Greeting Norms

There are several ways to say “hello” in Hebrew. The most familiar way to say hello is neither formal nor informal and known by just about everybody. And you can use the same word to say goodbye, too:


Shalom/Hello or Goodbye (literally means peace)

Oh, and super easy:


Hi! Hi

This greeting is obviously very informal and more likely to be spoken amongst acquaintances.


Communication styles

Of course, it is hard to characterize everyone that speaks Hebrew the same way. But, generally, Hebrew-speakers are not very formal in social interactions, especially with friends and family.

Sometimes, they can be seen as blunt because they are direct and to the point. But, it really can be attributed to the way that Hebrew is written and spoken. In English we tend to use a lot of words. Hebrew is typically characterized by its brevity. In English, we might say “May I please have a cappuccino?” In Hebrew it would be, “efshar cappuccino”? (literally “it’s possible, cappuccino?”) As in any language, how you say something is as important as what you say. Also, they appreciate honesty and direct speech.

Personal space and touching

While talking to one another it is normal to stand close to each other. And physical interaction is seen as normal, especially amongst acquaintances. Religious persons, may keep a greater distance, as a sign of respect, and not touch those of the opposite sex.

Eye contact and gestures

Direct eye contact while speaking is a sign of respect and interest in the other person. Although it is possible that a religiously observant person may avoid contact with someone of another gender.

Hebrew Culture Reference Guide

Hebrew Population in the United States

Hebrew Interpretation and Translation Services

Volatia is a leading provider of professional Hebrew interpretation and translation services. Whether you are in the United States or anywhere else in the World, Volatia is uniquely capable of bridging all of your Hebrew language and cultural barriers. The secret sauce is our proprietary technology, coupled with our vast network of qualified professional interpreters and translators.

Click here to watch a one minute video of a recent innovation we pioneered.

Among the many reasons to choose Volatia for your language access program, below are a few to consider:

   1. We support more than 280 languages ondemand. Simply download our mobile app or login our online portal to request or schedule your language needs or connect to an interpreter within seconds.

   2. We’re local. Volatia employs Hebrew interpreters and translators in all 50 U.S. States, with a major interpreter contact center network in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Texas, and Virginia.

   3. We’re always available. We offer 24/7 ondemand support for Hebrew interpretation and translation needs. In addition to our Hebrew phone and video interpreter services, you can also access onsite or in-person Hebrew interpreters.

   4. We have a broad range of experience. We provide qualified Hebrew Interpreters and translators in healthcare, government, legal, and a host of other industries.

Hebrew Language Solutions

Although there are many Hebrew dialects, the main dialects are Ashkenazi (Europeanized, General Israeli) Sephardic Hebrew (Arabaized, Yemenite Hebrew).

Ashkenazi Hebrew (Standard or Europeanized Hebrew)

Ashkenazi Hebrew is spoken by Ashkenazic Jews, strongly influenced by Yiddish and German. It is still widely used in Ashkenazi Jewish religious services and studies in Israel and abroad, particularly in the Haredi and other Orthodox communities.

Sephardic Hebrew

Sephardic Hebrew is spoken by Sephardi Jews, whose ancestors come from areas around the Mediteranean Sea like Portugal, Spain, Northern Africa and Middle eastern countries. Modern (also called Israeli) Hebrew is based on Sephardic pronunciation.

Most of the differences between the two dialects are based on the pronunciation. For example, the letter ת at the end of the word and certain other positions is pronounced as  “t” rather than “s.” So, the word “Shabbos” for Sabbath in Ashkenazi is pronounced “Shabbat” in Sephardic. Also, in Sephardic and Israeli pronunciation, the stress is placed on the final syllable. In Ashkenazi, the next to last.

All Hebrew dialects use a word root system usually consisting of three consonants (sometimes four) to which the 12 vowel markers and other consonants are added to derive words of different parts of speech and meaning. The language is written from right to left in a Semitic script of a 22 consonant-only writing system called abjad.

Hebrew Dialects

Modern Hebrew, sometimes called Israeli Hebrew, along with Arabic, is the official language of the state of Israel and British Palestine, spoken by, as of 2013, by 9,000,000 people worldwide, about 5,000,000 in Israel. However, there is a vast population of people that speak Hebrew all over the world including in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Palestinian West Bank and Gaza, Panama, the UK, the US and others.

Countries Where Hebrew is the Official Language

  • Israel

The largest population of fluent speakers is found in the United States, about 220,000. The while there are hebrew speaking persons in all of the US, the states with the highest population of Hebrew speakers are:

Of course, each of the 50 states is home to many Hebrew but the ones listed stand out based on annual data from the American Community Survey published by the U.S. Census Bureau

Taste the culture with our featured restaurants

Food is ingrained in our social landscape, from holiday gatherings to meeting friends for lunch at your local restaurant.  It brings people from a variety of cultures together. It is also a fantastic vehicle for learning about people with different backgrounds.  Food connects us to our family, our homeland, and our roots. Advancing cultural appreciation and awareness through food is the most sincere form of acknowledgment and acceptance. Below is a list of restaurants that continue to foster these ideals within their communities: