Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

There is a new project started by Amana, the organization that builds homes in yishuvim in Yehuda and the Shomron (Judea and Samaria). They are now appealing to Americans to make an investment in Israel, by building homes in specific communities, and then renting them out to young couples.

Our yishuv, Peduel, is one of the communities on their list. For the past two or three years, we have had a waiting list of between 25-50 families who want to move to our community, but there is no room. In the past the yishuvim received caravans (trailor homes) to be used as temporary housing for couples exploring the possibility of living in a community such as ours. After a reasonable amount of time, the couple would then decide to build permanently. Building projects take a number of years to be completed, the families would move into the homes, and the cycle would start again with new families.

The problem is that the yishuvim are not receiving caravans anymore. (In past years they were subsidized by the government. At one point, when the political winds changed, it was decreed that it is illegal to move caravans from one yishuv to another. I am not sure what the status is now, but they are too expensive  for the yishuvim to buy on their own.) The caravans were considered “temporary” housing, although many have been used for more than twenty years already. Now the only way a yishuv can grow naturally is by accepting families who are willing to build homes. Young couples just starting out do not have the financial means to build right away, so they are having a hard time finding a place in many yishuvim.

Amana is trying to circumvent this problem, by turning to those who may want to make a good investment, and may want a home to retire to later in life. Our yishuv is relatively close to the coastal area of Tel-Aviv, where many people work in hi-tech (a commute of between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on where exactly on the coast you need to reach). A new road has been recently opened, which connects our area to Modiin (20 minutes away), which means a commute to Jerusalem is roughly an hour.

Our yishuv has approximately 10% Anglos, so there are enough English speakers to have immediate friends, but the place feels like Israel, and not America. (For those who don’t want that). Since we bought our home the prices have appreciated by 25% (despite the current events of the past few years).

If there are readers out there who are serious, and want more information, you can email me (westbankmama at fastmail dot com).

I’d love it if my new neighbors came here because of my blog……

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. PP
    Feb 26, 2007 @ 12:30:45

    Well, I won’t be becoming your neighbour, but for anyone who is interested I think you forgot to mention that the view is truly breathtaking…

  2. WaysofZion
    Feb 26, 2007 @ 13:36:14

    I don’t need to be tempted! Working on convincing Hubby to go back!

  3. benthalo
    Feb 26, 2007 @ 21:13:33

    I was at the Amana Seminar. Very well attended. People were interested (myself included). People were concerned about
    what compensation would be given to non residents if these properties were “appropriated”. Any thoughts on this?

  4. westbankmama
    Feb 27, 2007 @ 06:13:23

    WB Papa here –
    Regarding compensation in the case of “appropriation”: The Gush Katif residents were compensated for years of residence in addition to the base value of their property. So the value of the property itself seems not to be in jeapordy.

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