City Type: Major City
Demographics: Retirees, Young Families
Religious Makeup: Chabad, Chardal, Conservative, Dati Leumi, Haredi, Reform, Secular
Affordability: $$$$ (range 1 to 5)
The average annual percentage of humidity is: 53.0%
Jerusalem is Israel’s capital city, with a variety of neighborhoods and populations. It is home to many holy and historical sites, as well as many modern-day features for locals and visitors. Restaurants, shopping, museums, and houses of worship are found throughout the city, which boasts a high percentage of green space in parks and recreational facilities. The home of a vibrant night life, Jerusalem often hosts music, food, and cultural festivals and events. Among the many neighborhoods with unique character, are several urban and suburban communities especially popular among English speakers. Haredi Jews and Arabs make up a large part of the local population, with along with Jews of other affiliations, Christians, and others. High birth rates make the population relatively young.
Apartment living is the norm for most Jerusalem residents, but private homes and villas can be found for a price. Architectural styles vary, with a fair share of Bauhaus, Arab style buildings amid the traditional Mediterranean and modern construction. There are many home sizes and configurations to choose from. More central areas with higher percentages of English speakers are generally more costly, with proximity to businesses that cater to English speaking residents and visitors. Lower-cost properties are found more frequently outside the center of the city.
Housing prices vary widely, based on location, features, and condition, but recent searches yielded these prices for apartment rentals and purchases:
|Type||Size (Sq. Meters)||Rent||Purchase|
Local buses and light rail offer good connections to most parts of the city. Taxis, shared car services, and private cars abound, leading to some traffic congestion and the rising popularity of bicycles, electric bikes, and scooters. The city is a hub for intercity bus routes, and a high-speed rail line now connects Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. Within the city, it is certainly possible and practical for many people to avoid car ownership and the accompanying expense and parking difficulty.
Jerusalem is a center of employment in many industries, but many residents commute to work in Tel Aviv, where higher salaries are offered. Many people are employed in education, health, hospitality, and public administration.
A very wide range of elementary and secondary education options are available, with public and semi-private schools offering quality secular and religious education. Many schools attract students from other neighborhoods, and it is common to see children and teens traveling between home and school on foot, in vans, and on public transportation. Higher education options abound, including many colleges in a variety of specialties, and two Hebrew University campuses.
Services for Olim
Jerusalem has an office dedicated to helping Olim and provides services in a variety of languages, including English. This can be very valuable for enrolling children in school, handling business with the local and national government, and other activities where knowledge of Hebrew is needed. Many other organizations and services exist to ease the transition, including an English-language version of the Jerusalem municipal website, numerous Ulpan options, and job-related services. Nefesh B’Nefesh operates and office in the Givat Shaul neighborhood. The O.U. Israel office is on the Rechavia neighborhood. The Jewish Agency and AACI have their main offices in the city center.
Government service offices are distributed throughout the city. Parks, museums, recreational facilities, and historical/religious sites abound. Jerusalem has a large number of congregations across the full spectrum of Judaism. Many neighborhoods are home populations that share religious affiliation, and with local synagogues, schools, shops, and restaurants suited to their preferences.
Amenities & Attractions
In addition to the well-known Old City and holy sites, Jerusalem features a range of museums, parks, and cultural venues. Shopping and dining are plentiful and varied, with the famous Mahane Yehuda Market (Shuk), malls, and local shops. The city center has a concentration of unique eateries and shops on and around Ben Yehuda Street. Neighborhood tours, a sports arena, zoo, and other attractions abound.
Jerusalem Immigrant Absorption website – jerusalem.muni.il/en/residents/aliyah-in-jerusalem
OU Israel – ouisrael.org
Secret Jerusalem Facebook Group – facebook.com/groups/secretjerusalem