The city of Karmiel lies on the main road between Akko and Tzefat, in the heart of the Beit Kerem Valley. One of Israel’s few “planned cities”, this beautiful, unique and modern city boasts continuous municipal activity to keep the city clean, and an insistence on a standard of living that is higher than the average standard of the country. Karmiel has been awarded numerous national prizes in areas such as quality of life, management, road safety, and most notably, immigrant absorption. Since 1997, Karmiel has been awarded five stars in a competition designed to create a more beautiful Israel, and is annually awarded the Minister of Interior Prize for Financial Management. In short, Karmiel offers its residents a truly exceptional quality of life. For more information about Karmiel, see this short (Hebrew) video clip.
There are employment opportunities within the city itself, and there is easy access to other cities, office parks and industrial areas.
Education / Youth
Karmiel has many pre-schools, Maonot and Ganim; ten elementary schools, four middle and high schools, and is home to the ORT Braude College that awards B.Sc. degrees.
Public education begins at age 3 (Trom-Trom Chova). These Ganim exist in all neighbourhoods of Karmiel.
There is a Dati elementary school called Moriah, and a Dati middle and high school operated by AMIT, and a fairly new Midrasha program for young women for a gap year of Torah learning and community work. Eight Mamlachti elementary schools are spread throughout the various neighbourhoods. There are also Chareidi schools (run by Amichai), and Sephardi and Ashkenazi yeshivot, including a Yeshivat Hesder.
A typical school day in Karmiel runs from around 8:00 in the morning until 2:30 PM with additional afternoon school programs (tzaharon) available. The city educational facilities offer greater individual attention, music education from grades 1 through 6, and other unique programming. Akim, Nitzan Kidum L’Noar and Matiyah all offer programs within the Karmiel school system.
The active youth movements are: Benei Akiva, Tzofim, Hano’ar Ha’oved Vehalomed and Noam.
Local matnasim offer a wide range of programming for children and adults. During the summer vacation the matnasim run many camps.
Karmiel is situated in the Beit Kerem Valley, on the main road between Akko and Tzefat (route 85). To the north are the mountains of the Northern Galilee and to the South – the hills of the Lower Galilee.
The city is located 35 km. from Tiberias, 22 km. from Akko, and 45 km. from Haifa. There are frequent daily buses to Haifa, and bus and group taxi (Sherut) transportation to the train in Acco. There is also daily direct bus service to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv as well as weekly buses to Eilat. Karmiel has excellent local inter and intra-city transportation available.
The train line between Karmiel and Acco is in trial runs, and will be opening for full service in September 2017, shortening the travel time to Haifa.
There is an English Speakers’ Club in Karmiel. The members will be pleased to welcome and assist newcomers. New Olim are entitled to 6 months free membership. The club is situated in the “old square”, next to Bank Hapoalim and opposite the main Post Office. The club houses an extensive English language library for use of members. Drinks and light snacks are available for purchase to members. The moadon (club house) sponsors several activities, such as Sundays and Wednesdays: Bridge and Whist, Monday mornings: Library day, free coffee and tea for members, Monday afternoons and Thursday mornings : 12 Step Recovery Group (all 12 steppers welcome), Tuesdays: “Survival Hebrew” , Friday mornings: Social hour, Saturdays: Light suppers and conversation. In addition, monthly evening activities are organized including film evenings, quizzes, outside speakers, etc. A book club is currently being organized. For more information concerning activities, contact the Chairman of the Entertainment Committee, Monte Mirbach at email@example.com
ESRA (English speakers residents association) has a very active group in the Karmiel/Misgav area. It offers a variety of lectures, trips, a newly formed book club, a handicrafts group and volunteer opportunities. Membership is free for first year Olim. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to their website http://www.esra.org.il/karmiel-misgav-and-area or Facebook page – ESRA Karmiel.
Amenities / Services
All of the services and commercial establishments a resident needs in day to day life can be accessed in Karmiel, from shuk to supermarket, hi-tech industries, factories, offices, restaurants, gas stations, banks, taxi stands, shops, and more.
