Welcome to Tekoa

 

CONTACTS

 

Tekoa Office: Ph: 011-972-2-9964568 Fax: 011-972-9962396 tekoa@zahav.net.il

Shani Simkowitz  +972 50 401 2071 gushezif@inter.net.il

Housing: Tamar Castelnuovo: +972-2-9968131, tekoat@netvision.net.il

 

Hebrew Website:   www.tekoa.co.il

English Website: www.tekoa.org.il

 

PAGE   -   CONTENTS

 

1. Who Lives in Tekoa

2. Location and Climate

2. Tekoa's Ancient Roots

3. Aliyah Support

4. Housing

5. Education

5. Religious Life   

6. Work Opportunities

6. Agriculture and Food Shopping

7. Youth Movements

7. Recreation

8. Pets      

8. Medical Services

8. Community Governance

8. Regional Municipality

9. Transportation

9. Security

9. Tekoa

9. Hesder Yeshiva

 

 
We are delighted that you are considering Tekoa for your future home. 

 

 

 

 

1. Who Lives in Tekoa?

Tekoa is blessed with people who have chosen to live in a yishuv (community) based on social diversity and mutual respect. Tekoa was founded in 1977 by visionary Israelis and new immigrants seeking to build a community of co-existence. Numerous studies have been conducted documenting the fascinating success of the Tekoan social experiment that brings together religious and secular value systems.  Open-mindedness is a key. The community fully respects those who observe Shabbat and those who do not. People who come to Tekoa tend to be thoughtful, seeking creative solutions, and drawn to be active community members.  Our community reflects the diversity of Am Yisrael - from full observance and orthodox to totally secular and creative artists; new immigrants blending with Israelis; singles, young families and grandparents; professionals from academics and high tech to organic farmers. New immigrants come from the world over. Today Tekoa hosts 575 families and is expanding.   In Tekoa, your neighbors become your extended family. New children are warmly accepted and make friends in no time. Happy children make happy families. This makes for a successful aliyah.

2. Location and Climate

Tekoa is located in the Gush Etzion region, fifteen kilometers south of Jerusalem, eight kilometers west of Efrat, and within an hour drive from Beersheva and an hour and a half from Tel Aviv.

 At 675 meters above sea level, Tekoa enjoys a Mediterranean climate slightly warmer than Jerusalem. Our typical Mediterranean winters range from sixty to forty degrees fahrenheit during the day, with blustery winds and rain in the evening sometimes going below zero. The rare blanket of snow is an occasion for all. Summers days are hot, dry and without humidity, while the evenings enjoy cool mountain breezes.

3. Tekoa's Ancient Roots

Tekoa's ancient meaning reflects our community today as a place both for 'the securing of tents' and an 'awakening herald of the shofar'. Birthplace of the prophet Amos, and home of the 'wise woman' brought to teach King David reconciliation by parable (Samuel 2, Ch. 14, 4-9). Our fertile fields produced olive oil considered the best in the ancient world.  It alone was chosen for the offerings in the Temple in Jerusalem.  Each year a special ceremony would accompany the wagons bringing Tekoa's olive oil to Jerusalem.


  

      View of Herodian from Tekoa

 

 

 

 

 

During the destruction of the Second Temple, Tekoans were able to see the tragic glow of the burning from our hills. Skirmishes of the Bar Kokhba revolt took place in our area. Herodion was used as a synagogue at the time of the destruction of the Temple and by the Jewish rebels in the Great Revolt against Rome in 70 AD.  Some Tekoans, together with other residents of Gush Etzion, have the tradition of reading Eicha on Tisha B'Av (the Ninth of Av) at the ancient synagogue inside the mountain fortress of Herodion, after sundown to read the Book of Lamentations by candle light. The Haritun Cave is the largest in the Middle East. Byzantine monks created a network of dwellings carved into our mountainside to meditate in the awe-inspiring beauty of Tekoa's natural vistas.

4.  Aliyah Support

We welcome all inquiries. For aliyah support please contact Nefesh Benesh at
www.nbn.org.il

5. Housing 

Every home in Tekoa is on at least half a dunam plot (500 square meters - about 1/4 acre).

New homes for immediate purchase or rental from $250,000 unfinished second story

    * Resold homes for purchase

    * Rental of houses or apartments from 500$-1500$ per month.

