The Ultimate Guide to BE’ER SHEVA

Written by on December 9, 2014 in ,

So you just moved to Be’er Sheva…
NOW WHAT???

#1: BUREAUCRACY
As a new immigrant, you need to dedicate some time to bureaucratic steps:

1) Open a bank account
Be’er Sheva has all of the major bank chains in Israel including Discount, Hapoalim, and Leumi. Most people decide based on the convenience of where they are each located.

2) Visit Misrad Haklita (Immigration office)
Misrad Haklita is located on Shazar Street #31. Sadly, there is no sign on the outside of the building so it can be a bit hard to find. It is important to make an appointment in advance by calling: 1599-500-921. Galina is the representative for English-speaking Olim but you may meet with someone else instead. Unfortunately, most of the representatives do not speak English. If you can bring along a Hebrew-speaker, that would be great. At Misrad Haklita, you can sign up for your absorption basket and ulpan.

In 2016, the Be’er Sheva municipality appointed a klita coordinator for English-speakers for the first time. For assistance with working with the municipality, klita, or education, please get in touch with Megan Turner: meganturnerklitab7@gmail.com

3) Join a Kuppah
Beer Sheva has all of the major health funds, including Maccabi, Clalit, and Meuchedet. Clalit is the largest in Beer Sheva and is connected to Soroka hospital.  It is important to go to your chosen Kuppah in order to get your permanent insurance card and make an appointment with a primary doctor. To choose a doctor, you may want to get referrals from other Olim.

4) Phone and Internet
It is very difficult to navigate life without phone and internet services so we recommend that you take care of this as soon as possible.

5) Drivers License
When you are ready to convert your drivers license, you will have to follow all of the steps listed here:
http://www.nbn.org.il/aliyahpedia/government-services/drivers-license-cars/converting-foreign-drivers-license/

Misrad Harishui is located on 5 Manof Street. The following opticians can be used:
Optica Markovitz – in “Big”
Opticana –  in the Negev Mall

6) Travel Documents
To arrange for your Teudat Maavar or Israeli passport, you will need to visit Misrad Hapnim which is located in the governmental offices of Kiryat Hamemshala on Hatikva Street. Always best to get there early. It is always crowded but also always better than Misrad Hapnim in Jerusalem!

 7) Arnona
To arrange for your Arnona discount, you need to visit the Arnona office in the Old City located at Hadassah #78 with copies of your TZ, TO, and rental agreement.

 

#2: HOUSING
If you landed in Beer Sheva without a place to live, check out some of these online (HEBREW) resources:

Facebook Grouphttps://www.facebook.com/groups/279135451973/
Facebook Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/170744879507/
Dirot 7http://www.dirot7.com/
Yad Shtayim http://www.yad2.co.il/

 

#3: HEBREW
You will want and need Hebrew in Beer Sheva!

New Olim study FOR FREE at one of the Ulpans in Beer Sheva located at the Altshul building and the Merkaz Klita Yeelim.

For a fee, there is also an Ulpan run by Ben Gurion Universityhttp://in.bgu.ac.il/en/Global/Pages/OSP/Hebrew_Ulpan.aspx

Once you have done Ulpan, there are other resources for Hebrew study in Beer Sheva:

1) Eshel Avraham – http://www.masorti.org.il/eshelavraham_en/index.php – This Conservative synagogue offers Hebrew-language groups.

2) Startup – For Olim ages 18-35, Nefesh B’Nefesh has partnered with this organization to run one-on-one Hebrew lessons for new Olim. Contact emily@nbn.org.il for more information.

3) Maagal Hachaim VeTaasuka – This organization has started to run weekly Hebrew courses for Olim who are in the work force. https://www.facebook.com/maagalahaim

 

#4: CONNECT
People are super-friendly in Beer Sheva and Olim are especially eager to help other new Olim.

VIRTUAL GROUPS:
Beer Sheva English-speakers Facebook grouphttps://www.facebook.com/groups/152837421417944/
Go South Nefesh B’Nefesh Facebook grouphttps://www.facebook.com/groups/gosouthnbn/
Anglobeersheva Yahoo grouphttps://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/anglobeersheba/info

SOCIAL GROUPS:
Women’s Rosh Chodesh group – contact rivkawiseman@gmail.com
Beer Sheva English-Speaking Group –  All meetings are held on Thursdays at 4.00 pm in the Seniors’ clubhouse, corner Weizmann and Rager streets (behind the WIZO building)
Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel (AACI)www.aaci.org.il; sign up for the AACI enewsletter by contacting mgreen@aaci.org.il
Light Opera Group of the Negev (LOGON)www.negevlightopera.com
Hadassah – contact jane_bouchard@yahoo.com
Beer Sheva Language Exchange – https://www.facebook.com/groups/249733801815472/
Be’er Sheva Lone Soldiers Center– https://www.facebook.com/groups/463847977011224/
Negev Football Team – https://www.facebook.com/Negev.Football

#5 HAVE FUN!

