Since 1991, when the first English-speaking residents moved to the Sheinfeld neighborhood in Beit Shemesh, there has been an exponential growth of English speakers. The English speaking population has grown to be a significant presence on the Beit Shemesh scene in areas such as commerce, politics, and volunteering. Yet the beauty of being an Oleh resident of Beit Shemesh is that you join Olim from Russia, Ethiopia, France, and other European countries to become part of a vibrant mosaic of the “Ingathering of the Exiles.”
Frequently Asked Questions
The department offers a wide range of services, including:
Learning centers: afternoon homework help for school age children
Enrichment hours for new Olim children with special needs
Enrichment hours for Bagrut exams preparation
Hebrew classes for adults
Extracurricular activities such as ballet, karate and chess
Family trips around the country
Workshops and lectures on different topics and holiday related events
Ulpan and intensive summer activities for children and families
Discounts to community center after-school classes
Activities for pensioners including trips, shows and workshops
Beit Shemesh has offices of Misrad Hapnim (Ministry of the Interior), Bituach Leumi and Misrad Haklita (Ministry of Absorption) located in the center of town.
Both summer and year-round children’s Ulpan are offered. Adults study Hebrew in the Matnas (community center) in Ramat Beit Shemesh.
The Iriyah (municipality) has an English-speaking liaison who works with the community in assisting Olim with their absorption. She is listed as a contact in this profile.
There are many after-school activities available for kids. There is an active English-speaking Amit chapter, Hebrew and English community library, Chesed organizations, Shiurim (Torah classes), and a biking/running club.
Beit Shemesh offers Ulpanim for children and adults. The children’s Ulpan is for children aged second grade to sixth grade in the public education system and works under the supervision of the Ministry of Education. The children’s Ulpan provides a full enrichment program that includes workshops, trips, holiday events, and an additional staff of teachers. This special frame is all offered for a special subsidized price.
Adults study Hebrew in the Matnas (community center) in Ramat Beit Shemesh.
Liaison to the municipality for the Anglo community
There are four distinct, established, English-speaking neighborhoods that are a 10-15 minute walking distance from one another: Scheinfeld, Nofei Aviv, Givat Savyon and the newer Nofei Hashemesh/Ramat Neriya.
The Scheinfeld neighborhood is comprised of apartments, townhouses, and semi-attached houses.
Nofei Aviv is mostly semi-attached houses.
Givat Savion is made up of semi-attached houses and villas, which offers a wider variety of housing styles and price ranges than in the other neighborhoods. Recently, young couples have been moving into the apartment buildings adjacent to Scheinfeld and Givat Savion. Bet Shemesh is home to a large Garin Torani, a group of people who moved to the city to provide education and programs about Judaism, many of which make up the award-winning teachers in the city. These devoted and active community members are scattered through the city, with many living in Givat Savion. Our shul, Congregation Etz Chaim, truly reflects the ingathering of the Diaspora. People from the four corners of the earth belong to our shul, where native Israelis blend with people from North America, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa. This feature makes our community unique in Bet Shemesh, and probably in Israel. Our friendly congregation is involved in Chesed activities both within the community and with the Bet Shemesh community at large. We contribute with our time and money to small and large charity events, and we are involved in social activism as well. At Etz Chaim, our members are like family. When someone is in need, the congregation is there to help. When someone celebrates a Simcha, the community celebrates along with him or her. At the same time, our members have privacy and are given the space to live their personal lives.
Contact at Etz Chaim: Gilan Gertz, 077-340-9700, 052-549-4820 (Whatsapp), Facebook, or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, the shul would love to organize a breakfast and small tour of the community to those who are interested in moving to Givat Savion.
Nofei Hashemesh/Ramat Neriya has larger apartment buildings and semi-detached homes.
The Haredi neighborhood which has an Anglo presence and is adjacent to the Scheinfeld neighborhood is called Nachala U’Menucha.
A Garin Torani, a group of religious families interested in strengthening the community, has moved into the Bar Ilan area.
In addition, the neighborhood of Migdal Hamayim, a 15 minute walk to the Scheinfeld neighborhood, is a good option for families who want to move to Beit Shemesh, but cannot afford the prices. With its already established English speaking community, this neighborhood offers stores for all your shopping needs, and has healthcare centers on its main street.