    * There are no rental of caravans available

    * Plot Purchase - $85,000 for building of private homes

    No one technically 'owns land' in Israel - the land is owned by the State of Israel. This entails a step-by-step process that includes working with an engineer and an architect to submit a plan for approval. The plan is submitted for review and permitting to the Regional Council of Gush Etzion Engineering Department. Upon completion of the process, you are ready to build. The process is straightforward to ensure basic building standards.

    6.  Education

     

     

    There is a community daycare and nursery program till four PM with a hot meal, with longer hours available for working mother. There are also several home-based daycare programs run by mothers, a yishuv and a Chabad kindergarten. Tekoa has six playgrounds with equipment for active play.

    Our community's values of Jewish unity is reflected in our children's education. The Tekoa elementary school has pioneered 'Achdut Israel', a program integrating religious and secular students, which was awarded high honors for innovation.  After completing 6th grade, students either go on to the Gush Etzion regional high schools or choose from Jerusalem's broad educational options. Daily bus transportation is provided to the Gush Etzion and the Jerusalem schools. 

    7.  Religious Life

    There are six active synagogues in Tekoa. The largest synagogue in our yishuv is the Ashkenazi Young Israel, other synagogues include Sephardic, Chabad, the Steinsalz Yeshiva Minyan and the Carlebach-style minyan. There are at least two early minyanim for morning services. The Rabbis and learned women are as diverse as our community, and are affiliated with Torah institutions throughout Israel such as the Matan Torah Institute for Women, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Hesder and Yeshiva High school. Weekly shiurim are conducted in English, French, Russian and Hebrew. Our modern mikvah is open at time convenient for busy schedules for men and women.

    8.  Work Opportunities

    Work options range from small businesses to organic agriculture, light industry to teaching in the school system.  An easy commute to Jerusalem and Gush Etzion opens up many other employment opportunities. Business initiatives include: a carpentry shop, two grocery stores, graphic art studio, a real estate and an educational software company. Communications resources include ADSL fast Internet hook-ups, all major cell phone companies reception and the local Bezek phone company. We encourage entrepreneurs to establish new initiatives. The Gush Etzion Development Company will provide business initiative development.

    9.  Agriculture and Food Shopping

    At least ten families make their livelihood from cultivating an array of organic products, from organic grapes for wine, juice and raisins, organic mushrooms, fruits and vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, fresh organic eggs, organic goat milk and cheese, olive oil and organic breads. We have two country stores, one carries more tasty Russian delicacies and the other a good selection of local shopping needs.   For a larger selection, all the major food chains and the colorful Machane Yehuda open air market in Jerusalem offer a tapestry of ethnic flavors.

     

    Organic tomatoes on Tekoa terraces

    10.  Youth Movements and Activities

    There is an active Bnei Akiva chapter that begins in the 4th grade under the leadership of community counselors with Shabbat afternoon activities in addition to various weekday programs that involve both orthodox and secular young people. In addition, there is a youth leader for the upper grades that works with an elected youth committee who together organize their own supervised activities. During vacations there are day camps for young children and exciting activities for the older children, such as hikes, movies and outings.


    11.  Recreation 

    Tekoa pool

     

    Tekoa offers a broad variety of extra-curricular activities for young and old. The Tekoa Community Center offers basketball, soccer league, arts and crafts, yoga, karate, chess, music lessons, choir, ballet, hiking and sewing taught by professionals from Tekoa and the region. We have two basketball courts, a tennis court, and a well-equipped exercise room with a professional trainer. Our library has both English and Hebrew books and offers after-school homework tutoring. The Tekoa Country Club boasts two gorgeous outdoor swimming pools, for adults and little ones, with separate men, women and family hours, swimming lessons, lockers, showers and a canteen selling refreshments. The pool is open on Shabbat but no business is conducted. This has enhanced our quality of life even more and attracts visitors from the surrounding area. Our Horse Ranch offers group and individual riding lessons. Breathtaking hiking trails embrace our village echoing the ancient history of our land. There is a family-run pizza parlor and a meat grill restaurant.

     

     12.  Pets

    Many families have pets. Veterinary services are available in the Regional Council, with regular visits in Tekoa for vaccination, licensing and registration of pets.

    13.  Medical Services

    In Israel, every family has medical coverage through one of the major providers that you choose.  Services through Meuchedet, Clalit and Maccabi medical plans and clinics are provided on the yishuv.  There is a pharmacy in Efrat open for day and evening hours. We have a private dental clinic. Alternative therapies for nutrition and whole system health treatments such as massage therapy, shiatsu, reflexology and acupuncture are provided by Tekoa-based practitioners. 

