Bet Shemesh is HOT! Except maybe in December or Jan
The climate is nothing like Jerusalem.
7 years old is a great age to move with. Your child is young enough that he will have plenty of time to adjust. As you speak to olim parents, you will see that there are kids who sit in class for months and have no idea what is going on and they do fine eventually.
Thanks so much for the replies. What I'm getting from the conversation is:
1) Seven is still an okay age. (Though realistically she would be 8 by the time we are able to get there, and entering third grade.... Does that change anyone's assessment?)
2) There are no secret hideouts I didn't already know about that have the weather we want. So we really do need to decide how important the weather is and confine our search accordingly.
3) Gush Etziyon might be more realistic than I thought. Most people are not living the donkey lifestyle but more of a suburban lifestyle. And there are Lubavitchers in the region.
What I still need to understand:
The Lubavitchers who live in the Gush. Where are they sending their kids to school? And how?
In general there are so many yishuvim, it seems to me. How can I begin to narrow it down so we even know where to visit when we come?
I read up some more on Kochav Hashachar and actually went to sleep with pleasant dreams of living there. But it still feels very random and unknown to me.
And regarding the idea of community... I also went to sleep with pleasant dreams of achieving that. But I am just deluding myself? Can I find that somewhere in Israel? I feel like wherever I am (since I hit adulthood), I am always an outsider for one reason or another... (married at a more advanced age than my friends, kind of artistic-minded, don't want to write more here because I want to maintain my privacy...)