The other day, Dan Leffel, our company’s Modiin maven, was raving to me about the Modiin Absorption Department’s extensive olim services. At that moment, I understood why this beautiful, friendly city has become a popular destination for olim: American-style customer service.
Modiin is situated halfway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and is less than a half-hour drive (traffic permitting) to both. It is centrally located, which is highlighted by the fact that half of the country’s population is within an hour’s drive.
Modiin is a commuter’s dream, with an excellent highway system, exceptional intercity and intracity bus service, and train service to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Overseas commuters appreciate that it is only 15 minutes from Ben Gurion Airport, which comes in handy when arriving home on a short Friday afternoon in the winter.
Founded in 1993, Modiin is located in the general vicinity of the original ancient village of Modiin from the Chanukah story, where Matisyahu and his five sons launched the Maccabean revolt against the Greeks’ Seleucid Empire. The city is an urban planning treasure, with large swaths of protected land for parks, playgrounds and nature reserves. Modiin is in expansion mode, as its population is currently 100,000 people, with a long-term plan to grow to 250,000 residents.
In addition to being a relatively new city, Modiin is also a young city, with almost a third of its residents under the age of 18. Accordingly, half of the municipality’s budget is dedicated to education, with an abundance of highly rated schools for students of all ages and needs. Residents also rave about the municipality’s wonderful after-school options that include extensive youth programming, a music conservatory, community centers, pools and sports facilities. Retail, too, has not been overlooked, as Modiin offers numerous shopping options with large malls, smaller community centers, countless restaurants and a variety of entertainment and cultural options.
Modiin is a mixed town, composed of religious and non-religious Jews. What is particularly striking is that all of the neighborhoods are mixed, which has fostered an environment of mutual respect. The majority of the Anglo community consists of observant Jews, most of whom are dati leumi (national religious). The synagogues come in many varieties, and Judaic enrichment options are plentiful: The chief rabbinate and local shuls offer an assortment of Torah classes, plus there are a number of men’s and women’s learning programs on a broad range of subjects and educational levels.
The English-speaking residents are primarily clustered in three neighborhoods: “Givat C” is located in the center of town; “Buchman/Moriah” is nestled in the southern end and its population is 50% Anglo; and “Kaiser” is situated close to the middle of town. All of these neighborhoods have a mix of houses and apartments.
Two new neighborhoods are under construction. Nofim—which means “views”—is located on a hill on the western entrance to Modiin and its 1,850 housing units will boast magnificent views of the city. Hatzipporim—which means “the birds”—is located between Buchman, Givat C and Kaizer and will house almost 1,000 residential units. Both of these communities will follow the Modiin blueprint, offering solid communal infrastructure (educational and religious facilities, parks, shopping centers and medical clinics) and containing a mixed population of religious and secular residents. Many second-generation Anglos (children of olim) have bought in these communities.
In addition, a third neighborhood, located on the northern side of town, has started the initial stage of road and sewer infrastructure work. Moreshet will be huge, with over 4,000 housing units, and young Anglos have been eyeing residential opportunities in this new section of town.
It’s easy to understand how Modiin’s combination of good governance, first-rate schools, beautiful parks, quality of life, mutual respect and central location has made the city a perfect landing place for many olim.
Gedaliah Borvick is the founder of My Israel Home (www.myisraelhome.com), a real estate agency focused on helping people from abroad buy and sell homes in Israel. To sign up for his monthly market updates, contact him at [email protected].