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Anyone lives in/familiar with Alon Shvut?
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amother




OP
 

Post  Wed, Jun 03 2020, 6:26 am
Hi,

We made Aliyah this past summer but are looking closely at moving to Gush Etzyion.
(I started this thread here... https://www.imamother.com/foru.....91749 but at this point we kind of narrowed it down.)

Alon Shvut seems like it would fuilfill many of our needs and wishes, but I can't find anyone to talk to who actually lives there or knows it well.

I'm wondering if anyone here is familiar with the area, and would be willing to talk more in depth? According to Nefesh B'Nefesh, it is 30% English speakers, but I can't seem to find any... (I am contacting the NBN contacts, but haven't managed to speak with any of them yet.)

Thanks in advance!
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etky




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jun 03 2020, 7:08 am
What do you want to know?
I live in Efrat but I'm familiar with Alon Shvut and I know Anglos who live there.
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Rappel




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jun 03 2020, 7:41 am
I know someone who lives there. I'll ask if I can pass you their number. But it will have to be in pm - I'm not just throwing it up on the internet
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amother




OP
 

Post  Wed, Jun 03 2020, 10:54 am
Thank you, Rappel, I PM'ed you!

Etky thank you! I mostly want to find out more in three areas:

a) General culture of place. We don't need to be surrounded by people exactly like us (actually, that would probably be impossible, and I don't think we'd want to be in such a place even if we could) but just if the general culture would be comfortable/easy/uplifting for us.

b) Is there any Chabad presence at all? That's for practical reasons as much as anything. We're trying to determine the practicality of sending kids to school in Beitar.

c) What transportation to Jerusalem is like--mostly for my husband who will probably be working in Jerusalem. Trying to see if it is reasonable for us to live in Elon Shvut and for him to get to his place of work without a car.

Thank you!
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amother




Cerulean
 

Post  Wed, Jun 03 2020, 10:59 am
My parents live in Alon Shvut.
I dont know about chabad, but in terms of transportation, yes, there is regular transportation into jerusalem.
I live in a neighboring yishuv that does have a chaba presence (shul etc) just for information.
Alon Shvut does have a lot of english speakers but also a lot of israelis. There also is the older side of the yishuv and the newer side (when I say newer side, I mean 20 years old Smile )
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heidi




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jun 03 2020, 10:59 am
I know several Anglo families who live there.
If you are planning to educate your children in Beitar Alon Shvut is not the place for you.
Why not look into Beitar?
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amother




OP
 

Post  Wed, Jun 03 2020, 11:08 am
heidi wrote:
I know several Anglo families who live there.
If you are planning to educate your children in Beitar Alon Shvut is not the place for you.
Why not look into Beitar?


What can I say... we want that education for our kids, but we are not Chareidi and not very much wanting to live there. And my husband especially prefers to be surrounded by more nature.

We figure we should at least try to make it work in one of the yishuvim. We can always then move to Beitar if the practicalities prove to be too much, but we're unlikely to move out if we start out in Beitar.
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etky




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jun 03 2020, 11:12 am
amother [ Cerulean ] wrote:
My parents live in Alon Shvut.
I dont know about chabad, but in terms of transportation, yes, there is regular transportation into jerusalem.
I live in a neighboring yishuv that does have a chaba presence (shul etc) just for information.
Alon Shvut does have a lot of english speakers but also a lot of israelis. There also is the older side of the yishuv and the newer side (when I say newer side, I mean 20 years old Smile )


Yes and I would say that most of the English speakers are very 'established' in the sense that they have been here quite a long time. I don't think that Alon Shvut has many olim these days - mainly because there hasn't much growth in recent years in the sense of new construction and expansion of the yishuv.
Alon Shvut has wonderful people btw. Very ideological and committed to Torah and to E"Y.
Many are connected to the Yeshiva and to the adjacent Herzog College.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Wed, Jun 03 2020, 11:16 am
amother [ Cerulean ] wrote:
My parents live in Alon Shvut.
I dont know about chabad, but in terms of transportation, yes, there is regular transportation into jerusalem.
I live in a neighboring yishuv that does have a chaba presence (shul etc) just for information.
Alon Shvut does have a lot of english speakers but also a lot of israelis. There also is the older side of the yishuv and the newer side (when I say newer side, I mean 20 years old Smile )


Thanks!

Do you know if the buses are often, or just once an hour? Or do people often tremp or catch other buses from Tzomet Hagush, so it doesn't really matter?

Would you be willing to share with me where you currently live? I have heard of Chabad shuls in Bat Ayin and in Neve Daniel, is there another place with a strong Chabad presence?

Israeli or English-speaking are both fine for us, I think... Like I guess a couple of English speakers would be nice but I hope to improve my Hebrew and anyway, I feel like I have relatively modest social needs... Is there a difference in style or culture between the old and "new" parts of Alon Shvut?

Thank you!
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amother




OP
 

Post  Wed, Jun 03 2020, 11:22 am
etky wrote:
Yes and I would say that most of the English speakers are very 'established' in the sense that they have been here quite a long time. I don't think that Alon Shvut has many olim these days - mainly because there hasn't much growth in recent years in the sense of new construction and expansion of the yishuv.
Alon Shvut has wonderful people btw. Very ideological and committed to Torah and to E"Y.
Many are connected to the Yeshiva and to the adjacent Herzog College.