Tourist Attractions
Artists’ house
– http://www.b7omanim.com/
Negev Museum – http://www.negev-museum.org.il/index_e.php
Airforce Museum Hatzerim  – http://iaf.co.il/5915-he/IAF.aspx
Negev Zoo – http://www.negevzoo.co.il/
Carrasso Science Park – http://www.sci-park.co.il/
Monument to the Negev Brigadehttp://www.israeltraveler.org/en/site/negev-brigade-memorial
Engine 70414– https://www.facebook.com/pages/%D7%94%D7%A7%D7%98%D7%A8-70414/1465641423668664
Abraham’s Well Visitors Center– http://www.abraham.org.il/index.php?lang=en
Park of the Australian Soldier – https://plus.google.com/108408370352056546893/about?gl=il&hl=en
Tel Be’er Sheva – http://old.parks.org.il/BuildaGate5/general2/data_card.php?Cat=~25~~251269827
Lunada Children’s Museum – http://lunada.co.il/%D7%90%D7%A0%D7%92%D7%9C%D7%99%D7%AA/

Shopping
Grand Kanyon Mall – http://grandb7.co.il/
Big Center – http://www.bigcenters.co.il/index.aspx?id=4036
One Center – http://www.mibemall.co.il/CategoriesStores.aspx?MallID=56&IdType=1
Negev Mall – http://www.hanegev.azrieli.com/
Seventh Avenue – http://www.mibemall.co.il/CategoriesStores.aspx?MallID=269&IdType=1
Old City – Street market every Friday
Bedouin Market – every Thursday

Culture
Symphony – http://english.isb7.co.il/
Mishkan Performing Arts Center http://www.mishkan7.co.il/
Fringe Theater – http://www.fringeb7.co.il/
Municipal Library –  http://beer-sheva.libraries.co.il/BuildaGate5library/general2/company_search_tree.php?mc=0
AACI English Library – http://www.aaci.org.il/articlenav.php?id=159#library

Gyms and pools
Ben Gurion University (pool) – http://in.bgu.ac.il/sport/Pages/default.aspx
Space – Grand Kanyon – http://www.spaceclub.co.il/
Holmes Place (pool) – http://www.spaceclub.co.il/
Country Club (pool) – http://www.beityatziv.com/en/
Great Shape – Big – http://www.greatshape-b.com/
Beit Yatziv pool – http://www.beityatziv.com/en/
Beit Hachayal – 2 Beit Lechem Street

Recreation
Movies:
     Globus Max Movies Theaters in One Plaza is the major theater in Beer Sheva. They have VIP showings that include food and endless drinks and popcorn.
     Lev Omer is a small movie theater in Beer Sheva, just a few minutes North of Beer Sheva which shows independent and foreign films.
     The Negative cinema at BGU screens films regularly and runs lots of fascinating film-related lectures and events. English website – http://www.bgu4u.co.il/article/meet_negative.aspx
Bowling – http://bowling7.co.il/ (in Big)
Rock-Climbing – Performance Rock is a super fun place in the Old City –  https://www.facebook.com/performancerockbeersheva
Go-carting – located in Rami Levi shopping complex
Skate-boarding Park – located at the corner of Tuviyahu and Ilan Ramon Streets

Night Life
Because of the student life in Beer Sheva, there are lots of great bars in the city. Here is a short list to check out:
Barbasaba
Ashan Hazman
Tapas bar
HaHalutz 33
Munchilla
Donkeys Bar
Cocoa
Roza
Manga

Restaurants
There are 100s of restaurants and cafes in Beer Sheva. Here are a few that are kind of special (and Kosher): 

Hanoi Hasinit – authentic Chinese food – Rosko City.
Hodu Haketana – vegetarian Indian – 15 Ringenblum Street near BGU
The Butchery – Nice restaurant where you order your meat from the “butcher.” Old City
Yakuta – lovely, somewhat fancy Moroccan restaurant in the Old City. 27 Mordei Hagetaot
Arabica – nice big space, large meat menu. 12 Herzl Street in the Old City
Cafe Ringenblum – this dairy restaurant is also a social project as it employs at-risk teens. 86 Ringenblum Street near BGU
City Cafe – just a nice coffee shop/dairy restaurant run by good people. Rosko City.

