Acco is a bustling coastal city in northern Israel with a unique sense of ancient history, modern amenities, parks culture and community.
The city places an emphasis on the arts, and festivals of every kind are held throughout the year. Once again, the city that is centuries old, is following a vision to the future. The city welcomes Olim. Acco is an approved enterprise zone A, which means that among other benefits, residents receive a 13% income tax discount.
Most of Acco’s residents work within the city itself. There are numerous factories and industries housed in the city, including Rafael and Tambor, and several hotels and tourist businesses.
There are also Hi Tech and factories in Bar Lev Industrial park (15 minute drive) and Tefen industrial park. Many residents also choose to work in Haifa, a short communte away.
Accessibility to Employment
The city offers a wide variety of employment opportunities as well as frequent bus and train transportation to such cities as Haifa, Nahariya, Karmiel and Tel Aviv as well as to area office parks. Haifa is less than 30 minutes away by train and Tel Aviv is about an hour and a half away. Nahariya is a 15 minute drive and Karmiel is about a 25 minute drive away.
Although Acco has a mixed Jewish/Arab population, there are no schools with a mixed student body. The city is home to 20 schools, both religious and secular, including Shuvu, Noam, Beit Yaakov, and Amit, which go from 1st grade until 12th. There are also free day-care centers and Ganim (pre-schools) located within the city that charge around 300 NIS a month. Acco is also home to a Yeshivat Hesder and a Michlala where students can earn a BA or BS. There is also a Navy Officer training school and a center for education for adults aged 18-40, which hosts psychometric tests, higher education for soldiers. There is a Vocational training Center for Electronics, CNC, Metal Working, Soldering and more.
The city has an active chapter of the Bnei Akiva youth movement, as well as a “Noar Lomed V’Oved” group which provides recreational and group programs. About ten percent of Acco’s youth also study music in the city’s conservatory.
Acco is also the proud home of the Western Galilee College, which serve 4000 students from the ethnically and religiously diverse population of the entire Western Galilee.
It is possible to live in Acco without a car. Taxis cost 12 NIS anywhere within the city, and sheruts (shared taxis) and buses provide inter-city transportation to other locations such as to Nahariya, Karmiel, the Krayot and to Haifa. The Acco train station makes commuting easy to other cities in the country. Nahariya is less than 15 minutes by train, Haifa is less than 30 minutes away and Tel Aviv is about an hour and a half away.
There has been a huge upgrade and improvement in the road system in and around Acco. Highway 22, the new road that bypasses the congestion in the Krayot, makes it much easier to reach Haifa and beyond.
The city is well adapted to absorbing Olim from around the world. There is an Ulpan Aleph and and a business Ulpan for adults, as well as one for youth in the schools. The city has its own Aliyah klitah coordinator for Anglo Olim who assists Olim with school placement, Ulpan enrollment and rentals. Olim can also stay in a local hotel for free for the first two days while they look for rentals. As part of the city’s service, the Aliyah coordinator takes Oim around the different bureaucratic offices as well as stores in the area. The city also has an employment department which assists Anglo Olim and others in finding work. A young adults center has courses available in non-academic subjects such as computers
Acco is home to all the amenities and shopping opportunities one would expect to find in a mid-size city. The new Azrieli indoor mall offers an excellent shopping experience with all the name brand stores and restaurants. The nearest hospital is ten minutes away in Nahariya, or 15 minutes away (by train) in Haifa. It is also home to a hotel, five old-age homes, assisted living apartments, and a branch of the Ministry of Absorption. The city’s social services department is particularly strong. Additionally, there is a 5 dunam Archaeological Park, a music conservatory which hosts the city’s choir, a large beautiful sports and tennis park, and a country club which charges each member family 5000 NIS per year. The city’s coastal location provides for lots of beaches, including those with separate hours for men and women. The new boardwalk area is also a great addition to the city, where you can walk or jog along the sea. It includes a new commercial center which overlooks the sea.
Community and Religious Life
Acco is home to a heterogeneous community with a diverse population in terms of age range, culture, and religious observance. Its population boasts four religions. While the Jewish residents are primarily secular, there is a growing religious community, bolstered by the religious Garin that moved into the community around ten years ago. The Garin has around 75 families, who are spread out primarily in the Eastern area of the city. Joining the Garin means that you become part of a group which is dedicated to giving to the community. The Garin runs communal events and activities, has its own library, clubs, chesed organizations, charity and food distribution programs, and is involved with several of the city’s schools. For more information about the Garin, see the following links:
Acco is able to provide residents with a quality religious life. Every type of synagogue and religious affiliation is represented. There is also a large community of secular singles. Many cultural festivals and events take place throughout the year. The Mizrach (east) neighborhood, where about 97 percent of residents are Jewish, has both religious and secular residents with a very mixed atmosphere, and along with the religious Ganuf Tzafon neighborhood, is most ideal for Anglo Olim.
All areas of the city are currently expanding, although the rental market is a bit tight. In the more upscale HaKerem neighborhood, both private and row houses are available, with a five room townhouse costing around 750,000 – 1 million NIS, and a private villa being available for around 1,200,000 NIS.
Average price for purchasing a:
- 2 to 3 bedroom Apt: 550,000–1,000,000 NIS
- Semi-attached house/private house: 1,000,000–1,800,000 NIS
Average price for renting a:
- 1 bedroom Apt: 2,500 NIS
- 2 bedroom Apt: 3,000 NIS
- 3 bedroom Apt: 3,500NIS
The eastern part of town has a 97% Jewish population. Garuf Tzafon is a religious neighborhood on the eastern side. There is a brand new neighborhood on the northern edge of town called Tzfon Ha’Kerem. It has a mix of upscale apartments and semi-detached and private homes, nestled within a beautiful park and a new shopping center.