Thursday, May 13, 2010

Kiryat Ariyai Halevi

Kiryat Shmuel is a small neighborhood located in the area which is geographically called the Krayot – an area between Haifa and Acco.  However, it is technically part of the Haifa municipality.  What that means is that even though it doesn’t qualify for the NBN go north program, it does qualify as one of the Absorption Agency’s special cities for North American immigration and you get extra benefits (money, tutoring, entertainment).  
Kiryat Shmuel is a religious neighborhood.  The beauty of it is that it is not like the more concentrated areas in Israel where the religious dynamic is tense.  The is a big mix of all types of Jews – Ashkenaz, Sephardic, Chasidic, Dati Leumi, Charedi, and everything else in between.  Everyone gets along great and there is no pressure to fit into a certain group or model (there is a lot of grey area).  The English speaking community is small but tight.  Half of the English speakers are permanent while the other half is made up of young couples learning at the Technion Medical School program for English speakers.  The Israelis here are mostly made up of professionals (doctors, lawyers, businessmen, etc.).  The neighborhood is also closed on Shabbat which gives it a great Shabbat feeling.
Things in and near the neighborhood:
Like all religious neighborhoods there are all types of synagogues, a mikveh, and religious schools (to be discussed in its own section).  Lots of playgrounds for the kids.  No matter where you are in the neighborhood, you are no more than a ten minute walk to the train station.  It’s great for traveling and commuting.   We are also a ten to fifteen minute walk to the beach, depending where you are.  Part of the beach is separate.  Also on the beach is a water park – open in the summer with some separate days almost every week.  A bus ride away is the zoo in kiryat motzkin called Hai Park – one of my favorites in the area.  There are also pools (with some days/hours that are separate), bowling, and two malls one bus ride away.  Haifa is also close with all its benefits.  Though Kiryat Shmuel is mostly residential, there are many stores available within walking distance to nearby Kiryat Yam.  Also close by are many outlet stores (office depot, home center, big mall, etc.) and very large supermarkets (rami levi, osher ad) who have very large mehadrin availabilities for those interested.  The one thing lacking for those who keep Mehadrin is a variety of restaurants.  There is pizza, falafel, and a dairy restaurant but for meat you must go to nearby Kiryat Ata or Acco.
Being so close to Haifa there are a lot of opportunities available, especially in the computer field (google, Microsoft, intel, etc.) and the medical field (5 hospitals in Haifa and one in Nahariya).  Lawyers (who pass the Israeli bar) do well too.  And of course so do people of many other professions.  Being next to the train allows you to commute easily should you find work farther away.
There are three main school systems in Kiryat Shmuel.  There are the Rav HaKarmi schools, the Aharon Haroe/Pirchei Aharon schools, and the Chabad schools.  In general, the Rav Hakarmi schools are for the Charedi community, though at least a third of the school comes from a Torani (serious Dati Leumi) background and most of the Charedi kids are from working families.  The school is for both boys and girls (separated obviously) up until 8th grade.  After 8th grade there is a boys yeshiva but no girls seminary as of yet (though there are always plans for such). At the moment girls go to the Acco or Haifa Beit Yaakov for high school.  Both the boys and girls school learn a full Ministry of Education approved secular studies program.  The Aharon Haroe/Pirchei Aharon schools are pretty much for the Dati Leumi community.  The school is also for boys and girls – also separated.  It is made up of all levels of religious observance though all are orthodox.  It has a very strong secular studies program.  After 8th grade there is the Pirchei Aharon yeshiva for boys, and Ulpana Segula for girls.  The last school is the Chabad school which is also for boys and girls (separate) and goes up until the end of high school.  It also has a full secular studies program.  It has a mix of kids from many backgrounds.
For more info, contact Ariyai

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