(Bet Shemesh, Israel)—Twenty English-speaking families in Israel have signed on to join a new community in a prime suburban setting inside the popular town of Ramat Bet Shemesh. Ganei HaEla (www.ganeihaela.com) will be led by Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb, a dynamic and well respected rabbi who previously served Baltimore’s Congregation Shomrei Emunah before moving to Israel with his family in 2010.
“We will fill a compelling need for a cohesive community where families who share the values of commitment to Torah, the Jewish people, and the Land of Israel can come together to support each other in a warm and friendly environment,” said Rabbi Gottlieb. “We are also excited to be a part of—to benefit from and contribute to—the full range of educational, communal and recreational services located in the area.”
The first families are largely professionals, including doctors, accountants, educators, financial analysts and others ranging in age from the late 20’s-40’s. Fifty families should join the group in the next few months as development and construction work begin.
“Greater Bet Shemesh is already Israel’s number one community for young American and Anglo families,” said Shelly Levine, whose real estate agency, Tivuch Shelly, Ltd., has been a long-term marketer of the area. “I am certain that Ganei HaEla will take Bet Shemesh to the next level of most desired neighborhoods in Israel.”
Levine added that a variety of spacious top standard housing options are being offered, from apartments to single-family houses, all within a meticulously cultivated gated community. “Needless to say, the prices will never be lower than they are today to acquire a home in Ganei HaEla.”
Ganei Ha’Ela will be built around a beautiful synagogue and bet midrash, with nearby schools, religious institutions and medical and commercial centers all servicing the community.
Over 400 of the rabbi’s lectures and articles can be found on-line at www.yutorah.org
Local residents who now consider Ganei Ha’Ela their home are:
David & Meredith Ickowicz
David (29) grew up in Teaneck, NJ and, after graduating from the Frisch School, he spent two years learning in Kerem B’Yavneh and, subsequently, graduated from Yeshiva University with a BS in accounting. After working for a few years in public accounting, David transitioned into a corporate finance position with Johnson & Johnson. He continues to work remotely for J&J from Israel, which affords him the opportunity to be an honorary member of the “Morning Kollel” at Ohev Yisrael in Ramat Shilo.
Meredith (27) was born in Philadelphia and moved to East Brunswick, NJ as a teenager. She attended Bruriah, MMY and then Stern College and UMDNJ, where she studied physical therapy. Prior to their aliya, Meredith was working as a pediatric physical therapist and is currently working on transferring her license to Israel.
David and Meredith made aliya from Passaic, NJ and are living in Ramat Shilo with their three children: Adena (5), Yisrael (3), and Avi (1).
Rob & Aviva Shur
Rob (34), from Brooklyn, went to Yeshiva of Flatbush, Yeshivat Hakotel, and then YU and RIETS. He works full time for YU as a program manager for the highly regarded www.yutorah.org as well as a freelance graphic designer.
Aviva (34) grew up in Teaneck, went to Bruriah, MMY and then Stern. She was a graphic designer for Simon & Schuster Children’s Books, and now works as a freelance graphic designer and a full-time mom.
After living in Washington Heights for five years they made aliyah in the Summer of 2011. They have been married for six years and have three children: Tzachi (5), Shira (4) and Bentzion (4 months.)