Considering Yad Binyamin as an aliyah destination?
Yad Binyamin is on the must-see list of many people considering permanently moving to Israel. It offers a unique proposition for English-speaking families looking to make aliyah - a religious ' village lifestyle' within a friendly and diverse community of Israelis and Anglos.
95% of Shaarei Tefilla member families are olim and Yad Binyamin is a community where olim can come and feel at home right from the start.
Of the new families who have moved in since mid-2007, approximately 40% are English speakers. The diverse nature of Yad Binyamin is reflected in that while all families are shomer shabbat there are many broad and different flavours here, ranging from working professionals to full-time kollel families.
Centrally located, Yad Binyamin is located adjacent to the junction of three major thoroughfares; Highway 3, Highway 6 and Highway 7 and a thirty minute drive to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Beersheba. The railroad from Tel Aviv to Beersheba passes nearby (although the station is some distance!). The nearest cities and commercial areas are Kiryat Melachi, Gedera and Rehovot.
The community size has more than doubled between 2002-2010.The total planned size for the entire Yad Binyamin community is approximately 700 families
Someone recently described living in Yad Binyamin for children as being like Disneyland with school! - They have a great outdoor life with a large number of after-school activities that are available and big open areas for the children to play in. Ulpan is provided by the municipality for both adults and children (in school). English classes for native English-speakers are provided by the local Broyers school (currently from Year 4 and onwards).
The moatza (municipality) is generally run in an efficient manner.
A new mini-mall and petrol station has been built at the entrance to Yad Binyamin. An auditorium has recently been constructed in the Yishuv.
Municipal : Clinic (Clalit), Dentist, Eye Clinic, hospice, Baby Wellness Centre, Kindergartens, Nurseries, Schools, Library, Town Hall, Swimming Pool, Basketball courts, auditorium
Shops & Services: Mini-market, greengrocers, toy shop, hardware store, Judaica store, lawyer, accountant, pizza shop, Gift, Jewelry and Hat shop, Women's hair Salon, Beautician, clothes shop, caterer (bet arucha), Petrol Station, Fitness Room
Other: Yeshiva, Seminary (Midreshet Tohar), Kollel, Mikvaot (Mens, Womens, Keilim), Guest Houses
Other Medical Services: Dr Sari Mansheim (Meuchedet, Leumit, Maccabit), Vet
Ganim - See here
Elementary/ Primary: As well as the Broyer's school on the yishuv, which is a Dati Leumi Torani state school attended by the children from the different yishuvim in the Nachal Soreq Moatza, there are also other schools which have different hashkafot that are also within easy travelling distance. There is an elementary (primary) school in Yesodot, and in Yad Binyamin under Rav Tal, there is the Tohar Girls Days School and Yeshivat Torat Hachaim (Hebrew speakers only).
High School: There is a boy's yeshiva high school, Tzvia Katif adjacent to the yishuv. There is a girl's ulpana high school in the next yishuv (Chafetz Chaim) and a school bus which goes to it from Yad Binyamin. There are also other religious girls' schools within travelling distance.
Torah Classes: Many classes are given on the yishuv in both English and Hebrew. Shaarei Tefilla shiurim tend to be in English.
Ulpan: The Moatza provides a good ulpan in the matnas here. Additionally there are extra ulpanim for English-speaking children in the Broyers school and in the Ganim (kindergartens).
Location - How to get to Yad Binyamin
Yad Binyamin is located 3 kilometers from the Re’em Junction on route 3 and one kilometer from the intersection of route 6 and route 7 - a thirty minute drive to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Be’er Sheva. The nearest towns are Kiryat Melachi, (8 mins by car) Gedera (10 mins by car) and Rechovot (15 mins by car).
Israel Railroads apparently plan to upgrade and double the track on this route and build a station at Kfar Menachem to serve the area, but due to delays, this is not currently scheduled to open until 2011.
There are a number of Egged bus routes that provide transport links from Yad Binyamin to Jerusalem, Ashkelon and other cities with the timetables here.
Many residents work in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv with associated car pools, and a number regularly commute overseas.
It is possible to car-share or get rides in for the commute.
There are a number of communities who live in Yad Binyamin. The yishuv Rav is Rav Hodaya who is also the Rav of Shirat Katif. The shul Rav of Shaarei Tefilla is Rav Meir Orlian.
New Residents These are approximately 350 families who are a combination of native Israelis and Olim. Languages commonly spoken are Hebrew and English. The Olim come from a variety of countries including the US, Australia, the UK and South Africa. Around 100 of these families are olim.
Gush Katif residents Over 200 former families who were evicted from Gush Katif reside in temporary pre-fabricated housing within the village. Some of them, the families of the Ganei Tal community, are slated to move en masse to Hafetz Haim, 100 families will be moving to Netzer Hazani adjacent to Yesodot, while others are building permanent homes in Yad Binyamin.
Yad Binyamin Vatikim comprises the original “vatik” residents of Yad Binyamin who number about 15 families.
Yeshivat Torat Hachaim: Yeshivat Torat Hachaim is made of up more than 120 married kollel students and 100 yeshiva students under the leadership of Rabbi Shmuel Tal
Sha’arei Tzion comprises the Yemenite residents of Yad Binyamin
There is a cross-communal Chesed commitee responsible for organising welcomes, meals and other things like Mishloach Manot.
Real Estate / Yad Binyamin Property
This is the #1 question we get asked, so we thought we'd put it up-front and include some general info.
1. Rentals: At present there is very little available for rent. Really. . Prices for summer 2012 rentals tend to be around 6500 shekels per month.
2. Buying: Most of the new neighbourhood is now completed. There are still a few houses for sale and there is a healthy market in re-sales. There is virtually no land left if you fancy building your own house. You could try this Yad Binyamin property
Occasionally property for rent or sale is advertised on the local noticeboards. If you really want to move here, your best option in finding a property (other than talking to the local agents) is to make an offer and see the response you get. Prices will vary depending on the size of the house and location but as a guideline- if you have less than 2m nis you are unlikely to find anything.
If you would like some help with finding a property please feel free to drop a line - we can't promise success but are always happy to try and help.
History of the Yad Binyamin Community
Yad Binyamin was originally founded as a religious settlement and educational center. For many years, the community was a center of higher Jewish learning based around the yeshiva in Yad Binyamin, which for 40 years had between 250-300 students until 2002. The yeshiva today has been subsumed into Torat Chaim and Yad Binyamin has effectively been rezoned for residential purposes. Many of the public areas have been upgraded with parks and play areas added, roads repaved and new public buildings. While 5 years ago, the number of residents comprised 2500 people, today the community size has more than doubled. Yad Binyamin is large enough that you don't know everyone and feel stifled but small enough that there is a real community feel about the place.
There are now hundreds of new houses in Yad Binyamin and the community is developing. If you want to get a feel for the people who live here we recommend joining the community Google group. It is also a good place to post if you are looking for property to rent or buy here.
Thinking about Aliyah to Yad Binyamin?
If all this sounds good and you are interested in coming here either for a shabbat or as part of a pilot trip and would like hospitality, please let us know and we will try and help you out.
Moving to Yad Binyamin?
If you've already decided to come here, please drop a line as well so we can make contact with you when you arrive. With so many new families moving in it is difficult to keep track of everyone but we always like to welcome new faces.
If you wanted to know about the Matza Factory...
Just one final note... the Yad Binyamin Matza Factory has now closed permanently and relocated to Ramat Bet Shemesh. We don't have any more details other than this- sorry!
If you wanted to know about the Guest Houses...
Please contact the municipality here