Most popular destinations for singles are Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa, with interest in
Be’er Sheva growing as transportation, employment and educational opportunities are expanding.
Apartment rentals in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv tend to range from $300 (shared) to $900 (single).
For lack of a better analogy, this neighborhood cluster is often referred to as the “Upper West Side” of Jerusalem. Here you will find the heaviest concentration of Anglo singles. It’s a comfortable mix of religious and secular, an aesthetic blend of old and new buildings on winding narrow streets. Convenient bus service, supermarkets, and small grocery stores are scattered throughout. Local synagogues such as Ohel Nechama and Yakar are generally the Friday night hotspots to see and be seen, and mooch a Shabbat meal if you’re stuck.
In the heart of Jerusalem’s downtown, Nachlaot is one of the city’s older and more colorful neighborhoods, retaining much of its original 19th century architecture, narrow alleyways, and cobblestone streets. The population is quite varied, ranging from a strong Carlebachian and “hippie” presence to its original Yemenite, Kurdish, Jerusalem Sephardi ones. It is walking distance from the Central Bus Station, downtown Jerusalem and Mahane Yehuda Market. Charming coffee shops and restaurants help contribute to the Nachlaot experience.
These two neighborhoods sit side by side. The Baka/German Colony neighborhood is a ten minute bus ride from downtown Jerusalem and offers great hangout opportunities on Rechov Emek Refaim and Derech Beit Lechem.
Central Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv is the Middle East’s “city that never sleeps.” On any Friday morning, you will see young foreigners having brunch at Gruzenbaum’s on Ahad Ha’am, Cafe Joe’s on David Hamelech, Tal Bagels near the Dizengoff mall, or at many other cafés on Shenkin, Bograshov and Allenby streets. After brunch, follow the Anglo community to Park Hayarkon, or walk through Nachalat Binyamin pedestrian mall. And if you just want to relax, then take a book and sit on the beach. You will definitely meet many English speakers there. The Anglos in Tel Aviv hail from all over the globe. You’ll meet men and women from the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Israel and many different countries in Europe. This fairly young community is growing fast. Every week there are new faces. The average age ranges from the mid 20’s to early 40’s. The population is very eclectic and diverse, yet warm and welcoming. There is another trendy neighborhood called Florentine which has a NYC Greenwich Village feel and reasonable rent.
Northern Tel Aviv
Northern Tel Aviv, several quaint neighborhoods north of Park Hayarkon, offers quiet and quality to Olim who want to escape the noise and bustle of the city center. Afeka, Lamed, Ramat Aviv and Ramat Aviv Gimmel are among the neighborhoods with possibilities for those looking to recreate their standard of living from North America. From the Arlozorof station, solid public transportation connects with Tel Aviv and beyond. Large shopping centers, such as the Ramat Aviv Mall, offer myriad options for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Nearby is the Tel Aviv University campus. Many North American students take part in the school’s overseas program while others study at the Sackler School of Medicine. Many of the students are observant and have created a warm religious community.
Rentals go from $500 for one bedroom to $1,000 for four.
Givat Shmuel has a mix of it all. In the newer area, tall apartment complexes are surrounded by lush landscaping, beautiful parks, and waterfalls. Religiously, some areas are mixed but most are predominantly religious-Zionist. Givat Shmuel is a mostly Israeli community that includes English speakers and many Israeli young couples who are either current students or have recently completed their studies at nearby Bar Ilan University. You will also find families and some singles in the neighborhood. Many enjoy its convenient location and proximity to nearby Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv, Petach Tikva and Bnei Brak. There is a shopping area that services basic needs and other stores are scattered nearby in Petach Tikva and Bnei Brak. There is transportation available to many locations, including Jerusalem. It should be noted that many singles who attend Bar Ilan, or who would like to be part of the English speaking community, choose to live in Ramat Ilan, next to Givat Shmuel, across from the Bar Ilan campus.
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Haifa is home to Haifa University and the Technion, as well as several smaller colleges, making it a natural attraction for the college and post-college crowd. In light of the fact that Misrad Haklita (Ministry of Immigrant Absorption) recently opened a branch of Ulpan Etzion in Haifa (for the 22-35 year old crowd), it seems that this city is, increasingly, a happening place for the singles crowd.
Haifa has no lack of late-night social opportunities, fun shops and eateries, with plenty of spots to hang out on the surrounding beaches. The city itself offers excellent work opportunities, and the train makes points further away, very accessible. While Haifa is the third largest city in the country, its housing prices are more comparable to the relatively affordable standards of northern communities.
Thank you to Nechama Abramoff, Eyal Raviv and Leora Sonnenblick for their contributions to this article.