Working Hours in Israel
The Israeli work week is from Sunday through Thursday, although some few offices are also open on Friday mornings. The weekend for most office staff is Friday and Saturday. At Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, courses are held and administrative offices are open from Sunday through Thursday.
Stores in Israel are generally open from Sunday through Friday afternoon. Some malls and stores also open for Saturday shopping, and many malls and stores are open on Saturday evenings.
Currency and Banks
The Israeli currency is the new Israeli shekel (NIS). Banknotes circulate in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 NIS, and coins in 10, and 50 Agorot and 1, 2, 5, and 10 Shekels. (One Israeli Shekel = 100 Agorot). You can check the daily exchange rate for foreign currencies here, or buy using this Currency Converter.
Bank accounts can be opened at all banks using your passport details. If you are receiving payment from the university, you must open a local account for the direct deposit of your salary.
Beer-Sheva is served by many banks which also have overseas branches and will be happy to advise you with up-to-date information. Most of the main banks such as Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, Bank Mizrachi and Bank Discount are located in the Old City, with additional branches in other parts of the city and suburbs.
Bank Hapoalim, one of Israel's major banks, maintains a full branch office on the main BGU Marcus Family Campus, which is open during the following hours:
Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday 08:30-13:15
Monday, Thursday 08:30-13:00 and 16:00-18:30
As these hours change from time to time, please check the hours posted at the entrance to the bank.
This Branch office has three ATM's at your service: Two near the main entrance of the bank and another in the basement of the Zlotowski Student Center, next to the Academon store.
Avoid keeping large amounts of money in your pockets; automatic tellers are available almost everywhere for NIS withdrawals.
Deposit cash and Travelers Checks in a bank when you arrive in Israel.
All non-residents and newly arrived BGU guests and visitors are allowed to open foreign currency accounts. Funds are generally withdrawn and converted into Shekels only when needed, thereby maintaining their original value.
In addition to sending letters and buying stamps, many extra services are offered by the post office: you can pay your utility bills, send and receive money wires, exchange currency and buy phone cards.
The nearest post office is located on the Marcus Family Campus, behind the Pesla Toman Gutman Building (#32), tel 08-6278735.
It is open from Sunday through Thursday: 08:00-15:30.
A mobile phone account can be arranged with the following companies:
Orange, Cellcom and Pelephone, all of them located at the Big Shopping Center, five minutes by taxi from the campus.
Public telephones in Israel require the use of a prepaid telephone card. They are available at all post offices and in some kiosks. Costs are as follows:
20 unit card - NIS 12
50 unit card - NIS 26.5
120 unit card - NIS 56.5
240 unit card – NIS 110
The following agency is located on the main campus:
ISSTA, near the Gershon Cherni Classroom and Cultural Complex (#90), tel. 08-6207600
We recommend that you arrive in Israel with prearranged health insurance from your home country.
The closest shopping centers to the campus are the Big Shopping Center, One Shopping Center, Seventh Avenue Shopping Center and the Kenyon HaNegev Mall, which are a five-minute drive/twenty minute walk from the BGU Marcus Family Campus. There you can find supermarkets, pharmacists, shops, restaurants, cafes and cinemas.
Maps and Directions
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