Elkana was founded in 1977 as one of the first settlements in the Shomron and is currently home to over 1200 Dati Leumi (national religious) families. The settlement, centrally located in the country, is expanding at a fast pace with 300 homes in various stages of building, with plans for further expansion.
Residents work in a wide range of professions including hi-tech, education, law, and medicine. Most Elkana residents commute to nearby cities, while others work locally in Elkana and in the neighboring settlements. The community of Elkana has a long-standing tradition of assisting residents in finding employment.
Within Elkana, there are many daycare centers, Ganim (kindergartens), and the Mamlachti Dati (religious public) school, Cramim. Boys continue their junior high and high school education at Ma’arav Ha’Shomron Yeshiva (Yama) and girls study at the Ulpana high school.
Orot Israel College of Education for women, located in Elkana, is the largest religious teachers college in Israel, and is accredited by Israel’s Ministry of Education. The Elkana campus houses both the women’s undergraduate programs in education as well as a graduate program in Educational Counseling for both men and women. Single and married students live on the Elkana campus, and the campus offers a child daycare center as well as a swimming pool for summer use.
In Elkana there is a wide range of children’s after-school activities including gymnastics, basketball, soccer, chess, music, and art. The Bnei Akiva youth group is a year-round activity for kids. Elkana’s public library has a good selection of English books for adults and children.
Elkana is centrally located. Highway 5 connects Elkana to Tel Aviv in just 30 minutes. Jerusalem is accessible from Elkana in about 45 minutes. Elkana is 10 minutes away from Route 6 and the Rosh Ha’ayin Train Station. There is also regular bus transportation to Tel-Aviv, Petach Tikva, and Jerusalem.
The Elkana community dedicates energy and resources to welcoming Olim to the community. The “Elkana Ba’Aliyah” initiative guides Olim through the process of Aliyah and ensure that they receive a warm welcome into the community.
Amenities and Services
Elkana offers several amenities, including a leading national supermarket chain as well as a grocery store, post office, and pharmacy. The area also has hairdressers, a jewelry store, children’s clothing, a hardware store, and a stationary and paper goods store.
All of Israel’s health funds, Clalit, Maccabi, Meuhedet and Leumit, serve the Elkana population. A branch of Yad Sarah, manned by volunteers from Elkana, loans a wide variety of medical equipment and provides services to Elkana residents. Magen Dovid Adom offers first aid and ambulance services and a new fire station serves the area.
Elkana’s active cultural life provides residents with events, festivals and concerts throughout the year, and adults have access to a wide variety of activities, such as choir, exercise classes, lectures and classes on religious topics. Elkana’s “50+club” is extremely active and offers retirees a host of activities and events.
Community and Religious Life
There are 12 Orthodox (Ashkenazi, Sefardi, and Yemenite) synagogues in Elkana. The community Rabbi is Rav Yehuda Stern who is involved in all the various aspects of community life. There are many Shiurim (classes) in Bible and Halacha (Jewish law) throughout the week and on Shabbat, and the Daf Yomi (daily regimen of learning the oral Torah) in Elkana is known throughout Israel for its amazingly high level of participation. A Beit Midrash for women offers weekly Shiurim while a Kollel program for men and women is active on a daily basis throughout the year.
Elkana has a vibrant English-speaking community, and the majority of Elkana residents can speak English and are happy to assist Olim. There is a weekly Tanach shiur in English and a number of Tiyulim (trips) are geared exclusively toward English speakers. Most importantly, the English speakers are extremely involved in everything happening within the general Elkana community.
Many volunteering opportunities exist within the community, including programs focused on the youth such as “Adoptive Families” and clubs designed to support young mothers and newly married couples. Elkana’s support networks reach all sectors of the population, and Chesed (acts of kindness) activities assist neighbors in times of crises and families with special needs. A non-profit second-hand store – with proceeds going to charity – help define a very active and involved community.
There is a full range of housing options including rental of small apartments attached to large private homes or the purchase of a private house either newly built or previously owned. Rental prices vary from NIS 2,800 to 6,500 depending on size and level of furnishings. Purchase prices vary from NIS 1.4 to 3 million.