Located on the coast, Haifa is a large, pluralistic, and multicultural city. While it is an economic center, Haifa offers a relaxed and unhurried lifestyle, a rich cultural life, and resources for all ages.
Haifa is friendly to Olim: it has a veteran English-speaking community as well as the largest number of Russian immigrants proportionate to its size . There is a small but steady stream of English speaking Olim and many services are available for new immigrants through the municipality and the Ministry of Absorption. The Kiryat Yam Sapir Absorption Center is located close by.
The city also has dynamic scientific and economic sectors, an excellent education system, and leading academic institutions.
Haifa offers many new employment opportunities. It is home to the Matam Industrial Center,Israel’s largest hi-tech industrial park (with Intel, Microsoft, Amdocs, Google, Yahoo, Elbit, IBM etc) at the entrance to the city. The city is also home to Haifa University, the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology, heavy industry in Haifa Bay Area, the Israel Electric Company, Rafael (government munitions R&D), Oil Refineries, Haifa Chemicals, and numerous other places of employment. For those working outside of the city, trains run to Tel Aviv, Netanya, Yokneam, Karmiel, and other areas, and the ride generally takes less than one hour.
Education / Youth
Haifa has a wide range of educational institutions, from nursery to university, including programs for special-needs children.
There are extensive secular educational options throughout the city, while a range of religious educational institutions are centered in the Ahuzza and Neve Sha’anan neighborhoods.
Ganim: there are excellent religious Ganim available in both neighborhoods and some of the secular Ganim have rich traditional programs.
Elementary Schools: the Carmel School (Netiv Eliezer) is a government religious elementary school for boys and girls in Ahuzza with a religious Zionist orientation. Some of the elementary school age children in Ahuzza attend the Barkai school (run by a national religious school organization) which runs separate classes for boys and girls, and is located in Kiryat Eliezer – about 15 minutes away from Ahuza and Neve Sha’anan.
In Neve Sha’anan, there is an excellent local municipal religious elementary school for boys and girls, as well as a private one.
High Schools: Ironi Vav is the municipal religious girl’s high school located in Neve Sha’anan. There is also a Tzvia High School (run by a National Religious school organization) for girls, located in the Hadar. For boys, Yavne is the municipal religious high school and it is relatively close to both neighborhoods. Bereshit High School for boys (run by a national religious school organization) is also easily accessible.
In addition, there are a number of outstanding secular high schools (Reali, Alliance, Hugim and Leo Beck) nearby, as well as municipal high schools.
There are very active Bnei Akiva chapters in the neighborhoods of Ahuzza, Neve Sha’anan and Kiryat Shmuel for children from fourth grade through high school. There are also local chapters of the Scouts.
Intra city buses cover the city in its entirety, and there is a cable car to connect the upper part of the city to the lower part. The Metronit is a rapid transit transit tram line that runs along three different routes, with stations covering a total distance of approximately 42 kilometers. It connects the suburban Krayot area with Haifa from the Carmel Beach Central Station to Hadar. There is also a short subway/funicular line, called the Carmelit.
There are buses to all destinations in the country. The six railway stations throughout the city also connect travelers to destinations throughout Israel. Travelling to Tel Aviv and other transportation hubs is a viable option for many commuters.
Haifa offers extensive benefits for new Olim:
- Support from the Municipal Coordinator upon your arrival.
- Employment counseling, assistance, and services.
- Temporary housing options:
- Subsidized rental apartments, available upon arrival for a period of 2 to 4 weeks.
- Discount on Haifa municipal taxes (Arnona) for Olim (90 per cent on the first 100 sq. m. for 12 months of the 24 month immigration period; and a discount for returning residents in accordance with their income level).
- Extra hours in addition to the basic 5-month Ulpan. Haifa also has a residential Ulpan option for 22 to 35 year olds with an academic degree: http://www.facebook.com/people/Etzion-carmel-Haifa/100000275906542
- Learning centers in three schools providing homework assistance, language acquisition, pedagogical reinforcement as required- three times a week after school hours.
- Free subscription to the Haifa Symphony Orchestra.
- Free admission to Haifa’s municipal museums and libraries; and free first entrance to the Haifa Zoo.
- Individual and special attention to your children aimed at enhancing their absorption.
