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Yad Binyamin

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We are moving to Yad Binyamin.

We first heard about Yad Binyamin from some friends a few years ago. We had been talking about potential communities to live in, Yad Binyamin came up in conversation as one of the new “in”, up-and-coming communities in Israel that Americans (including young families) were beginning to flock to. As we were starting to think that our long-term future might not be in Kochav Yaakov, we made a mental note to go and check out Yad Binyamin some time. Over the next few weeks, coincidence had it that the community was recommended to us by a number of unrelated acquaintances, so sometime in July 2006 we went with a realtor to check it out.

yb Location: Along route 3 at the junctions of routes 3, 6 and 7. 30 minutes from Yerushalayim, 25-40 minutes from most of Tel Aviv, 20 minutes from Modi’in and Beit Shemesh, 15 minutes from Gedera, Rechovot and Ashdod. It is along the Beer Sheva-Tel Aviv train line which is allegedly in the process of being enlarged from one track to two tracks (which will enable fast passenger train service into Tel Aviv).

A brief history of the place (to the best of my knowledge – I am sure that I have a couple of details off): It was established in 1962 around the same time as a number of other religious moshavim in the area, and was intended primarily to provide services to the neighboring communities in the Nachal Soreq district. In time it grew to host the regional offices, a senior day-center, ganim, a Torani elementary school, a girls Ulpana high school, basketball and tennis courts, a swimming pool, a library, health clinic and some shopping (and a matza factory). Up until 3 years ago there were less than 50 families living there, almost all connected with the various schools. (Some pictures).

All of this changed with the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif. In the preceeding years, there had been some pressure to switch the direction of Yad Binyamin from an educational center to a regular living settlement. For undisclosed reasons (I have heard a few different theories why), a few hundred families from Gush Katif (from Ganei Tal and other settlements) along with all of Yeshivat Torat Chaim (the yeshiva from Nevei Dekalim, headed by Rav Shemuel Tal) were all transplanted into Yad Binyamin. The Yeshiva went into an unused gym, all of the refugees were housed in caravans (intended to be temporary), and money started pouring in from the government to improve the yishuv and make it more livable for its new residents. New ganim, streets, parks and facilities were built. And a large portion of the perimeter of the yishuv had its zoning changed from agricultural to residential.

In the past three years, about a dozen different housing projects have begun to take shape in this new residential area. Some of the land is set aside for local residents or refugees from Gaza, while other parts were opened up to bidding from different contractors (a contractor buys the rights to a specific zone, designs the houses to match the zoning requirements, and sells off the individual homes to buyers) and single plots were auctioned off to individual buyers (who would design their own house and build it with their own contractor). The first few projects were finished last Summer, 4-5 projects (each of which is equivalent to 1-2 blocks of houses) should be done in the next year, and another group of projects are in the early stages of building or are still being designed and planned out. Currently there are around 300-350 families living in Yad Binyamin (including Gush Katif refugees, some of whom will eventually be leaving, and some of whom will be given permanent housing). When all the dust settles in a few years, there will be around 700-800 families living there.

We chose to buy in Yad Binyamin for a number of reasons:

  • A good number of English and Hebrew speaking young families
  • Good location
  • A religious community with a diverse population
  • Nice educational options to choose from in the future
  • A well-known yeshiva in the neighborhood
  • A new community that we can contribute to with access the amenities of an older, more established community
  • Nice houses to choose from
  • (And if things don’t work out, a good investment – since we bought one year ago, prices have already gone up 20-30%).

Our new home (we have the right half)We bought a house from Meshullami builders (the development is called Neve Binyamin – we got half of house 72). Over the past year, we have gotten a mortgage, signed a contract on the house, hired an architect to help us customize the layout and interiors, and have seen the house go from nothing to a finis hed structure (right now they are installing the air conditioning, finishing the floors and putting in windows). We will, God willing, be taking possession within two months, and will be moving in within three. We are very excited to be moving into our new home and community (and very excited for the building process to be over).

That is it for now. If I get around to it, I hope to post more on the different parts of the buying/building process that we have gone through.

Written by Yaakov

December 2nd, 2007 at 9:24 am

13 Responses to 'Yad Binyamin'

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  1. mazel tov! Yishuv Tov!