There is no shortage of cultural activity taking place in Karmiel. The city is famous for its annual 3-day dance festival, which attracts 100,000 visitors during the summer. It is also home to an 750 seat theater with monthly cultural activities, excellent libraries (with an English section), sports facilities, evening classes, a music conservatory, indoor and outdoor swimming pools (with separate swimming hours in the summer) and a municipal fitness club plus three private gyms. Karmiel also has over 70 parks and green spaces. Additionally, Karmiel hosts local chapters of over 60 clubs, including WIZO, Naamat, and Hadassah.
Karmiel has branches of many governmental and civil institutions, including the National Employment Service, Misrad Haklitah, Misrad Hapnim, Mercaz Klitah, Post Office, Bituach Leumi, Amigur, the Police, the Electric Company, Bezek retail outlet, the major banks, Internal Revenue Service, the Labor Council, and the Israel Land Authority.
Karmiel is about a half hour away from the Ziv Medical Center in Tzefat, and the Western Galilee hospital in Nahariya and an hour or so from Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. There is an urgent care clinic in Karmiel, Terem, which serves the areas residents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It provides urgent care medicine an is equipped with an onsite imaging center and laboratory services which provide immediate results.
Karmiel also has a Magen David Ambulance (MADA) station. All of the Kupot Cholim have branches in Karmiel. There are also professional health clinics with x-ray and CT machines, ambulatory services, and specialized doctors. There are dental clinics for children and adults, as well as private dentists and psychological counseling. The city has a number of English speaking medical practitioners.
Community and Religious Life
The first residents of Karmiel arrived in 1964. Today, the city has 15,000 families comprising a population of 52,000 people. The city ultimately hopes to reach a population of 150,000 residents. Karmiel’s population consists of residents of all ages and religious affiliations.
Karmiel is divided into many different neighborhoods, each an independent unit with its own educational institutions, synagogues, and shopping centers.
About 15% of Karmiel’s residents are religious and they live throughout the city. There are over 30 synagogues and minyanim for both Ashkenazim and Sephardim, and five mikvaot (including one for men only). It has three kollelim (Religious Zionist, Agudat Yisrael, and Shas) that promote Torah study throughout the city. The Mibereshit organization is highly active in all of the schools and promotes Jewish and religious cultural events for the entire population. Supermarkets carry food with special hechsherim.
The following synagogues have an above-average number of English speakers, and also boast very warm, welcoming communities: The Moriah synagogue near the old center of town (mostly retirees); the Conservative synagogue (Kehillat ha-Kerem) in the new center of town (next to the “New Mall”); a new, Modern Orthodox community that meets in the Amit high school’s synagogue in the Rabin neighborhood; and an all inclusive, Young Israel synagogue in the Dromit neighborhood. Here is a more complete description of each synagogue:
This is the first Ashkenazi synagogue (orthodox) of Karmiel, located in the center of the city. There is a good mix of Anglo and native Israelis who attend the synagogue. For more info Mel Weiss at email@example.com.
This conservative synagogue is located near the New Mall. It has a nice mix of Anglos and native Israelis. There is a beit midrash evening program as well as a Noar Noam summer camp affliated with the Conservative movement. For more information, see their website at http://www.hakerem.net/ and their facebook page at Kehilat Ha-Kerem. You can also contact Sharon Mayer at 054-7996154 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Kehilat Ohel Avraham
Kehilat Ohel Avraham is geared towards the dati-leumi, modern orthodox, Zionist crowd. It includes a good mix of Anglos and native Israelis. Davening is in the Amit school, which is in the Rabin neighborhood. Kiddush follows Shabbat morning services. The community has activities throughout the year including tiyulim and a weekly Torah shiur in English. For more information, contact Avi Kadish at email@example.com.
