1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? In the Metro Tel Aviv Area, Israel, in a city of about 40 000 people
2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES? In my town synagogue memberships /attendance are higher than in TA proper. Most families I know maintain membership in a synagogue, and most synagogues have a decent attendance. Even though TA is possibly the least religious area in Israel, there are many, many synagogues serving all people from all branches of Judaism. There is one synagogue every few blocks. There are several Mosques, and a few Christian churches in the city, with more, small Christian congregations that don’t have their own church buildings. There is one Roman Catholic church that I actually remember, in Yafo. There are Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormon presence in the Metro area as well.
3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? As for Jews there are certain outward signs of one’s religiousness, and secular Jews using expressions such as “Baruch Hashem” without hesitation, it would be okay for someone to bring up their Christian faith, though it would be highly unusual, with about 1% of TA being Christian, and way, way, way less of the population of my city practicing any brand of Christianity. Any kinds of witnessing, however, would be considered tasteless and extremely rude.
4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? Most of the politicians in the country are Jewish or Muslim, with a couple of Arab Christians in various Arab parties. There are several religious parties, like Shas, an ultra-orthodox Sephardi party. Currently the coalition is made up of conservative/centrist, moderate Jews, who are, as far as I am aware, nominally Orthodox.
5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? It depends where you are. In Ultra-Orthodox and Arab neighbourhoods 3+ kids is the norm. In the upper-middle-class area where I live, 2 or 3 are common. The government provides a stipend after children, so you will find more children in families in the Ultra-Orthodox communities that largely depend on government assistance.
6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? Judaism and Judaism. Nominally Orthodox Judaism, mostly modern Orthodox/Religious Zionism in my immediate area. My town was established in 1923 by Polish Jews, and still has very little non-Jewish population, less than 2%, and that already includes the Russian Olim, who are not halakhially Jewish, but don’t practice any other religion, either.
7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? Tel Aviv is a bubble within Israel that has a lot of different attitudes from the rest of the country. It is the most (or really, the only) gay friendly city in the middle east. It is a business, educational and cultural centre in the country. Orthodoxy is not very strong here, and there is little ultra-orthodox presence. The expense of living, especially rent, is unrealistically high, so while people like living here, they can struggle with the burden of financial obligations. Generally, people seem happy, with or without religion.
See more at: Conversion Diary.