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What to wear?

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United States
posts: 2
reviews: 2
What to wear?

I will be travelling to Jerusalem in late April/early May. Many of the tours I will be going on mention "appropriate dress," and I am wondering what exactly that means. Can I wear a sleeveless top or shorts (only 3-4 inches above the knee)? I want to be respectful, of course. Also, weather-wise, what would be best? Any advice is appreciated!

Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 9,423
reviews: 31
1. Re: What to wear?

For visiting religious sites you cannot wear sleeveless. Your sleeves should be at least midway between your shoulder and your elbow. Shorts won't work either, you need to be at least knee length.

Jerusalem
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 5,805
2. Re: What to wear?

Away from religious sites you can wear whatever you like. The weather at the end of April and beginning of May will be fairly warm, not very hot, with a very tiny chance of rain. It can be cool in Jerusalem in the evenings - a light jacket or cardigan is recommended, but you can definitely leave the winter woollies at home.

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv
posts: 4,461
reviews: 81
3. Re: What to wear?

If you wear sleeveless or short sleeves, bring a scarf with you that you can drape over your shoulders when you enter religious places. The scarf should be big enough that it will cover up to your elbows. Scarves can be very lightweight and roll up into your purse or bag when you don't need it. If your skirt is deemed too short , you will be offered a wrap in most places. You might actually have to 'rent' it for a couple of shekels but at least you will still be able to visit the site. You can't wear shorts into a church (men or women) but there are wraps available. You can carry a wrap around skirt with you if you are planning a mix of religious and non-religious sites during a single day and just put it on as needed.

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 24,093
reviews: 17
4. Re: What to wear?

Adding to Oreets description--the neckline for religious sites should be more modest. Assuming you are female, you should not be showing cleavage!

Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 2,542
reviews: 34
5. Re: What to wear?

Perhaps take a gauzy pareo that can be made into a makeshift wrap skirt or shoulder wrap. I wouldn't rely on there being a wrap made available to you at all sites.

If you don't want to schlepp this along, then wear either capris or a lightweight longish skirt and something with short sleeves.

United States
posts: 2
reviews: 2
6. Re: What to wear?

Thank you all for your responses! I don't dress provacatively at all, but will definitely need to add a few things/switch out some items.

Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 2,542
reviews: 34
7. Re: What to wear?

It seems that appropriateness of clothing for religious sites is simply measured by how much skin they cover, and where said skin is, and not how provocative or sexy the outfit is.

So a simple sleeveless shirt and knaki shorts (sporty/preppy/not at all provocative) will disqualify you from entry at certain sites, but if you show up in a sequinned form-fitting dress that covers shoulders and knees, you may be stared at, but you'll be let in.

Go figure. I guess it's easy to objectively measure sleeve lengths and skirt lengths, so those are the criteria used. "Provocative" is more subjective.

Edited: 7:49 am, February 17, 2013
8. Re: What to wear?

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