Young Israel of Karmiel
Young Israel of Karmiel is located in the Dromit neighborhood which is a blend of Chareidi, Da’ati Le’Umi, Ashkenazi, Sefardi Olim and native Israelis. The synagogue is Carlbach style Friday nights, with Anglo scholars speaking scholars in residence throughout the year with an active Neshei women’s Rosh Chodesh learning and hospitality program. The synagogue has three to four minyanim each morning as well as evening Hebrew classes and programs. In October of 2012, in partnership with the Young Israel, Kollel Torah Chaim opened up an Anglo community Kollel with avreichim availabile to learn with community members. For more information about the Young Israel of Karmiel, please contact Rabbi Schwartz at 050-597-0649 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Price range for rentals:
2 bedroom Apt- 2,000- 2,800 NIS
3 bedroom Apt- 2,200- 3,500 NIS
“Granny Apartment”- 2,000-2,300 NIS
4 bedroom semi-detached/private home – 3,500 NIS and up
Average purchase price:
2 bedroom Apt- 470,000- 850,000 NIS
3 bedroom Apt- 570,000- 1,000,000 NIS
4 bedroom duplex- 1,200,000- 1,500,000 NIS
4 bedroom house- 1,800,000 + NIS
Anglos are not concentrated into one area, but are integrated throughout most of Karmiel’s neighbourhoods.
The following is a detailed list and description of Karmiel’s many residential neighborhoods: Old Centre (Hameyasdim), Dromit (Eshkol and Arava), Te’ene, Sagi, Ramat Rabin, Galil, Makosh, Megadim (Ma’aravit), Hadar, Givat Ram. Of these, a few are consistently referred to by name. The remaining Karmiel neighborhoods are more likely to be described geographically, in relation to their direction, i.e., the Old Center (Hamercaz Hayashan/Hameyasdim), the Ma’aravit (the western part of the city) or the Dromit (the southern end of town.)
The Old Center of Town:
This area (Hameyasdim neighborhood), built in 1964, is home to a unique building style called the ‘patio.’ Patios are common wall homes, similar to townhouses, built along quiet, narrow paths. Each was originally constructed with a walled-in garden area, affording a measure of privacy unavailable in housing anywhere else in the city. Many of these simple units have been expanded into two and three storyhomes. In addition to patios, the neighborhood has a number of two story duplex type units backing on Karmiel’s ‘forest,’ as well as several three storey walk-up buildings. Although some of the buildings are older, they have thicker walls and larger rooms than exist in many new buildings. The neighborhood is home to two synagogues, a Yeshiva for boys, a religious school (Moriah) for boys and girls, a Mikveh, the office of the Ministry of the Interior, a senior citizens center, a senior citizens hostel, a large park, at least two well-kept children’s playgrounds and a branch of Kupat Holim Clalit. It is within walking distance of the central post office, the English Speakers’ Club, Bituach Leumi, two major banks, a ‘Kanyon,’ three supermarkets, two gyms, a swimming pool, tennis courts, the ORT Horowitz High School, the municipal amphitheater, the municipal library, a sports hall, the Histadrut headquarters and the municipal cultural center in addition to the usual small shops and service businesses. The neighborhood is bounded on three sides by Zahal St. and on one side by HaGalil, the lower half of which is a commercial street. A number of three-four story walk-ups front on HaGalil, as do two long ‘Rakevet’ (train) buildings. The ‘Rekavot’ walk-ups are constructed of concrete and hold as many as 35 or more units with several entries. Today, a lot of the original apartments are occupied by offices. They can be found in all the older neighborhoods. It is possible to buy a modest three room (2 bdrm) apartment here for less than $40,000. Some of the larger apartments go for $60,000- $70,000. Ripe for gentrification!
A left turn off of Zahal onto Morad Hagai St. takes you up a hill past the swimming pool, tennis courts, the football (soccer) pitch and the Baruch Venger Music Conservatory on the right, and the ORT Horowitz high school and the municipal amphitheater on the left. This area, known as Dromit, encompasses the Eshkol and Arava neighborhoods. Two streets divide the area, Morad Hagai and Hahavatzelet, roughly into three parts.
