34.4 percent of the Israeli population is aged 18 or below, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics (2011). Israeli youths generally live in a secure environment with their families and friends. They usually stay at school until at least the age of 16. The lives of Jewish youths are influenced from a young age by their preparation for military service. At 16 years, youngsters are called up for an initial interview. In secondary school, a military official is often available to inform the students about the opportunities when entering the military and about the importance of military service.
After the compulsory service, most Israeli youngsters head off around the world on trips to relax and enjoy some freedom. Most go to India, Thailand, Australia or New Zealand. In some of these countries the young Israelis have become notorious for being disrespectful and rude to the local population. Some places, in India for example, have signs saying that Israelis are not welcome. The leisure activities of youngsters, as in most other places around the world, revolve around sports, going out to pubs and clubs, sitting in coffee bars and going to the cinema.