Modern Israel is a special place. It is ancient and holy to billions of people, and at the same time is home to some of the most vibrant, creative, fun-loving, and forward thinking communities in the world.

In a country the size of New Jersey, you will find culture, cuisine, art, and music from all over the globe. In one day you can go from swimming at the beach, to touring an ancient holy site, to taking in beautiful natural landscapes, to dancing the night away at any number of hedonistic bars and nightclubs.

At the same time, life in Israel isn't always easy. Israelis face many of the same domestic challenges as other democratic societies, along with some unique ones of their own. Israelis are required to do army service, because they have faced hostility, violence, and threats to their existence ever since they became independent in 1948. They have fought for peace, and signed agreements with Jordan and Egypt. Their struggle to end the conflict with the Palestinians and other neighboring states continues to this day.

Yet, despite these challenges, Israelis have survived and thrived. They celebrate life, and constantly find ways to make their society and the world a better place.