Tzur Hadassah, named after a type of rock specific to the area, is a town founded in 1960 with the purpose of becoming a regional center for the Moshavim in the area. It is nestled in the hills of the Jerusalem corridor at around 750 meter (2500 ft.) and is surrounded by several national parks. Though Tzur Hadassah is growing fast, the lifestyle is still similar to that of a Yeshuv, in that there is a strong community atmosphere. It has a heterogeneous population of traditional, modern orthodox and secular young and older families.
Located between Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh, most residents are employed in the Jerusalem area. However, there are those who work in the Tel Aviv area as well, who can drive to Beit Shemesh and take the Beit Shemesh train to the Tel Aviv area.
Education / Youth
There is a high school called Or and there are several elementary schools: Hadassim, Karov, Lavi and Tzurim. Most of these are in the recently constructed school area. There are also over 10 preschools in the town, besides several public and private day care centers.
There are local chapters of Bnei Akiva and Telem (associated with the Reform movement).
There are frequent buses to Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh, however, access to private transport is highly recommended. Hitch-hiking is also used as an acceptable, yet more risky, way to get to Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh and/or Beitar Illit.
There are many English speakers, many of them married to native Israelis or having made Aliyah when they were young. Tzur Hadassah is most suitable for those who would like to join a fully integrated community, and are happy to become part of a heterogeneous environment.
Amenities / Services
There is a local library, sports facilities, many playgrounds and a horse ranch.
There is a small shopping center in with a large supermarket, a DIY shop, pizzeria and other smaller stores in the Emek quarter. Recently another small shopping center started operating in the Har Kitron quarter with a gym, a butcher, a fast food chain and others. There is also a small neighborhood store in the old quarter.
There is a medical clinic that services members from all the healthcare organizations.
Community and Religious Life
There are two Sephardi synagogues, one Ashkenazi synagogue, and a Reform congregation.
Most of the English-speaking, religious families are members of the Hatzur V’Hatzohar Ashkenazi synagogue. It is comprised of approximately 50 native Israeli and English-speaking families. Rabbi Lev and Sara Cooper are both English speakers.
The Reform congregation has an active community with a wide variety of Jewish cultural and social activities.
Currently, the Beit Ha’am holds all of the community’s cultural and community activities, but a new community center is being built.
Tzur Hadassah also has a Mikveh.
A full range of housing possibilities are available, from 4-room apartments to custom-designed homes.
4-room apartment: Approximately 4,000 NIS per month
4-room apartment: Approximately 1.5 million NIS
Semi-detached homes: Begin at 1.8 million NIS
Private, custom homes: Begin at 2.5 million NIS.
Tzur Hadassah forum for real estate: http://tzur-hadassa.org.il/aforums/f403.php
Old Tzur Hadassah (haVatika), the original center, which was expanded with Bene Beitecha and HaMeah, which are all customized private homes. These neighbourhoods are situated in between road 375 and the inner main road Hare Yehuda.
Har Kitron, which is mostly semi-private homes.
HaEmek, which has a mixture of apartments and semi-private homes.
Sansan, which is currently (2015) being build, with mostly apartment buildings.
Click here for map.