Rehovot has a reputation for welcoming Olim. From the time it was founded in 1890, Rehovot has attracted attention from abroad. The world famous Weizmann Institute of Science, the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food & Environment (HUJI) and assorted hi-tech and biotech businesses define the character of this modern city. Along with the two academic institutes in Rehovot, other universities such as Bar-Ilan and Tel-Aviv are within an easy commute making Rehovot a true University town. The ongoing influx of visiting academics from abroad helps to infuse the city with a truly international flavor. Rehovot is centrally located and the improved highway and rail systems makes Rehovot easily accessible from the Gush Dan-Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem areas.
Rehovot offers its residents many opportunities in the Hi-tech and Biotech industries.
Education / Youth
Rehovot offers a wide variety of educational options. There are many preschool programs for all types of families, including those for children with special needs. Elementary school options include general public, religious-public (Tachkemoni), religious-public Torani (Noam boys and girls), a Talmud Torah (Cheder), and Beit Yaakov for girls. The schools have good reputations and meet the needs of Rehovot’s diverse population.
The high school options for both boys and girls include several government (non-religious) schools and the Amit (religious) school. Boys from Religious-Zionist families generally attend Yeshivat HaDarom or the AMIT Amichai High School for Boys. There is also a science-oriented religious boys’ high school in Rishon LeZion, a 20-minute commute from Rehovot. Boys from Haredi families generally attend one of several Yeshivot located in Rehovot or Bnei Brak, which is only 20 minutes away. Girls also have several options: the local Ulpanat Tzvia (Merkaz HaRav), AMIT High School for Girls, AMIT Beit Midrash program for girls and Beit Yaakov. The children in Rehovot are highly involved in youth groups, including: Bnei Akiva, Ariel, Ezra, and HaTzofim HaDatiim (Religious Scouts) which all have active branches.
Rehovot is a very good option for those looking for a community where a car is not necessary. It is easily accessible to places of employment in the greater Tel Aviv and Sharon region. It has a well-developed intra-city bus system and is small enough so that it is possible to get around by foot or bicycle. There is also a local train station that enables residents to commute to many cities. There are private van services that shuttle people back and forth to Tel Aviv. In the past few years there has been a great improvement in the highway system in and around Rehovot making the commute by car easier and faster.
Jerusalem is approximately 35 minutes from Rehovot via route 431. Tel Aviv is within a 25 minute drive; Modiin is only 15 minutes away by car.
Rehovot’s Anglo community places tremendous emphasis on helping new Olim acclimate to the city and to life in Israel. The informal Anglo network helps new Olim find apartments, navigate the bureaucracy, and register children for schools. One such informal service is the hospitality committee at the Berman shul (see below) who offer both direct help and networking advice from the 200+ family members of the shul. The hospitality committee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Rehovot Yahoo group is also a great resource of information.
There is an amateur “Ulpan” which runs at the community center for new or veteran Israelis who could use some Hebrew improvement. The groups (intermediate and advanced only) meet once a week for an hour.
Amenities / Services
Along Herzl, Rehovot’s main thoroughfare, it is possible to find just about any kind of commercial establishment. The city also has a beautiful mall with shops of every variety. The Bilu Center mall is a 5 minute drive outside Rehovot. There are many supermarkets, most offering free delivery and a Shuk brimming with fresh produce. A newly renovated municipal shuk with underground parking is due to open soon. Rehovot is certainly not lacking for restaurants. Ethnic and more conventional cuisines are all available, and most of the restaurants are kosher.
All Kupot Holim (health-care clinics) have offices in Rehovot. There are also private medical practitioners for many specialties. Kaplan Hospital is located within the city and serves most of the needs of its residents.
Community and Religious Life
Most of Rehovot’s Anglos who are looking for a religious community become involved in either the HaTaM or Berman communities. CHaTaM (Hug Le’Tora U’leMahshava) is a yeshiva-oriented community with a diverse group of members. Although there are a large number of English-speakers at the shul, all sermons are delivered in Hebrew. More than anything, the community prides itself on its closeness and unity of purpose. For more information, please contact: www.chatam.org.
The other community that is popular among Olim is the Berman Shul, named after Rabbi Yaakov Berman. Berman’s was established in 1970 and is situated on the grounds of Yeshivat HaDarom (the boy’s high school). It has a Religious-Zionist orientation with about 85 percent Anglo Olim, and 15 percent native Israelis. The sermons are delivered in Hebrew but there are lectures and Shiurim in both Hebrew and English for both men and women. There is also an emphasis on activities and Shiurim for seniors and kids ranging from pre-school to post high-school. Berman’s is known for its warm welcome and inclusiveness of the many shades of orthodoxy. More information about Berman’s can be found at www.bermanshul.org.
Both synagogues are located approximately 20 minutes away from each other on foot. In addition to these two shuls, there are many other shuls in Rehovot that have English speaking members.
Most neighborhoods in Rehovot are a mix of religious and non religious with a long standing tradition of getting along. There is currently a building boom in Rehovot with new neighborhoods being built next to the established ones.
Average price for purchasing a:
2 bedroom Apt- 720,000 NIS
3 bedroom Apt- 1,100,000 NIS
4 bedroom Apt- 1,300,000 NIS
5 bedroom Apt- 1,500,000 NIS
Average price for renting a:
2 bedroom Apt- 2,900 NIS
3 bedroom Apt- 3,900 NIS
4 bedroom Apt- 5,000 NIS