Refaeli once dated Baywatch actor, David Charvet, and actor, Uri El-Natan. In November 2005, she began a relationship with Leonardo DiCaprio after meeting him at a party in Las Vegas thrown for members of U2. In the course of their trip to Israel in March 2007 the couple met with Israeli president Shimon Peres and visited Refaeli’s hometown of Hod HaSharon. The relationship ended in June 2009. Numerous reports indicated that, as of early 2010, the romance had been rekindled. In May 2011 it was reported that the couple had ended their romantic relationship, although they remain friends.
Refaeli’s relationship with DiCaprio caused one nationalist Israeli organization to send her a letter, later leaked to the press, in which she was asked, for the sake of “future generations of Jews”, not to marry a non-Jew, a request similar to the one made to Israeli 1998 Miss World winner Linor Abargil, a few years previously.
Refaeli told L’Isha that she prefers to keep a lower profile, but that she is out with DiCaprio much of the time. “I am there for him and I am at all the events”, she says. “I just don’t walk in hand-in-hand with him. I don’t see any reason. I don’t need to strike poses with him in front of the cameras. No one needs to know how we kiss”.
In 2007 it was reported that Refaeli had married a family acquaintance and divorced him soon after to avoid military service in the Israel Defense Forces, which is mandatory for both men and women over the age of 18. The Israeli Forum for the Promotion of Equal Share in the Burden threatened to boycott the fashion chain Fox if they hired Refaeli, but the two sides reached a compromise in which Refaeli agreed to visit injured IDF soldiers on visits to Israel and encourage enlistment in the army. Refaeli later stated, “I don’t regret not enlisting, because it paid off big time. That’s just the way it is: celebrities have other needs. I hope my case has influenced the army”. In 2009 fellow Israeli model Esti Ginzburg, while speaking in support of enlisting, criticized Refaeli for her evasion of military service. In 2011 Refaeli was featured on the cover of Italian GQ’s war-themed May 2011 issue.