The area between Morad Hagai and Sderot Nesiei Israel (Eshkol neighborhood) contains five kindergartens (Ganim), one of which is for Chareidi children and one of which serves Ethiopian children. In addition, there is a clubhouse (Moadonit) for developmentally challenged adults, two synagogues, one of which (on Nativ HaLotus St.) serves the Ethiopian community, a clubhouse serving the Ethiopians, one elementary school and a community center. Most of the housing is high density. The main kupat holim Maccabi clinic, a kupat holim Clalit clinic and Na’amat are located at the Sderot Nesiei Israel end of the neighborhood. There is a “Learning Center” on Hahavatzelet Street.
The Arava neighborhood (bounded by Hahavatzelet, Morad Hagai and Sderot Nesiei Israel) has one state sponsored synagogue, a fully equipped park & playground, a kindergarten for children from religious families and is home to the Conservative (Masorati) Congregation Kehilat Hakerem. The Arava neighborhood ends at the Lev Karmiel shopping center which houses a bank, a postal substation and the main Kupat Holim Clalit clinic. Most of the housing is duplex or triplex. There is one street with single family homes.
On the other side of Morad Hagai (left hand side, going up the hill from the ORT Horowitz HS) are several duplex units and well as a number of eight storey elevator buildings. A left turn onto HaPrachim St. takes you into a street of mixed housing—single family homes and three storey walk-ups. The views from the street and the air flow are exceptional because the street overlooks a large valley (Wadi). The area ends at a hiking and bike path. This area contains two synagogues, four kindergartens, one of which is set up to serve the religious community, an elementary school and a few small shops. In recent years, a number of modern Orthodox and Chareidi families have moved into all of these neighborhoods.
If you have the energy, it is possible to walk up the steps from the Municipality to the Sagi neighborhood. The upper part of this neighborhood is home primarily to duplex and triplex apartments, many with large balconies and views of the parks below. The Megadim High School, an elementary school, an active community center, a sports hall, a synagogue and a kindergarten are located here.
Abutting Sagi is the Te’ene Neighborhood, separated by green space. Te’ene, which is transversed by several long streets, is bounded on one side by Sderot Nesiei Israel and on another by Keren Ha’Yesod Street. A large area, made up of several housing styles, from duplex party wall homes to the older three – four storey walkups, contains six kindergartens, a community center, a synagogue, a religious affairs office, and a Mikveh. Te’ene also has several apartment buildings called “Cochavim” (stars). These interesting buildings are also found on HaDekel Street (Sagi neighborhood). They are built roughly in the shape of a Y, so that each of the three apartments on a floor has a large balcony, no elevators and large rooms. The area is within walking distance of the old center of Karmiel and all its services.
To the west of Makosh is the Rabin neighborhood, Karmiel’s newest. Most of the residents are young, upwardly mobile Israeli families.
Properties in this area are considered highly desirable and are among the most expensive in the town for non-single family dwellings. Rentals of 3000-4000 NIS a month are common for a four room apartment. The Amit (modern orthodox) School is located in Rabin, as are a sports hall, an active community center (Matnas), seven kindergartens, two synagogues and a Mikveh. There is also a small commercial center, a Kupat Holim Clalit clinic and two elementary schools.
ORT Braude College – Galil Neighborhood:
The ORT Braude College is close to the western entrance of the city. It sits within the borders of the Galil neighborhood. The College synagogue serves the public as well as the student population. An additional synagogue, community center and the Makeef Kramin High School are nearby. The residential part of the neighborhood has a senior citizen’s home, a senior citizen’s day center, a small commercial area, the Kalanit elementary school, a third synagogue and two kindergartens and one of Karmiel’s antiquities sites. The neighborhood has a large park (Park HaGalil) and very varied housing from party wall duplexes to several relatively new, modern apartment houses, some of which front on the Midrahov commercial street. These flats generally rent for prices similar to the ones in Rabin. The offices of the Municipality are at the top of this street (KKL Blvd), but are technically part of the Hadar neighborhood.