- Schoolchildren: Extra help in Hebrew; full exemption from school service fees (Olim only)
- Summer Hebrew Ulpan, and free municipal summer day camp.
- Individual assistance during after-school hours for every child.
Amenities / Services
Haifa has many excellent cultural resources: the Haifa Municipal Theater with its own beautiful building, the Haifa Symphony Orchestra, the Cinematheque and a number of thriving community centers. It also has a well-developed network of public libraries which include children’s books and books in English. There are a number of sports complexes, a large cinema multiplex, as well as two local small movie theaters, and an excellent amateur English theater with performances for the general public two or three times a year. The city has over a dozen museums. Haifa also has active branches of all the large volunteer organizations, including an English speaking Hadassah chapter.
Haifa is home to multiple hospitals and medical facilities, including Rambam Medical Center, one of Israel’s leading hospitals.
Community and Religious Life
The English-speaking community has grown significantly in the past year, and in addition to the more affluent suburbs on the Carmel, the Hadar neighborhood has become a popular residential living option for Anglo Olim who are looking for more affordable housing alternatives. Haifa University and the Technion attract international students to the nearby Ahuzza and Neve Sha’anan neighborhoods respectively, and many native English speakers can be found at the MATAM hi-tech park and nearby Ramat Hanassi neighborhood. In general though, it can be said that most neighborhoods in Haifa are a diverse mixture of social groups, and the English-speaking population follows this tendency to be mixed within the larger Israeli community.
Ahuza has over twenty Orthodox synagogues, as well as the Conservative Moriah Congregation and Or Hadash, a reform congregation in the area. There is an Orthodox synagogue located on Derech HaYam in the Central Carmel area which is popular with Anglos, as is the Maor Yehuda Synagogue in Ramat Almogi and the Denya Shul. There is also a Reform congregation which meets at the Leo Baeck Synagogue in the French Carmel. There is a wide variety of religious practices in Haifa, and the city is noted for its co-existence between Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Druze and Bahai populations.
English speaking immigrants have made their home across the city. The neighborhoods of Ahuzza, Upper Hadar and Neve Sha’anan have been particularly popular. Each suburb offers a distinctly different lifestyle.
Ahuzza is a fairly affluent neighborhood that is home to both religious and secular communities. It is located in relative close proximity to Haifa University.
Upper Hadar is situated halfway between the central carmel neighborhood and the Hadar shopping district. Property prices tend to be lower here. On all major bus routes, the Carmelit subway line, and in close walking distance to shopping, this may be an ideal location if you do not want to own a car. Upper Hadar offers wonderful views of the Haifa Port, the bay and the Galilee and even further North one can easily see Mt. Hermon in the Golan Heights.
To the east of the city also on the second tier of Mount Carmel lies Neve Sha’anan. Neve Sha’anan is a very large residential and commercial center with a selection of suburban shops, supermarkets, restaurants and pubs. The Grand Canyon, Haifa’s largest mall is situated in the Neve Sha’anan neighborhood. Neve Sha’anan has been a popular choice for young immigrant, Dati Leumi couples. It is also very popular among local and international students, due to its proximity to the Technion – The Israel Institute of Technology.
Ramat Hanassi is a relatively new neighborhood at the southern entrance to Haifa. Ramat Hanassi is in close proximity to Haifa’s beaches and the MATAM Hi-tech Industrial Park.
A more comprehensive list of neighborhoods in Haifa:
|Carmel Center||רכז הכרמל|
|Western Carmel **||כרמל מערבי|
|French Carmel||כרמל צרפתי|
|Shaar Aliyah||שער עליה|
|Neve David||נווה דוד|
|Ramat Sapir||רמת ספיר|
|Ramat Eshkol **||רמת אשכול|
|Nawe Sha’anan (Neve) **||נווה שאנן|
|Ramat Chen||רמת חן|
|Ramat Begin **||רמת בגין|
|Ramat Golda **||רמת גולדה|
|Ramat Almogi **||רמת אלמוגי|
|Ramat Hadar||רמת הדר|
|Hadar Elion **||הדר עליון|
|Ramat Alon **||רמת אלון|
|Kiryat Shmuel **||קרית שמואל|
|Kiryat Haim Mizrahit||קרית חיים מזרחית|
|Kiryat Haim Maaravit||קרית חיים מערבית|
**have Anglos in the neighborhood