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Reaching Israel: a Hyper-Connected Country

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The young generation of Israel is described as “hyper-connected” by researchers. The survey was funded by Google, to discover the internet and social networking habits of Israelis. As David Shamah noted in The Times of Israel, “The People of the Book can perhaps now be more accurately called “the People of the Facebook”.[1]

Finding Yeshua on Facebook

The survey, which was the most comprehensive survey of its kind to have ever been carried out in Israel, found that Israelis are engaging socially online far more than their American contemporaries[2]. 92% of young people up to the age of 18 use social networks, with three out of four 15-17 year olds logging in every single day, and are online for hours a day. Those aged 15-24 spend about a fifth of their time surfing the Internet on their mobile phones.
And it is not only the young Israelis who are spending a lot of time on the internet. More than a third of Israelis aged 55-64 connect to social networks either daily or several times a week, as do 22% of those 65 or older. Other studies have shown that Facebook is by far Israel’s most popular social media service [3] This is why we are eager to bring Yeshua to them where they are – on Facebook!

An opportunity to reach the unreached

Perhaps more surprising is that despite cultural and religious taboos, they found that almost a third of Israel’s Orthodox community are also online. Of those Orthodox internet users, 81% regularly watch videos like those on youtube. According to Dr Yuval Dror, Head of the Digital Marketing Track at the School of Media Studies at the College of Management, Academic Studies (COMAS) in Rishon Lezion, this is perhaps the first ever attempt to examine the internet habits of outlying groups like the Ultra Orthodox and Arab Israelis.
“Many of the innovations developed in Israel have enhanced the ability of users around the world to get online and communicate with each other, so it’s only fitting that there be a comprehensive study of the online habits of Israelis”, said Dr Yuval Dror. “This survey seeks to open the black box.”
The survey also tells us how important it is to have websites in Hebrew, since 81% adult Hebrew speakers prefer sites in Hebrew, and over a third of Hebrew speakers said they never surf to non-Hebrew sites. Fully 90% young Israelis enjoy watching online video clips, and so we make sure that we are providing relevant content where Jewish people can hear the gospel in their own language, with media that we know they enjoy.

Search and you will find, click and the message will be opened unto you

This research is an encouragement to us as our media center works hard to reach Israelis with video, internet and more. Our media center is dedicated to bringing their Messiah directly to their laptops and into their homes. The message is right there online, in their own language, whenever they want to search for Yeshua.
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord,
and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
(Jeremiah 29:13-14)

To hear exciting reports of how many Israelis are now hearing the gospel and responding to it through our media center, you can read our report (including great testimonies!) here.
 
[1] http://www.timesofisrael.com/study-young-on-line-israelis-hyper-connected-adults-not-far-behind/
[2] At a press conference on monday, results were shared about the detailed research, titled “Israel in the Digital Age.” The study was conducted by Dr. Dror, who also worked with statistician Sa’ar Gershon and the Mahshov Institute polling group. It is not the first study of Israeli internet use, but to date, none have so thoroughly analysed the activity of Israelis in social media, looking at online video viewing, engagement with local and foreign websites, and other factors such as income and education.
[3] http://www.socialbakers.com/facebook-statistics/israel

ONE FOR ISRAEL
ONE FOR ISRAELhttp://www.oneforisrael.org
ONE FOR ISRAEL is an initiative of native-born Israelis on the forefront of high-tech media evangelism, proclaiming salvation to Israel, raising up spiritual leaders through ONE FOR ISRAEL’s Bible College and equipping them with the tools they need to transform our communities.
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