Alon Shvut was founded in 1970 with the goal of creating an intimate Torah community centered around Yeshivat Hesder Har Etizon. Many of the students and the teachers of the Yeshiva have made Alon Shvut their home.
In addition to Yeshivat Har Etzion and its affiliate Herzog Teacher's Seminary, Alon Shvut is also home to the Tzomet Institute for the study of Jewish law and science.
As one of the first settlements in the region, Alon Shvut is the seat of the Gush Etzion Regional Council.
Over 750 families live in the Yishuv, which is composed of two sections - the original neighborhood and the newer neighborhood.
|Alon Shvut Stats
|Region: Efrat & Gush Etzion - אפרת וגוש עציון
|Demographics: Young couples/Young families, Families, Retirees
|City Type: Yishuv ישוב
|Number of families: 750
Chardal, Dati Leumi
|Number of English speakers: 30%
Michael and Debra Berkowitz
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Cell: Michael: 052-379-0026, Debra: 052-545-6023
Married, Orthodox, with older children
Gad and Abby Dishi
Married, Orthodox, school-aged children
Most residents commute to places of work in Jerusalem, though some are employed throughout Gush Etzion by local institutions which include schools, Yeshivot, Health Clinics, and local businesses. In addition, a surprising percentage of residents work from home, primarily in web-based employment.
Alon Shvut is accessible to employment opportunities in Jerusalem, as it is a 15 minute drive (to the southern entrance to the city). Bet Shemesh is 25 minutes away. Tel Aviv is 1 hour away (without traffic). Many Tel Aviv commuters prefer to drive to the Bet Shemesh train station and take the train from there.
Education / Youth
There are preschool programs in both the older and newer neighborhoods. Most of the children on the Yishuv attend the local regional elementary school. Younger children are entitled to bus transportation from their homes, while older children often walk to school.
Some of the children attend other schools in Gush Etzion like Reishit and Orot Etzion. For high school, boys continue on to Yeshiva high schools in the region, travel to schools in Jerusalem, or attend dormitory schools.The girls continue on to local Gush Etzion schools or commute to schools in Jerusalem.
There are many afternoon activities in the nearby community center as well as active Bnei Akiva and Ariel chapters with separate groups for boys and girls.
Buses run hourly between Alon Shvut and Jerusalem. Within the community itself, it is very easy to walk from one neighborhood to the other. The majority of residents own a car.
English-speakers will find a welcoming community in Alon Shvut. The English speaking community, although large, is very close and frequently socializes over Shabbat. The community offers several classes taught in English, and there is an English-language book club.
Amenities / Services
There are several essential services available on the Yishuv. Gush Etzion's only bank is located in the commercial center of the old neighborhood, along with a well-stocked grocery and a Klalit clinic. There is a Kupat Cholim (Meuchedet) clinic and a library in the new section. For most other needs, Efrat is a five minute drive away.
The Gush Etzion pool is located on the Yishuv with separate swimming hours for men and women. There is also a gym in the same complex.
Community and Religious Life
The population of Alon Shvut is composed of both Dati-Leumi and Chardal families. Residents work in a variety of professions, although a disproportionate number of families have at least one family member employed in the field of education.
Residents characterize the Yishuv as a warm, Torah-centered community that actively supports its residents. There is a plethora of Shiurim (Torah study groups) and Minyanim (prayer groups) on the Yishuv for both men and women (including a women's Daf Yomi Shiur).
At the moment, there is a shortage of available housing in Alon Shvut. There are currently no plans to expand the Yishuv or to build new housing projects. Occasionally, an apartment or house is put up for sale.
For information, it is recommended that you join the community's email list (firstname.lastname@example.org) or contact the Vaad (community council) at 02-993-1188.
Alon Shvut has an 'old' neighborhood and a 'new' neighborhood. The neighborhoods are in short walking distance from one another.
Updated: Feb, 2013