Where to live

We are trying to decide the best place for our family to live if we move back to Israel. We've had a great year in Modiin and have lots of really good friends and my parents here so it would be hard not to come back. The biggest problem here is that we're not crazy about the options for schools. The school for our kids this year worked out really well for them and we don't regret the decision at all but we don't think it's the best long-term answer for them. Another problem with our current neighborhood is that the price of houses is really high.

When we came to Israel for five weeks a year and a half ago, we spent a Shabbos in five different communities and didn't decide where we wanted to live. We spent a weekend in Beit Shemesh and Ramat Beit Shemesh and considered BS a possibility of where we'd eventually settle. Now there is a new community starting there that looks like it will be really excellent. Our biggest fear is that it will probably be (almost) all Americans living there and it will make it hard for our kids to learn Hebrew and feel like real Israelis.

On Sunday night, Shira and I went to the Blass Bar Mitzvah in Beit Shemesh and we were talking to recent olim who live there. One family that came two years ago said that their kids still don't really know Hebrew because they only interact with English speaking kids. That really scared us from living there. It's a tough decision because it would make life easier in the short-term to live amongst Americans but I think for long-term success we'd probably be better living in a mixed community with American olim and natural born Israelis.

So the search continues. We haven't ruled out Modiin or Beit Shemesh but would like to check out other options. Every community has its benefits and drawbacks and it won't be an easy decision but it's something that we need to consider carefully. We went through the same basic process when we moved from St. Louis. We could have moved anywhere in the US and checked out many different communities before ultimately settling on Baltimore. We're very happy with that decision.


Anonymous said...

#1 consideration should be the pace where you will be able to find the best chavrusa. And "best" should be measured based on rotisserie baseball skills.

shtumpik said...

Sounds to me like I may be able to weasle my way out of buying the Gershman's dinner.

In response to Anonymous, the best chavrusa would be in Baltimore. Sorry.