Haifa, Israel's third largest city, is the capital of the north and home to some 265,000 inhabitants. Blending together much of what is beautiful in Israel, it is situated where the rocky green slopes of the historic Mount Carmel meet the blue waters of the Mediterranean's broad natural harbor.
It offers biblical holy places, nature reserves, lovely cultivated gardens and first class universities in addition to a bustling historic port serving all of Israel, and rapid economic development in commerce, industry, housing and transportation.
Long known for its co-existence between its Jewish, Arab, Druze and Bahai populations, it is now equally a forerunner in Jewish pluralism, offering religious expression and membership to all denominations, as well as extensive communal and cultural activities. In Haifa, there is something for everyone.
Formerly known as the industrial capital of Israel, whose blue-collar workers found plentiful employment in Haifa's extensive industries and ports, Haifa of today is of a different tone.
It has become one of Israel's leading centers in the field of high tech. For example, it houses Matam, which is Israel's largest R&D Park and includes world-leading companies such as Intel, Microsoft, Elbit, Elscint, Fibronics and Elron.
M.A.T.I., Haifa's Small Business Development Center is a public, non-profit organization. It aims at assisting Haifa residents interested in initiating businesses in any of Haifa's quickly growing areas of commerce.
As a developing tourist center and a prominent figure amongst Israel's medical and educational facilities, Haifa additionally offers these areas as possible employment options.
The educational system in Haifa is known for its high standards of accomplishment. It serves a student population of 55,000, from kindergartens to high schools.
The system, including a variety of schools from the Open school to ultra orthodox schools, state religious schools, comprehensive schools, academic, yeshiva and technical high schools as well as schools for special education and educationally challenged students, offers additional opportunities for educational development.
Special emphasis is put on education in the sciences, in technology and the humanities, and on computer literacy in the classrooms.
Haifa's educational excellence continues in the sphere of adult education. It is home to the Technion, The Israel Institute of Technology, which ranks among the leading technological institutes in the world.
There is also Haifa University, where one can pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of programs in a high academic environment.
It also boasts an extensive network of colleges, technological colleges, community centers and educational institutions, which offer vocational training, teacher training and a variety of adult education in many fields.
The educational system has welcomed and absorbed many new immigrants from many countries throughout the years.
Especially outstanding, is the Leo Baeck Education Center, which combines academic excellence with a deep commitment to social justice and Jewish values.
The city is divided into many neighborhoods with varying standards of living. Both new and second hand housing is available for either purchasing or rentals. Prices of course, range considerably depending on location, quality, size etc. Following is a rough approximation of prices taken at the beginning of 2003.
Approximate prices in US $ for buying
||85,00 -135,000 |
Approximate prices in US $ for rental
Community and Religious Life
A harmony of continued contrasts, Haifa is at once known as the only city in Israel to have public transportation on Shabbat, while being recognized for the pluralism and coexistence of its broad religious population.
Constantly aiming to meet the needs of each of its residents, Haifa has consistently managed to foster a delicate balance of coexistence between everyone.
Large established communities of Modern Orthodox, Ultra Orthodox, Progressive and Conservative congregations and centers offer both extensive community life and educational facilities.
All offer lectures and classes as well as organized charity and activities for assorted age groups. Community Centers in the various neighborhoods also provide a variety of different activities.
Culture and Recreation
In recent years, as the fruits of Haifa's continuous efforts to become a major tourist center are felt, they blend with the long established cultural institutions of the city. A large array of choices for assorted leisure and cultural preferences are available, these include Philharmonic and Symphony Orchestras, a variety of museums and theaters.
As an active sports city, Haifa boasts many of its own teams as well as many professional sports facilities. Options include a tennis center, squash, bowling, basketball courts, soccer fields, roller-skating and ice skating rinks, athletics stadium, track and fencing in addition to extensive nature walks, forest trails and parks.
Spectacular beaches where windsurfing, diving or swimming are popular activities, as well as a stroll or a jog always include taking in the warm sun and cool sea-front breeze.
As Israel's northern gateway, Haifa is looked upon to meet the needs of outlying areas in certain fields, in addition to her own. As such, the city has developed an extensive network of services.
In the field of transportation the Haifa airport already serves international flights to Cyprus, Turkey, Jordan and Rhodes.
In the near future there will be additional flights to Europe, North Africa and other Mediterranean countries. On the local level, the 45-minute train ride to Tel Aviv is widely used and hailed for its convenience.
Buses to all parts of the country are available and Haifa is only a 45-minute ride from some of the most sought -after tourist sites and hikers trails such as Nahariya, the Galilee, Rosh Hanikra and Carmiel, with Caesarea and Nazareth less than an hour away.
The northern population of Israel is served by an extensive medical network comprising of hospitals, medical centers, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers and centers for preventative medicine. The majority of these services are administered by the extensive and renowned hospital facilities that Haifa has to offer including The Bnei Zion, and Carmel Hospitals. The largest among them is The Rambam Medical Center, a State Hospital and the main teaching hospital of the Technion's Rappaport Faculty of Medicine. It is a comprehensive facility containing all general and specialty departments and provides medical and surgical diagnosis and treatment.
Haifa's residents have shown awareness and sensitivity to the absorption needs of the new immigrant and has in the past proven itself as a valuable support group and welcoming community to the many immigrant groups including large concentrations of English speakers who have made Haifa their home.
Below Some North American Immigrants who have settled in Haifa share their feelings:
Carl Alpert (Formerly from Boston, journalist): "The people, the view, the quiet, the climate, the ambiance, the centrality, the spirit, the mountains and the sea."
Irene Eshwege (Formerly from New York, English teacher): "Living in Haifa is like being part of an extended family."
Sandy Aron (Formerly from New York, Operations Manager): " It's pretty here, it gives me a chance to be who I am. And everywhere my eyes look I find something pleasing."
Dena Slonim (Formerly from New York, Lawyer): "The friendly people, the quality of life, and the educational system makes Haifa an ideal environment for raising a family and doing business."
The Organization for Immigrant Absorption in Haifa
20 Peretz St.
Tel: (04) 862-5840
Haifa Information and Service Center
131 Hameginim Blvd.
Tel: (04) 851-0401, 851-0351/2
Fax: (04) 851-7846
AACI Haifa Branch
Located at the Information and Service Center (above)
For more details about the city of Haifa, you can visit The Haifa Municipality website at: www.haifa.muni.il
Last updated: Tuesday, August 12, 2003