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Affordable - and Beautiful - Israel


Dear Rabbi Brody,

I really want to make Aliya with my family, but people have been telling me that if I don't have a half million US bucks, I won't be able to get a decent apartment. I don't want a mortgage, and with property values in my area, I'll barely clear $200,000 when I sell my home. What can I possibly buy in Israel with that amount of money? Thanks for your time and attention, Gerald from Midwest USA

Dear Gerald,

if you're looking for a flat with in an American neighborhood of Ramat Bet Shemesh or Jerusalem's Ramat Eshkol or Har Nof, $500,000 is roughly what you'll pay. But, if you're willing to both live and think outside the Anglo-Israeli box, then you'll have some wonderful opportunities, where $200,000 or less will suffice.

Gorgeous places up north with growing observant communities are Maalot, Nazareth Illit, Tzefat and Kiriat Shemona.

As far as the south of Israel goes, Arad has the cleanest air in the world and it's also gorgeous. For $200,000 or less in Ashkelon, you can get an apartment in walking distance to the Mediterranean. If you go to a place like Ofakim or Yerucham, you can get a palace for $150,000 or less.

Contact my dear friends at Nefesh B'Nefesh, because there are usually several incentive programs for moving to the Galilee up north or to the Negev down south. Both are wonderful places to raise your family. Remember also that education here is virtually free, but you'll have to a bit of legwork to find the right schools for your children. It's well worth it. The younger they are, the easier they'll adapt. May Hashem help you succeed! Blessings always, LB


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Gavriela Weidner

Don't over look the Holy City of Tveria (Tiberias) on the shores of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). That amount of money will get you a beautiful apartment with gorgeous views of all the Golan, Safed, Galil and, of course, the always beautiful waters of the healing Kinneret. We are also in the NBN approved cities, so come and check us out. And, plenty of observant people!!


We should also point out that there is a large kehila of English speakers in Tsfat too. So one can find a place in the Anglo speaking Israeli box which is actually very affordable. And Tsfat has a new additional benefit. One no longer has to ritch ratch up the hill from Rosh Pina. The new highway (Hwy 89) gets one from the main highway between Tiverya and Kiryat Shemona (Hwy 90) to Tsfat in about ten minutes!!

Tiverya is also beautiful, but because parts of it are below sea level, the heat and humidity in the summer time might be difficult for some who are accustomed to cooler or drier climates. Personally, I love Arad too. The word arid probably comes from Arad. So if you like dry heat, Arad is great, and even if it overlooks Massada and the Dead Sea, Arad itself is about 600 meters above sea level.


And what are you planning to do for work? I am asking because that has been my my main obstacle.

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