Etky that is the part that really appeals to us. Being surrounded by ideological, learned, dedicated people. I wish I could say I was that--but at least I want to be in that environment!

And truthfully it is possibly the lack of new housing that may be part of the physical appeal of the place too? I hate to say it because no new housing means limiting the Jewish presence? But something about the physical layout of the place (upon basic drive-through) felt very "sane" to me. I'm not even sure exactly what I mean by that. But it felt calm...

Do you know why there is no new housing there, while other yishuvim do seem to be building new projects?
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chanchy123




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jun 03 2020, 11:45 am
I have friends in Alon Shvot, second generation to Anglo Olim. I’m not sure there is much of a Chabad from the outside it seems very homogeneous in religious practice. You might be better off at a more diverse yishuv like Efrat.
Otherwise, there is transportation to Yerushalayim many committed Torah Jews many Anglos some facilities but it’s suburbia so very close to other services near by (shopping medical restaurants etc).
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amother




Amethyst
 

Post  Wed, Jun 03 2020, 12:36 pm
Don't know about Chabad, but I do know of one family from Alon Shvut who sends to school in Beitar. There may be a few others but it's a tiny minority.

The joke is that it's hard to find a household in Alon Shvut that doesn't have smicha and a Ph.D. As a whole, it's a very learned , committed community. It probably has more talmidei chachamim per square foot than anyplace on earth.

But I think you need to be open to the realities of Israeli society. It's quite possible that your kids will hear very negative things in Beitar about a community like Alon Shvut. Are they, and you, able to resist the peer pressure? I think it's a good idea to talk to the school so you can get a feel for their outlook.
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chanchy123




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jun 03 2020, 1:06 pm
amother [ Amethyst ] wrote:
Don't know about Chabad, but I do know of one family from Alon Shvut who sends to school in Beitar. There may be a few others but it's a tiny minority.

The joke is that it's hard to find a household in Alon Shvut that doesn't have smicha and a Ph.D. As a whole, it's a very learned , committed community. It probably has more talmidei chachamim per square foot than anyplace on earth.

But I think you need to be open to the realities of Israeli society. It's quite possible that your kids will hear very negative things in Beitar about a community like Alon Shvut. Are they, and you, able to resist the peer pressure? I think it's a good idea to talk to the school so you can get a feel for their outlook.

In my very religiously diverse DL yishuv there is a family that sends to Chabad in Beitar. There are a lot of people who identify with Chabad boy are not chareidi (of course there are those too - but it’s not far fetched that Chabad schools accept a diverse crowd).
OP how important is a Chabad school to you? You might want to check the Talmud Torah/Ahavat Yisrael in Bat Ayin they have Chabad/chassidiah influences but are chardal not chareidi. It might be a good enough fit.
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chanchy123




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jun 03 2020, 1:07 pm
chanchy123 wrote:
In my very religiously diverse DL yishuv there is a family that sends to Chabad in Beitar. There are a lot of people who identify with Chabad but are not chareidi (of course there are those too - but it’s not far fetched that Chabad schools accept a diverse crowd).
OP how important is a Chabad school to you? You might want to check the Talmud Torah/Ahavat Yisrael in Bat Ayin they have Chabad/chassidiah influences but are chardal not chareidi. It might be a good enough fit.
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etky




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jun 03 2020, 1:14 pm
I have no idea if this is your cup of tea or not but there is also a small Talmud Torah here in Efrat now.
I'm not sure what the 'orientation' is though. It might be Sephardi.
And of course there is a Beit Chabad. Two actually - one is for English speakers.
There are some Chabad leaning people here too, but nothing like what you'd find in Beitar.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Thu, Jun 04 2020, 4:44 am
amother [ Amethyst ] wrote:
Don't know about Chabad, but I do know of one family from Alon Shvut who sends to school in Beitar. There may be a few others but it's a tiny minority.

The joke is that it's hard to find a household in Alon Shvut that doesn't have smicha and a Ph.D. As a whole, it's a very learned , committed community. It probably has more talmidei chachamim per square foot than anyplace on earth.

But I think you need to be open to the realities of Israeli society. It's quite possible that your kids will hear very negative things in Beitar about a community like Alon Shvut. Are they, and you, able to resist the peer pressure? I think it's a good idea to talk to the school so you can get a feel for their outlook.


Thank you! What you write is actually very appealing to me. I hope I don't sound floofy if I say I love being around educated people and education in general. We once lived in a university town for a few years and just enjoyed being in the general environment, even though we had nothing to do with the university (other than hiring some really great babysitters). Torah knowlege--even better. We had to leave the town we loved because of the lack of Jewish infrastructure.

I am not really afraid that in a Chabad school kids will hear negative things about Alon Shvut... I don't think Chabad is that way. My fear (born of ignorance, and would love to be reassured on this count, not claiming this is the case) is more the opposite--that neighbors will be cold or look down on us because (for example) our kids are wearing tights or knee socks, or otherwise appear more "chareidi" or whatever. (I don't think they look so chareidi, but not sure how we will come across to them.) Or other cultural mismatch that I'm unable to predict.

