AU PAIR CULTURE QUESTS
The following information is generalized and compiled from questions posed to the agents and interviewers in Israel. Although au pairs from this country may or may not have had these experiences/beliefs, Au Pair in America wishes to share this general information with our families.
Child Care Skills
- Applicants usually gain their childcare experience through babysitting or working in a kindergarten.
- It is very common for Israeli applicants to have experience looking after younger family members.
- Many young Israelis work with children at kindergartens and schools during their National Service.
- Most Israeli families have a father, mother, and at least three children. Most parents work during the day, so grandparents play a big part in taking care of the children.
- It is quite common that their extended family lives in the same city. Relationships with grandparents, aunts and uncles are strong.
- Approximately 40% of applicants are kosher, and 10% are Orthodox.
- The English level of Israeli applicants is generally very high. English is a second language in Israel.
- English is a mandatory subject at school (for at least eight years).
- The American culture is very influential in Israel, and thus English is heard in movies and music. Movies are usually shown in English and subtitles are added.
- The minimum driving age in Israel is 17.
- Drivers must take at least 30 hours of driving lessons with a certified instructor and then pass a written exam and a driving test. For the first 6 months of having a license, a driver is considered “young” and must drive with an experienced driver in the car.
- The roads in Israel are good and are similar to the roads in Europe and the U.S. Most cars have automatic transmission.
- In Israel, students receive their Matriculation Certificate after 12 years in school.
- The standard of education is high, but there are a lot of students per class.
- There are not many private schools in Israel.
- The health system in Israel is one of the most advanced in the world.
- Israel has a mandatory health insurance for all Israeli citizens. Every Israeli citizen that travels abroad is still insured in Israel.
- Most citizens have additional insurance policies to be extra safe.
- Israeli applicants usually do to their au pair year after two years of military service or social service.
- Israeli applicants are generally quite independent, responsible, and mature. They already have had many experiences in life and are capable of dealing with stressful conditions.
- Israelis stand up for their rights but will also open up to those who value and respect them.
- Israeli people are said to be like the “sabres fruit” (“prickly pear,” a cactus that grows in Israel) – tough on the outside but very sweet on the inside.
- Sometimes, Israeli names can sound strange and uncommon in English and applicants “adopt” new names in the USA. For example the common name “Hen” is another word for chicken in English.
- There are no known epidemics in Israel.
- How are you? Ma Shlomcha?
- Fine, thanks. Tov Toda.
- My name is… Hh Shem Sheli…
- Nice to meet you. Nechmad lifgosh otach.
- Thank you. Toda.
“ It is an experience for life with memories that will go with you wherever you go.”– Moriah – au pair from Israel
“I recommend it very much. It makes you stronger, smarter, and independent.” – Olga – au pair from Israel
“I would say that being an au pair was the most life changing experience I ever had. It made me realize what’s important in life and made me appreciate myself much more.” – Anat – au pair from Israel
“I like the opportunity to see American life as an insider, to come to know the traditions and customs, approach to bringing up children, managing the household, learning peculiarities of eveyday language, American cuisine, and just the chance to hear from the children I love you.”
Ekaterina, au pair