City Type: Small City-Large Town
Affordability: Up to 600,000 NIS
Demographic Characteristics: Families, Young Couples & Families
Affiliation: Chabad, Chardal, Dati Leumi, Haredi, Secular
Founded with 50 families from North Africa in 1955, this city is expected to grow to 65,000 residents within the next 10 years. Aided by Project Alpha to expand the population as well as land development, this community is quickly becoming the center spot of the area. The government has shown a clear interest in helping to strenghthen the social and financial base of Ofakim.
In 1990 a large Russian immigration came to the city which brought a diversity to the culture. This diveristy is a value that the city seeks to foster as secular, modern Orthodox and right wing Orthodox residents live side by side throughout the city.
Zionist ideals are very much a part of the mentality of the city, and the residents feel a sense of purpose as they aid in the city’s growth.
Ofakim offers a cheaper cost of living, and a more relaxed life style. There is a developing green culture and eco awareness city wide.
This is not a city with hard core secularists – most residents are traditional, modern Orthodox and right wing Orthodox.
40% of the residents work in Ofakim, either in factories or hi-tech. There are currently 20 factories on 2,000 dunam of land, with more industry waiting to move in.
There are incentives to open up businesses in the city which include significant tax breaks. MATI, the small business organization, functions in Ofakim.
Those who are interested in getting business advice can turn to the organization Green at 08-665-7111.
Education / Youth
Ofakim has 3 Mamlachti schools and 3 Mamlachti-Dati schools, and none are assigned according to where you live. Residents are able to choose the most suitable education for their children.
There is an educational program in the student information center, which trains you in programs that later give you credits toward university courses. They also help you train to get into the Atuda intelligence program of the army.
Classes are available for exceptional students where they are able to study at Ben Gurion University during the summer.
They educate their students from 0-18 years old, and have won prizes for excellence in their school system.
Ofakim has a Charedi training center to study electronics, engineering and computers.
Youth groups include Bnai Akiva, Tzofim and Beitar.
The city has instituted an elongated school day (yom limudim aroch) for all of their pre-nursery and elementary school programs. The cost of nursery schools, which go from 7-3:30 daily and include a hot lunch is 1000 NIS a year.
They have integrated classrooms for special needs students.
Schools offer special tutoring and assistance so that parents don’t have to pay for the extra costs of tutoring.
There is an active youth center that services youth and adults up to age 35.
Travel time to Tel Aviv is an 1 hour and 20 minutes by train and an 1 hour and 15 minutes by car. Travel time to Jerusalem is 1.5 hours, the airport is 1 hour away, and Be’er Sheva is 15 minutes away by car and train.
The city offers absorption programs, and has experience in acculturating new olim.
Amenities / Services
The city is in the process of completing a huge community park with bike trails and paths for all levels of walkers.
There is an active Matnas (JCC) with reduced prices for after-school clubs and gym membership.
There is a community swimming pool, and an updated public library.
Community and Religious Life
Students from Ben Gurion University and Sapir College live here and get rental subsidies in their “university village”.
Students of all ages are encouraged to volunteer, and there is a tanglible sense of giving throughout the community.
|Type of Property||Rent||Purchase|
|Studio, 1 BR, 2 BR Apartment||1,200-2,800||400,000-550,000|
|3 BR-5BR Apartment & Private Homes||2,800-5,000||650,000-1.3 million|
|Please note, the following factors will likely result in the price of the property costing on the higher end of the price range:
As of May 2016
Ben Gurion is where most of the Charedim live.
Updated: June 2015