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Migdal HaEmek


Migdal HaEmek, best translated as “The Tower of the Valley” is so called because of its geographical location. The city stands as a tower, overlooking Emek Yizrael (the Jezreal Valley), the Carmel mountains, and the Lower Galilee. Although situated only 280 meters in altitude, the views that can be seen surrounding the city are breathtaking.

Migdal HaEmek was founded in 1953 as a Ma’abara, a camp for refugee Jews arriving to Israel in the early 1950’s. Over time, the Ma’abara grew and became a small town; today it is a mid-size city, with all the amenities of city life. Almost half of Migdal HaEmek's population is foreign born, with about 30% being new immigrants. Residents, both foreign-born and native Israelis, originate primarily from Russia, the Caucasus, Ethiopia, Morocco, Iraq and a small group of Olim from South America.

Migdal HaEmek Stats
Region: North - צפון Climate: Valley/Low mountain
Demographics: Young couples/Young families, Families, Retirees Medical care:
Maccabi, Clalit, Leumit
City Type: Small city/Large town עיר קטנה/עירה Affordability: $$
Sectors:
Chabad, Chardal, Conservative, Dati Leumi, Secular
 
Number of English speakers: 2% Population: 28000
Community contacts:
Sharona Stanhill
sstanhill@nbn.org.il
04-953-6297 or 054-565-5423
Regional Klitah Coordinator, Go North
Website: http://www.migdal-haemeq.muni.il/
Listserv: gonorthnbn@yahoogroups.com
Local Employment
Migdal HaEmek is known as the ”Silicon Valley of Israel". Many hi-tech Israeli and global hi-tech companies are located in the area in three industrial parks. The companies located there include: Tower Semiconductors (foundry), RSL (Control and Diagnostic solutions for defense and commercial applications), KLA Tencor (inspection tools), CI Systems (electro-optical test systems, non contact temperature sensors and wet chemistry analyzers), Nilit (Nylon for textile industry), Vishay (discrete and passive semiconductors components) and many others. The northern industrial park is characterized by environmentally friendly hi-tech companies.

Accessibility to Employment
In addition to being a large employment center, Migdal HaEmek is also only 10 minute drive to Nazeret Illit, a 15 minute drive to Afula, and a 25 minute drive to Yokneam Illit, allowing for an easy commute to several employment centers. The commute to Haifa is 45 minutes, while the drive to Tel Aviv is 1 hour 45 minutes.

Education / Youth
The city has a large choice of pre-school facilities and more than 40 kindergartens of al types. There are 4 mamlachti (secular) grades schools, 1 mamlachti-dati (religious) grade school, one special education school, and also independent hareidi schools. There are two junior high schools, and one large high school in the city, which boasts a matriculation rate of above 70% (above the national average). There are also a number of Yeshivot in Migdal Haemek, including a Habad yeshiva. In Migdal Haemek there is also a large Habad grade school for boys (grades one through eight) with boys coming from all over the area. There is a smaller Habad girl’s school.
There are a number of special projects that have been developed in the local schools, such as the Center for Excellency in the city’s high school. Another project in one of the junior high schools encourages and facilitates the use of laptop computers and the latest computer technology by each student.

Transportation
There is frequent bus service to Tel Aviv, and one daily bus to Jerusalem. There are also two inner-city bus lines, run by Kavim.

Olim Services
Misrad Haklita (Ministry of Immigrant Absorption) has a branch in Migdal HaEmek, which is open four days a week. There is also an Ulpan offered to new Olim in the city center.

Amenities / Services
The city has an award-winning dance troupe, a variety of dance classes for youth and adults, a music program, a performing choral group, sports fields and a sports center. There is a cultural center which hosts programs from around the country, a municipal library and a special center with activities for the elderly.

On the northern outskirts of the city, lies a large 35 dunam outdoor park; on the southern edge lies the Balfour Forest, consisting of 4,300 dunams of forest, including walking paths and a 15 kilometer circular bike path. In the center of the city there is an antiquities park, including 15 ancient wine presses, and findings from the Roman and Byzantine period.

Health services include clinics from Kupat Cholim Clalit, Leumit and Maccabi. The Afula HaEmek Hospital is located a 15 minute drive from the city.

Community and Religious Life
Thirty percent of the population in Migdal Haemek is religious, with a large Chareidi population and a Chabad community. The city’s Chief Rabbi, 2004 Israel Prize winner Rabbi Yitzhak David Grossman, won the prize for his social service work and outreach programs specifically geared toward Migdal Haemek's youth. Rabbi Grossman has also established the non-for-profit organization, Migdal Or, which helps bring blind people to higher functioning levels and employment levels; Migdal Or’s main branch is based in Migdal Haemek.

Real Estate
Rental prices vary, depending on the neighborhood. A four room (3 bedroom) apartment rents for 2000-2500 NIS, in the newer neighborhoods. A villa in this same area rents for 3000-3500 NIS. A two-story 160 square meter newly built house sells for 1,050,000 NIS, and an additional 350,000-500,000 for the land. A new four bedroom apartment sells for 550,000 NIS.

Updated: November, 2010