    Rafi G

    2 Dec 07 at 10:49

  2. Mazel Tov! I would love to shmooze with you about your decission, as we are B”ezrat Hashem planning our upcoming Aliyah

    Deena

    25 Dec 07 at 3:40

  3. Mazel tov! We are excited for you! My wife and I are planning aliyah very soon, and are alos looking for a community to move to. We are considering Rosh Pina in the north…maybe Tiberias as well.

    Are you in reach of the qassam rockets? I pray not. Again, congrats!

    Shavua Tov,
    Yehudi

    Yehudi

    6 Jan 08 at 1:28

  4. This sounds just delightful. Ever since playing SimCity as a child, I’ve fantasized about living in, as you put, “a new community that we can contribute to.” Can’t wait to see more pictures as things move along.

    jabbett

    16 Jan 08 at 7:26

  5. [...] to bring you (whomever you might be) up to speed, we moved to Yad Binyamin four weeks ago (here are some recent pics of the new digs). (And despite my dearth of posts in the [...]

  6. Hey, great! I’m glad I found this while searching for things on Yad Benyamin. We’re thinking about checking it out. I’d love to hear more about it..

    Chava

    9 Jun 08 at 21:54

  7. Mazal Tov! My family and I have also bought in YB, we bought in the Chazon and Galili project. This is actually the second time with are buying from this builder he is an amazing person and one of the most honest builders in Israel, not to mention that his finish is incredible. I think the thing that pulled us in to YB initially was the warmth of the community and the acceptance of all. On the very first day we went to go and look at the place, we were walking on the sidewalk looking at all the new projects and a really sweet man pulled his car over and asked if we had just moved in, we replied that we were just looking. his very next comment before we had even introduced ourselves, was an invitation to his house for coffee if we had any questions. Since then we have heard so many amazing stories. If I am not boring you too much I will share one more. Apparently a new family moved in, the husband apparently travels to the states often for business and has to leave his family. The wife and children who live in one of the new projects was worried because the sidewalk and lighting in front of her house had not been done yet and at night it was very dark—she went into the community offices and asked for their assistance. during that night the YB community offices put in the sidewalk and a light in front of her house. With stories like this we new it was going to be a special community.

    Michelle

    31 Jul 08 at 14:37

  8. Hi,
    We just visited Yad Binyamin today. It seems like a lovely place and we are looking into the possibility of investing in the community. We currently live in Toronto and have children ages 15,13,10 & 7. The people we have met mostly have younger children and didn’t know much about the social life for teenagers. Can any of you give me some information on whether or not there are many teenagers in the community? If so, are there many English speaking ones? Do the high schools that people send their children to from Yad Binaymin accomodate for the language issue? One of the main things that concerns us about making Aliyah is how our older children will acclimate and integrate into the community. Any information would be much appreciated. Thanks!

    Shawna

    10 Aug 08 at 21:57

  9. @Shawna – As I am one of the people with younger children, I also don’t know much about the social life for teenagers (though I do know that there are some English-speaking families with teenagers). For the best answer to your questions, I recommend that you join and send an email to the community Yahoo! list. This would be the best way for you to get in touch with families in the communities who moved in with teenagers, and to find out from them how the adjustment has gone. Good Luck!

    Yaakov

    11 Aug 08 at 10:11

  10. Shalom Shalom…I was interested in finding out if Tviya Katif is adding grade 10 in the Fall, and if they accomodate olim, and also what is the school’s hashkafa? What a wonderful group of people you all are, as I received many replies to my last post! Thank you, Yehudit Bell

    Yehudit

    7 May 09 at 4:33

  11. Hi im so happy for you guys. Reading your blogs , makes my decision to make aliyha so much easier . We cant wait to leave south africa, and start our new life in the home land. Thanks again love carol woolf

    Carol

    17 May 09 at 13:30

  12. welcome home!!
    I’m an Israeli who live in nican (deported from gush katif).
    it won’t be easy but you at home!!
    as more people like you come, the light of Torah becomes stronger!!
    and Israel is more jewish!!
    chaim

    chaim klein

    17 Jun 09 at 9:54

  13. I’m currently looking into communities in Israel and noticed that you wrote that your “long term future might not be in Kochav Yaakov”. Did you live there? If so, how long ago and why did you feel it was not for you? How does Yad Binyamin compare to Kochav Yaakov regarding the type of community? I’d really like to get your opinion to assist in my search for an ideal community. Thank you.

    Malka

    13 Sep 10 at 22:40

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