so from an authorized dealer who’s inventory is verified and been inspected by the Israel Antiquities Authority to ensure that all items are not of possible historical uniqueness.
These are just a few of the many souvenirs from Israel you can keep for your own recollections or share as treasured gifts. We hope you will come and make your own memories very soon!