Netanya has always been a popular resort city as well as permanent domicile for English and French speaking people who love its relaxed atmosphere and numerous beaches. More recently, however, this city of 120,000 and located only 30 kilometers from Tel Aviv, has become especially attractive to British Jews who are purchasing apartments from the many new building projects that have been going up all over the city.
Why is this city so attractive, as compared to others? For one thing, it’s close proximity to Tel Aviv, as well as being a straight commute route for those who take public transport make the city convenient for those who either do not own a car or prefer to take a more relaxed form of transport such as an air conditioned bus or train straight into the “big city”. Another thing that for years has been a drawing card for Netanya has been the many active immigrant organizations for English speaking people. Some of these include the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel (AACI) and the Hitachdut Oleh Brittania (HOB). Both organizations accept English speakers who are not originating from a particular county, so “Anglo Saxons”, as English speakers are called, often belong to several organizations in order to take advantage of the social and cultural programs being offered.
As many Anglo Olim are also religious or traditional (Masorati) Jews, they like to be situated near a synagogue so they can walk there on Shabbat. For this reason, many of these English speakers like to live in the center of the city where a number of synagogues that are popular with ‘Anglos” are located; including the New Synagogue on McDonald Street, the Young Israel Shul on Shaul Hamelech, and the Masorati Beit Yisrael Synagogue on Yehuda Hanasei Street. Any one of these synagogues are readily accessible for people living on popular “Anglo Saxon streets” such as Nitza Blvd, Mohl, or Shlomo Hamelech.
Other areas of the city, especially in Netanya’s new southern districts are fast becoming popular with new, English speaking arrivals. These areas include the sea front section between the Carmel Hotel (where a new “Anglo” Synagogue is situated) and the Beit Goldmitz soldiers’ rest house. A variety of new projects are going up in this area, with apartment prices beginning at $300,000 for a three roomer. Many French speakers are also buying in this area as they love to be close to “La Mer”.
A third area that is presently undergoing a virtual building boom is the neighborhood known as Ramat Poleg. Ramat Poleg was the first luxurious neighborhood of private and semi detached homes which has always been heavily occupied by English speakers as well as many well known Netanya “personalities”. The neighborhood has grown considerably in size with the addition of multiple high rise building projects. Presently, a new series of building projects are going up on what was once a vacant area facing the sea. At least 12 new projects are currently under construction, and planes for the area also include luxury hotels and a new shopping mall complex. Rumor has it that scores of Anglos have already purchased apartments in these new projects, particularly ones like “Ir Yamim” (Sea City) and “Dankner on Sea.”
Another popular area, especially for younger Anglo Olim with families, is the new area in Eastern Netanya near the city’s academic college.
Netanya’s municipal authorities are doing their utmost to promote their city; and this includes a number of new parks and other attractions to make these newcomers feel “at home”.
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