    14.  Community Governance and Infrastructure

    Although all homes are private, the community infrastructure is jointly owned and managed through regular town meetings. We encourage new members to become active community members, and participate in community decision-making and committee responsibilities. There is a five member governing committee for overall management and policy. Other committees address absorption, education, culture, security, environment, tzdakah, synagogues and building. Each committee is elected annually, with some overlap. Town meetings are conducted periodically to decide on issues brought up by community members. Accepted Tekoa members are entitled to vote.

    15.  Regional Municipality

    Tekoa is within the jurisdiction of the Regional Council (municipality) of Gush Etzion which is located in Alon Shvut, 15 minutes away. Each resident pays municipal taxes, according to the size of their house. The services provided by the Regional Council are garbage disposal, security, social services, school transportation according to the Ministry of Education guidelines, veterinary services, cultural activities and the Aliyah Department which assists new Olim.

    16.  Transportation

    Frequent public bus transportation is available to and from Jerusalem.  Many people drive in private cars and offer rides to those waiting at the central Tekoa bus stop. The town of Efrat is a ten minute drive away.

    17.  Security

    Tekoa has twenty-four hours a day patrol system, ambulance and a trained rapid response team for any emergency. There is a guard at the locked gate. Many homes remain unlocked. Our children feel free to roam safely within the town limits.

    18.  Tekoa Hesder Yeshiva

     

    The Hesder Yeshiva in Tekoa combines service in the Israeli army with advanced Jewish study. When our community decided to invite a yeshiva to make its home in Tekoa, it was natural that we approached Rabbi Steinsaltz, an educator renowned for a lifetime of reaching out to Jews of all affiliations and backgrounds. There are currently 140 students studying at the Yeshiva: 40 in the army and 100 who are there full-time.

    Rabbi Steinsaltz

    Mission: The Hesder Yeshiva’s mission is to create a cadre of rabbis, teachers, spiritual and communal activists who embrace Rabbi Steinsaltz’s philosophy: that learning belongs to every Jew; that all Jews merit the respect and love of their fellow Jews, regardless of level of observance and belief.

     

    Contact: Yeshivat Hesder Tekoa Ph: 972-2-960-5095 Fax: 972-2-960-5094

    Email: yeshtkoa@netvision.net.il Websites: <yeshivatekoa.org.il> <steinsaltz.org> 

      

    If you have any further questions, feel free to speak with the community contacts listed on the first page. We wish you all success in your aliyah process.

     Written by S. Simkowitz, V. Brill and E. Rogosa

     



    Synagogues: There are five synagogues in Alon Shuvut: the central synagogue, the southern synagogue, the Sephardic synagogue, the Teimani synagogue, and the synagogue of Givat HaChish.

    Mikveh:  A beautiful new mikveh for women was recently opened in Alon Shevut.  For information and mikveh hours call (02) 9933228.

    Education:
    Early education: two clusters of daycare centers (infant through two years) operate in Alon Shevut consisting of eight groups divided by age.  The daycare is operated by the regional Matnas (community center).

    Pre-school:  The yishuv has eight ganim (pre-school classes) ranging from three years old to five years old.

    Elementary education:  Adjacent to Alon Shevut is the Gush Etzion Religious-Torani Public School comprised of the lower division (grades 1-3) and the upper division (grades 4-8).  Additionally, the area has a number of other schools to which families in Alon Shevut send their children: Orot Etzion in Efrat, Reishit in Rosh Zurim and the school in Bat Ayin.

    Highschool education:  There are a number of highschools in the area:
    Ulpenot (religious highschools for girls):  Neve Chana located in the regional center, Shavei Rahel in Neve Daniel and Orot Etzion in Rosh Zurim.
    Yeshiva highschools for boys:  Neve Shemuel in Efrat, Mekor Hayyim in Kfar Etzion, Orot Yehuda in Efrat, and Beit HaMidrash HaTichoni in the Zayit section of Efrat.

    Higher yeshiva education:  Yeshivat Har Etzion in Alon Shevut for men, its sister school for women, the Midrasha in nearby Migdal Oz, and Michlelet Herzog school of education (adjacent to the yeshiva in Alon Shevut) which grants a B.Ed. degree.

    Joining Alon Shevut:
    Information about dwellings for rent or for sale second-hand can be found on the bulletin boards of the yishuv (and soon on the yishuv’s website).  Information about new dwellings can be obtained from the office of the va’ad.


                                                                  

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