Grocery Shopping
Again, there are TONS of supermarkets in Beer Sheva. Here is an interesting blog post about grocery shopping in Beer Sheva – http://www.katherinemartinelli.com/blog/2011/where-to-shop-for-food-in-beer-sheva/. Below are some of the special options available in the city:

The Shuk – The shuk is open S-F and offers cheaper fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, and bakeries than found in the stores.
Eden Teva – is a beautiful “Whole Foods”-like store with a nice selection of health and organic foods. Located in Big.
Osher Ad – Some feel that Osher Ad which is a “mega” store is the cheapest chain in Israel.
Rami Levi – Some feel that Rami Levi is the cheapest chain in Israel.

Also, lots of people have come to learn the joys of grocery shopping online:
Eden Teva – http://www.edenteva.co.il/
Supersol – http://www.shufersal.co.il/Pages/Catalog.aspx
Mega – http://www.mega.co.il/jsfweb/

#5: RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES
For Olim who are new to a city, the easiest way to connect to other and find “adopted family” is through participating in religious life. Be’er Sheva is home to over 300 synagogues but most are small Sephardic minyanim. Below is  a list of institutions that have some “anglo” involvement. 

Eshel Avraham – Conservative Synagogue – http://www.masorti.org.il/eshelavraham_en/index.php
Kehilat Beerot – Partnership-style Minyan – http://kehilatbeerot.org/
HaKippah – Orthodox; Rechov Hatsvi (Hey)
Moledet – Orthodox; Rechov Yerushalayim (Tet)
Rambam – Orthodox; (Hey) – https://www.facebook.com/BeitKnessetRambam?fref=ts
Chabad – There are numerous “Chabads” throughout the city. 
Beit Karov – BGU’s student “Jewish house” – https://www.facebook.com/sionkarbi?fref=ts
Jeff Seidel Student Center – http://www.jeffseidel.com/index.php/student-centers/ben-gurion-u
Reform – a new community has recently started in Ramot – https://www.facebook.com/ReformJudaismBeerSheva
Beit Moriah – a network of religious educational and social programs – http://www.bmoriah.org.il/?lat=en

#6: VOLUNTEER
Another great way to connect with others is participating in volunteering projects in the City. Some great ideas are to volunteer in a nursing home, a merkaz klita, or in a school tutoring English. The options are endless but here are few classics to get you started: 

Beer Sova – Be’er Sheva’s soup kitchen http://eng.beersova.org.il/
Yad Sarah – Israel’s largest volunteer organization working with disabled and elderly. http://www.yadsarah.org/index.asp?id=109&area=4
Shvuat Haadamah – Earth’s Promise in an organization started by English-speaking Olim. They have created community gardens and an organic farm in the city. http://earthspromise.org/urban-agriculture/community-gardens/beer-sheva
Beer Sheva Loves Animals – http://b7la.com/volunteer.php
Merkaz Klita – there are multiple absorption centers in Beer Sheva (Nurit, Yeelim, Kalisher) who could always use help, especially with the children.
Maslan Rape Crisis Center – 
mitnadvot@maslan.org.il

#7:  JOB SEARCH
Please send us your resume and we will be happy to arrange a meeting with you to help with your CV and job search. Since networking is always the best tool for finding a job, please take advantage of the following local resources as well:
AACI – set up an employment consultation with mgreen@aaci.org.il
Start-up Centre
– 16 Hashalom Street (for ages 18-35) 
Maagal HaChaim veHataasuka
– 22 Ragar Street (for ages 18-55) 
Misrad Haklita
– once you have completed Ulpan, you are entitled to employment services from Misrad Haklita including business Hebrew, employment training, and placement assistance. 

#8: TRANSPORTATION
Buses: The Metrodan company operates the public bus service within Be’er Sheva. http://www.bus.co.il/otobusim/Front2007/homepage.asp?LanguageTID=en&Design=2007

The Egged company operates the inter-city buses: http://www.egged.co.il/HomePage.aspx

Trains: Often the fastest and most comfortable way to travel. There are two train stations in Be’er Sheva – one right next to the Central bus station and one next to University in the Northern part of the city. http://www.rail.co.il/EN/Pages/Homepage.aspx

Information about the “Rav-Kav” (elecrtronic payment card) – http://xn—-1hcn5ec.co.il/

Taxis: It is easy to hail cabs in busy parts of the cities but best to keep a phone number on hand in case you end up stranded somewhere! Almost all trips within the city cost 25 NIS. You can also try the new GetTaxi app!

Come by our office to pick up a free map of Beer Sheva so you can start exploring!

BEHATZLACHA!!!!

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