We will definitely talk to people at the school though, thank you for the suggestion.

Is there any chance you could get me in touch the family you know who sends to school in Beitar?
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amother




OP
 

Post  Thu, Jun 04 2020, 4:57 am
chanchy123 wrote:
In my very religiously diverse DL yishuv there is a family that sends to Chabad in Beitar. There are a lot of people who identify with Chabad boy are not chareidi (of course there are those too - but it’s not far fetched that Chabad schools accept a diverse crowd).
OP how important is a Chabad school to you? You might want to check the Talmud Torah/Ahavat Yisrael in Bat Ayin they have Chabad/chassidiah influences but are chardal not chareidi. It might be a good enough fit.


Right--this is my understanding of how a Chabad school is likely to be. Not the same as chareidi schools as a whole (not that I know those firsthand, but what I hear...) A bit more open and welcoming.

Agree with you that Chabad-identified people in general often don't identify as chareidi per se, even if there may be some things in common. In fact--that's us. I think we may be unique in some ways but not so unique in this. In the US Chabad definitely does not identify as chareidi. And here too I don't think it's that different, though maybe the distinction is not quite as evident or clearcut as it is in the US (I don't know).

Chabad school is pretty important to us. Or at least, the end result is--I care a lot that my kids grow up to identify as Chabad, feel connected with the Rebbe, fit socially into the broader worldwide Chabad community.

Thanks so much for the suggestion to look into the school in Bat Ayin. I googled it with my husband and we found a video that I think is put out by that school (they never actually put their location in the video, but it seems like it could be Bat Ayin). It seems like a really sweet place and maybe a place we'd feel comfortable and be happy to send to. I would love to find out more, if you or anyone can give more information!
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chanchy123




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Jun 04 2020, 4:59 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thank you! What you write is actually very appealing to me. I hope I don't sound floofy if I say I love being around educated people and education in general. We once lived in a university town for a few years and just enjoyed being in the general environment, even though we had nothing to do with the university (other than hiring some really great babysitters). Torah knowlege--even better. We had to leave the town we loved because of the lack of Jewish infrastructure.

I am not really afraid that in a Chabad school kids will hear negative things about Alon Shvut... I don't think Chabad is that way. My fear (born of ignorance, and would love to be reassured on this count, not claiming this is the case) is more the opposite--that neighbors will be cold or look down on us because (for example) our kids are wearing tights or knee socks, or otherwise appear more "chareidi" or whatever. (I don't think they look so chareidi, but not sure how we will come across to them.) Or other cultural mismatch that I'm unable to predict.

We will definitely talk to people at the school though, thank you for the suggestion.

Is there any chance you could get me in touch the family you know who sends to school in Beitar?

I think your fear is valid.
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chanchy123




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Jun 04 2020, 5:04 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Right--this is my understanding of how a Chabad school is likely to be. Not the same as chareidi schools as a whole (not that I know those firsthand, but what I hear...) A bit more open and welcoming.

Agree with you that Chabad-identified people in general often don't identify as chareidi per se, even if there may be some things in common. In fact--that's us. I think we may be unique in some ways but not so unique in this. In the US Chabad definitely does not identify as chareidi. And here too I don't think it's that different, though maybe the distinction is not quite as evident or clearcut as it is in the US (I don't know).

Chabad school is pretty important to us. Or at least, the end result is--I care a lot that my kids grow up to identify as Chabad, feel connected with the Rebbe, fit socially into the broader worldwide Chabad community.

Thanks so much for the suggestion to look into the school in Bat Ayin. I googled it with my husband and we found a video that I think is put out by that school (they never actually put their location in the video, but it seems like it could be Bat Ayin). It seems like a really sweet place and maybe a place we'd feel comfortable and be happy to send to. I would love to find out more, if you or anyone can give more information!

PM me. I can give you the number of an English speaking family that sends to the girl’s school and Israeli families who send to the boys school.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Thu, Jun 04 2020, 5:14 am
etky wrote:
I have no idea if this is your cup of tea or not but there is also a small Talmud Torah here in Efrat now.
I'm not sure what the 'orientation' is though. It might be Sephardi.
And of course there is a Beit Chabad. Two actually - one is for English speakers.
There are some Chabad leaning people here too, but nothing like what you'd find in Beitar.


Thanks, Etky!

Will keep that Talmud Torah in mind.

I actually spoke (before we made Aliyah) with the English-speaking Chabad shluchah in Efrat. We had a great conversation, she was very sweet, friendly, helpful, but I didn't get the sense from talking to her that Efrat is really the place for us. We don't really need a Beit Chabad per se... more a practical school option and a place where my husband is comfortable davening on Shabbos (which ultimately may or may not be a Chabad Shul... where we are now, even though there are Chabad options, he usually goes the main Ashkenazi minyan). And I guess the possibility for our kids to befriend or play with neighbors would be nice.

We definitely don't need to be surrounded by a large number of Chabad-identified people.
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