Located on the western shore of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) at 200 meters below sea level, Tiberias is Israel’s lowest city. Surrounded by mountains, with the Kinneret at its base, Tiberias is home to 45,000 people. The city serves as a tourist center, drawing many visitors both from Israel and abroad. The Kinneret provides access to a wide range of water-related vacation adventures, as well as many pastoral beaches and leisure activities. Tiberias, which is both a vacation resort and a modern, busy city, also boasts many religious sites. As one of the four holy cities in Israel, Tiberias holds an important place in past and modern Jewish history.
The local economy is predominantly dependent on the tourist industry. There are approximately thirty hotels and youth hostels in the city, providing many places of employment. The local fishing industry is also well developed. Each morning boats go out onto the lake and return full of freshly caught fish, which are sold in the local market.
There are a number of industrial parks close to Tiberias, including those of the Galil Tachton, Alon Tavor, Tziporit and Hatzor.
Education / Youth
Tiberias boasts 8 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, 4 high schools and over 80 preschool frameworks, and has a total of 11,000 students living in the city. Over the past few years, much money has been invested in upgrading the school curriculum, as well as revamping and building new classrooms, science labs, and sports facilities.
Tiberias is also home to an excellent higher education facility, the Kinneret Academic College. The college is located on the shore of Lake Kinneret, a 10 minute drive from the center of town. This is where the Hebrew Ulpan for area Olim is held.
The city has good inner-city bus service. There are also frequent buses traveling to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and places in the North.
Tiberias is within commuting distance of a number of cities, such as Afula (45 minutes), Beit Shean (30 minutes), Nazeret Illit (40 minutes), Tzefat (40 minutes) and Kiryat Shmoneh (45 minutes).
Tiberias has successfully absorbed and integrated many new Olim over the years, including Olim from Morocco and Tunisia in its early days and, more recently, Olim from the Former Soviet Union, South America and Ethiopia. Olim are welcomed by a warm and easy-going population who are experienced with newcomers. In addition, there is a small group of veteran, English-speaking Olim who are enthusiastic about assisting new Olim who move into the city.
Ulpan is offered a few times yearly in nearby Tzemach, on the southern edge of the Kinneret.
In Tiberias there is also Ulpan Kinneret, a 5-month residential program designed for Olim between the ages of 18 and 30. This Ulpan opens twice yearly. Details click here.
Tiberias offers a range of discounts to Olim in their first year, including free school fees, free after-school activities run by the city, and free entrance to a number of city-run parks.
Amenities / Services
Tiberias is a thriving city offering a full range of restaurants, cafes, shopping centers, supermarkets and other businesses. The downtown area is home to a number of small “Mom and Pop” stores, as well as large retail chains and up-scale boutiques. A brand new shopping mall opened, with a wide variety of stores and restaurants.
All of the Kupot Cholim (healthcare providers) are represented in Tiberias. In addition, the city has outpatient service, serving the larger area. Poriah Hospital is located a few minutes drive from Tiberias and is a well-equipped, high-level, regional hospital.
Tiberias has local branches of most government offices and facilities, including Misrad Haklita (Ministry of Immigrant Absorption), Bituach Leumi (National Insurance), Misrad Harishui (Department of Motor Vehicles) and Misrad Hapnim (Ministry of Interior).
Community and Religious Life
The city has three large Matnasim (community centers), with a wide variety of classes and activities for young children, youth and adults. Activities include: sports, arts and crafts, computers, science, academic tutoring, as well as advanced studies, support and empowerment groups and more. Matnasim also offer summer camps and activities during the school holidays.
Yad Shitreet, the city’s main cultural center, hosts national theater and dance groups, as well as films and local events. It is also home to a large library.
The city has a wide variety of synagogues in its various neighborhoods.
Traditionally, Tiberias has been home to a large Sephardi population, and the majority of the use the Sephardi or Eidot Hamizrach Nusach (form of prayer), though there are also Ashkenazi Minyanim (prayer groups) available.
This year marks the beginning of the new Shaalei Torah Garin in Tiberias. A number of young, Dati-Leumi (national religious) families have come to live in Tiberias as a Garin (social unit), and they are interested in becoming integrated within the broader community and contributing to it. The Garin is happy to welcome English-speaking Olim to the city.
The city is home to numerous, small Yeshivot.
For the past 30 years, Tiberias has hosted the annual International Tiberias Marathon. The marathon draws runners from all over the world, and is the only International Marathon held in Israel. Another favorite sport in Tiberias is rowing. In fact, the Tiberias Rowing Crew is also the Israeli Olympic Rowing Team.
2 bedroom apartments range from 1,600 -2,700 NIS a month.
3 bedrooms range from 2,200 – 3,200 NIS a month.
4 bedrooms range from 3,000-5,000 NIS a month.
3-5 bedroom apartments range from 500,000 – 800,000 NIS, depending on the neighborhood and type of apartment.
Homes range from 970,000 – 2,000,000 NIS or more, depending on the size of the home, plot size and location.
There are a number of neighborhoods in Tiberias, including Plus Maatayim, Mordei Tiveria, Shikun Dalet, Merkaz Ha’ir, Kiryat Shmuel and Tiveria Illit.