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HOME Tour - Tel Tzion

After our first tour of Charish last month, delegates from Operation Home Again and Avira D'Eretz Yisroel headed Southeast towards the greater Yerushalayim area and toured three communities in the Binyomin region -- all within short commuting distance of the Kosel and Yerushalayim city center.

In this article, we will present our tour of the growing yishuv of Tel Tzion.

Tel Tzion is a Chareidi yishuv with a population of 6,000 that borders a religious zionist community called Kochav Ya’akov. Though the yishuv is only a few decades old, it already has a colorful history.

Tel Tzion was originally established as a Chassidish community by a Vizhnitz entrepreneur. Due to lack of growth in its early years, the Chasidish community dwindled. When the permits expired, a group of Sephardim realized the potential and marketed apartments to the Sephardic community. Until five years ago, the town was predominantly Sephardi until Rabbi Shalom Koledetzki spotted the potential here for cheaper housing for young families and thus began marketing hundreds of housing units to Ashkenazi families in Kollel in Yerushalayim. The influx of these families shifted the dynamic to a relatively balanced community, with the Ashkenazi newcomers now comprising half of the town's population.

Despite the shifts in population, there is a sense of achdus between the different streams of Chareidim living in Tel Tzion, including Litvish, Chassidish, and Sephardi. When Rav Shlomo Amar, the current Chief Rabbi of Yerushalayim, visited the yishuv a few years ago, he noticed the tremendous good will, even mentioning his positive impressions in a speech he gave.

Fittingly, the names of the three main streets in Tel Tzion are Ahavas Shalom, Ahavas Emes, and Ahavas Yisroel. Yes, really.


"Old men and old women will once again sit in the streets of Yerushalayim, each with his staff in his hand because of advanced age; and the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets." (Zechariah 8:4-5)  - Sign at a central park in a neighborhood in Tel Tzion
"Elderly men and elderly women will once again sit in the streets of Yerushalayim, each with his staff in his hand because of advanced age; and the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets." (Zechariah 8:4-5) - Sign at a central park in a neighborhood in Tel Tzion

Residents describe Tel Tzion as having a relaxed, out-of-town feel without the social pressure that may be found in other areas. A sense of a unified community envelops the residents who routinely and joyfully participate in each other's simchas.

Sruli Abromowitz, an avreich from America who is now living in Tel Tzion, gave us a tour of the community. When asked how new English-speaking Olim fit in here, he shared:

“An Anglo family can definitely find their place here as long as they are looking to integrate into Israeli society and it’s definitely possible to have a smooth landing here. There are other chutznikim here that have been here for a while and many of the key people here are Chutznikim. "

Indeed, while the Anglos themselves make up a small percentage of the population of Tel Tzion, they seem to be highly represented in leadership roles. Three of the leading Rabbanim, the Gabbai Tzedaka, and the youth program organizer are all English speakers.

Yoel Berman, director of Avira D’Eretz Yisroel, summed up his impressions of the yishuv:

“Tel Tzion has a sizeable and growing Chareidi population. It is located very close to Yerushalayim, yet is much more affordable; a place where all of what Yerushalayim has to offer (chinuch, shopping, etc.) is readily accessible — by car or cheap and frequent public transportation. New roads planned and future growth may turn some of these yishuvim into an extension of Yerushalayim.”

See the gallery of pictures from our tour here.

For the full report, visit Lifeintheland.com - Tel Tzion

Journalists from HaModia's Israel Roundup section are in the process of writing articles based on our tours of Tel Tzion and other communities. We look forward to sharing with you the full articles from HaModia as they are published.

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