This fifty-year-old beach-side community is the fifth largest city in Israel. The active ports of Ashdod have made the city a household name for most new immigrants who are bringing their possessions to Israel by boat. The municipality of Ashdod is as concerned with the aesthetics of the city as it is with the internal functioning of its ministries, and the combination of these two fine-tuned characteristics make it an attractive city in which to begin a new life in Israel.
Equipped with every amenity that you would expect from a large city, its more affordable housing prices and excellent transportation has made it amongst the number one bedroom communities for those employed in the Tel Aviv area.
Ashdod has a large commercial center which provides many opportunities for employment within the city itself. Ashdod has a well-developed public transportation system and is in easy commuting distance to Tel Aviv.
Education / Youth
The vast majority of schools in Ashdod are Mamlachti (government-run, secular), although there are a small number of Mamlachti Dati (government-run, religious) schools. There is also a Chabad school in the Gimmel District, and several Beit Yaakovschools and Talmud Torahs for the Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) community. Noam andTzviya schools also exist.
There are special education classes around the city, but no special education school.
There are active chapters of Bnei Akiva, as well as Dati (religious) scouts. HaMichlalaL’Minhal is a local college associated with Ben Gurion University.
The city is centrally located, with access to buses and trains which travel all over the country. Tel Aviv is accessible by frequent buses, trains, and Sherut (shuttle) services, with buses taking around 50 minutes travel time, and trains around 20 minutes. There is also a bus line which travels to Jerusalem, with buses leaving every hour during the day, and a route that takes approximately 1 1/4 hours. Within Ashdod itself, it takes only 5 minutes to travel from any part of the city to the city center, and a car is not necessary for inner-city travel. There are plenty of cab companies, and an extensive inner-city bus line.
Ashdod’s English speakers are spread throughout the city, but are in touch with one another. The districts that have the largest English speaking presence are Alef and Dalet. In the Aleph District, there is a dynamic absorption center called Beit Canada that overlooks the beach. Although few English speaking Olim go to this absorption center, the staff is eager to meet the needs of those who do.
Ofek, an adult education center, offers a full range of Ulpanim for seniors and students of all ages. There is also a separate Ulpan for retirees. Tiyulim are offered for Ulpan students. Beit HaOleh is a third Ulpan facility, which frequently plans community trips.
In addition, there is an English speakers Club which meets every Friday for coffee. They are welcoming to new arrivals and help out where they can.
Amenities / Services
The city center is where the municipal buildings are located, along with two malls and two performing arts centers. A ballet company, symphony orchestra, and museum are all located within these cultural centers and are known for the quality of their performances.
All four health care providers are located throughout Ashdod, and a new hospital is expected to open in 2018. Assuta Hospital in Tel Aviv currently handles most major medical services. The Unitrade building in the city center hosts many doctors, dentists and other medical services, while nearby Machon Mor is the location for x-ray specialists.
The city center is truly the hub of action for the city and is immaculately clean and visually appealing. The center also houses a special clubhouse and activity center for blind residents.
In August there is a music festival held on the beach for two nights. In addition, Ashdod holds the White Nights arts festival during the summer.
Community and Religious Life
Ashdod has a high population of Russian and French Olim. While every population has its own areas, there is no district where only one population dominates, reflecting the city’s value that all residents be integrated into all districts of the city. Every Aizor (district) has a Matnas (community center), and every Matnas has senior adult programming.
There are many parks enhanced by sculptures and manicured public areas.
Among the English speaking families, there is a wide mix of backgrounds and Jewish affiliations. Most synagogues in Ashdod are Orthodox, however, there is also an active Conservative and an active Reform synagogue.
Please note: There is a range of prices in Ashdod, with the older neighborhoods generally being cheaper and the downtown and Marina areas generally being more expensive.
2 bedroom apartment: Approximately 2,900 NIS
3 bedroom apartment: Approximately 3,700 NIS
4 bedroom apartment: Approximately 4,700 NIS
2 bedroom apartment: Approximately 805,000 NIS
3 bedroom apartment: Approximately 1,100,000 NIS
4 bedroom apartment: Approximately 1,350,000 NIS
5 bedroom apartment: Approximately 1,700,000 NIS
Ashdod is divided into 18 neighborhoods. Zayin and Gimmel are primarily Haredi areas, and are similar in their population and communal life to the city of Bnai Brak.