The city of Beit–She’an is situated in the center of the valley of Beit–She’an, and is spread out over an area of 700 square kilometers of which 155 are a national park in the north of the city. The city has 5,000 families which amass to 20,000 inhabitants. Beit-She’an is situated on route 90, the north-south road which runs the length of Israel. From east to west, route 71 crosses the valley and connects it to the port of Haifa and the heart of the country from the west, and to Jordan from the east. Beit-She’an is one of the most ancient cities in the East. It’s history is fabulous and luxurious. It came to its full bloom during the Roman period.
Industry, Employment and Tourism
“Tzvaim Park”, is spread over 110 square kilometers and includes various industries. Plans are underway to bring additional hi-tech and lo-tech companies.
Heath care, education and nearby Kibbutzim also provide local employment sources.
Peace with Jordan brings forth an incredible opportunity for economic cooperation with Jordan and the global community. The project “Gate to Jordan” is an international industrial plant on the Israeli Jordanian border near Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi. This is one of the fruits of the peace with Jordan. It is a free tax zone which received a permit as QIZ – Qualifying Industrial Zone, which enables release of taxes in the USA. This permit will enable Beit-She’an and the region to have an advantage economically and to bring economic activity to the area. It is foreseen that there will be 50,000 work places mostly on the Jordanian side. On the Israeli side will be the managerial positions and others, which will be approximately 1,500 work positions. This will stimulate economic growth.
The pinnacle of the city’s tourism is of course the National Park of the Archeological Findings. The town has become a drawing focal point for international tourism. Over the holiday of Sukkot, there is an annual international arts and culture festival.
Fertile land and flowing springs are another tourist attraction. The biggest one in the area, “Gan Hashelosha”, is known more by its popular name “The Sachne”. This park was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the 20 most beautiful sites in the world. Another natural park in the Beit-She’an valley is “Ganey Chugah” – which consists of a natural spring forming three big swimming pools, surrounded with grass and shady spots. It is situated in the midst of the valley, near the Sheikh Houssein Bridge and the Israel- Jordanian border.
Day Care Centers (0-3 years) – In Beit-She’an there are six centers with 350 children.
Early Childhood Programs and kindergartens (3-6 years) – There are 35 institutions with 950 children. They all operate long days serving two meals a day.
Elementary School – There are ten schools in the town with 1,800 students. They all include long days (until 4:00 PM) with a hot lunch provided. All schools are provided with computers, resource centers and scientific laboratories. There are extra cultural, environmental and nature activities in all schools. Some of them specialize in specific fields of interest, such as archeology, science, art or media.
Special Needs – There are four special early childhood and two elementary schools which serve 85 children with special needs.
High School – There are 2 ORT high schools, one technological center and one regional Yeshiva high school, with a total of 1,720 students.
Academic students – There are 400 students who attend academic institutions. The Mercaz Tzeirim Center offers activities and resources. The center is equipped with computers. Some of the activities include fun activities for soldiers, social events, employment fairs, and distribution of scholarships and cultural programs for the young population of the town.
Child Development Center – This center has therapists who diagnose and provide therapy to children aged 0-18. There are nine professional divisions, such as physiotherapy, psychology, remedial reaching, art therapy, speech therapy and other therapies.
The Beit-She’an “Matnas” – This municipal center provides culture, youth activities and sports. It holds all the cities major events, such as festival and holiday events, memorial events and more. A few years ago the Matnas moved to a new building which includes a hall with 450 seats. It serves the entire population of the town, schools and theater lovers, as well as performances for the school children. The Matnas organizes the after school activities in a few places around the town, including neighborhoods further from the center of town. The Matnas supports a healthy way of life, and educates the population by enabling sport activities fit for all ages. Matnas activities and classes also take place in the neighborhoods which are further away from the center of town.
The Music House – This establishment teaches 150 students in a wide variety of musical instruments, performing arts, singing groups such as “Tzeirey Beit-She’an” and various orchestras. Every school also has it’s own performing groups.
The public library – The library serves children, academic students and adults. It holds over 70,000 books and provides cultural activities for children and adults.
Youth Groups – The active youth groups are the scouts, Bnei-Akiva, No’ar Le No’ar, and Ha’noar Ha’Oved Ve’Halomed in which there are hundreds of participants. There are also young leadership groups and a city youth council.
The new train line from Haifa to Bet She’an is expected to be completed and running in 2016. The train will have two stations in Bet She’an.
Buses travel frequently from Beit She’an to Afula, Haifa and to Jerusalem.
Bet Shean is a flat town and one can get from place to place on foot or by bicyle.
Amenities / Services
Bet She’an has a shopping center, a Mall and several supermarkets. There are a number of local restaurants, most of which are kosher. The municipality offices are very friendly and the health care clinics provide excellent services.
Community and Religious Life
Over 25 synagogues. All are Nusach Sephard.
Current Projects Under Planning Construction
A new bus and train station on Route 90
1,000 new homes
New Water Park
New outdoor fruit and vegetable market
New Tzim Center – shopping Mall