If you continue on Sderot Nesiei Israel, you will come to the turn off to Makosh, a neighborhood which is primarily comprised of single family homes, duplexes and triplexes. There is an active community center (Matnas) in the neighborhood. The neighborhood is bounded on three sides by hiking and bike paths and overlooks a wadi.
The Megadim neighborhood, built on a series of hills, is generally referred to as the ‘Ma’aravit.’ Relatively large in area, it is low density housing designed primarily, not exclusively, to single family homes (‘villot’). Over the years, many of the homeowners have added ‘granny flats’ for extra income, so it is possible to find a rental for a single person here, but public transportation to this area is poor, so be prepared to walk up a lot of hills, buy a car or take taxis. The homes, themselves, occasionally come up for rent as well. There are five kindergartens, including one for children from religious families, a supermarket, a synagogue, a Mikveh, a postal substation, a small commercial center and an elementary school. That area of the Megadim neighborhood which is not comprised of single family homes fronts, primarily, on Keren Ha’Yesod Street and includes the usual older three to four storey buildings. It is possible to walk down the hill from this neighborhood into the old city center, but most people don’t walk to go back up on foot—especially pushing a stroller!
Located adjacent to the municipality and the new Family Park (Park Mishpacha), this neighborhood has a comparatively low density. There are some single family homes and duplexes in the newer part of the neighbourhood. The B’nei Akiva Clubhouse (Moadon) is located in Hadar, as are three kindergartens and an antiquities site. The grounds surrounding the Municipality are a popular site for Shabbat walks. An older section of Hadar, close to Sderot Nesiei Israel, contains several apartment houses similar to those described elsewhere. The older part of the Arbel ends at Arbel St. Apartments in this area overlook a large park (Park Ofir) and playground that fronts on the boulevard. Four room apartments in this area can be found for half of the cost of the newer neighborhoods.
Across Sderot Nesiei Israel are the “tesha komot” (nine storey buildings). These are the only nine storey buildings in Karmiel and have elevators. Most of the population is stable, so it’s hard to get an apartment in one of these well-located, old-fashioned buildings. Most of them are three bedroom flats. A brand new playground has been constructed here, and several small shops are in the plaza behind these buildings. There are at least three synagogues within comfortable walking distance of these buildings in addition to all the services of the old center.
Givat Ram is the neighborhood farthest from the main entrance of the city. A bridge was built from the existing city to this area, thus it has maintained its integrity as a suburb. Originally built to house olim from the FSU, today Givat Ram is a homogeneous area. Hebrew is the main language, with Russian speakers comprising about 1/3 of the population and veteran Israelis making up most of the balance. The neighborhood is divided into two parts. The area on the right as you enter the neighborhood is home primarily to families with young children. The section on the left, somewhat smaller, is populated mostly by families in their 40’s and up. One synagogue is shown on each side on the map. The Rakefet elementary school is on the left side. There are five kindergartens. A kupat holim Clalit clinic is in the newer area. Nearly all housing is comprised of modular units set on small lots. Many of the basic units have been improved and have second floors. Two large elevator apartment blocks are on the left just before you enter the neighborhood.
Continuing up Morad Hagai and turning left onto Sderot Nesiei Israel, you pass an area which includes buildings from the late 1970’s to buildings constructed within the last ten years. That section which is closer to the old center of Karmiel includes several multi storyapartment buildings knows as the Irisim. They represent a style of building similar to that found in many of the older neighborhoods. The Irisim today is on the edge of a large commercial area called, simply, the ‘Midrahov’ or the pedestrian walkway. Across Morad Hagai is the Lev Karmiel Shopping Center. A number of modern Orthodox and Chareidi families have moved into this area which is home to a state sponsored synagogue, a Chareidi synagogue and the Kolel Rav Malka. There are four kindergartens, two elementary schools, a Chareidi elementary school (Amichai), a yeshiva and a sports center.